Madge Burton lost three of her children at one time in a brutal murder and had to deal with the paralysis of her young son only a few months later. While dealing with these tragedies, Burton turned her grief into a positive collaboration. She made changes in her community and even within her state to make life safer for many. Her love for people has caused her to become an advocate for those who never had a voice.
Madge Burton impacts the lives of thousands of individuals by standing with them through their darkest hours. She organized and founded, Victims United, an emotional support group. Victims United’s voice has been heard throughout the state. Burton was a key factor in opening up Ohio’s parole authority to public scrutiny; and she has helped to make changes in laws that have given victims a stronger presence in the legal process.
Burton provides a service to victims at night and on weekends after other offices are closed. These services are invaluable when someone is dealing with a traumatic event and has nowhere else to turn. Every year, she organizes a candlelight vigil for the community at the local courthouse. She involves crime victims, accident victims, the prosecutor’s office, the sheriff’s office, local churches, and county commissioners.
Last year, Burton helped observe the first National Children’s Memorial Day. She placed red roses on deceased children’s graves. This year, she and other members of Victims United placed angels in memory of young people on a tree that was placed in the Governmental Services Building.
Burton has donated thousands of hours of her time and money into this program since 1987. The past two years, she has received funds from the county commissioners. She is recognized throughout the state of Ohio because of her work as a community activist. She has strived to dedicate her life to helping the unfortunate. Burton’s personal story has been the driving factor of her advocacy. Though she had to deal with personal trauma, she kept living and has helped others work through their own tragedies.