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When you think of the word sponsor, what does it mean to you? In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there are three different definitions for the word.

Now think of the word love. How would you define it? According to the dictionary, love is defined as:

As we near the end of #LoveSafety month, there is no better time to express our love for our sponsors. It is with their help that we are able to spread the word about school safety. But before we give them a big thank you, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

When Alissa and I founded Safe and Sound Schools, we didn’t know who would be there to support us. We didn’t know who would “take the responsibility” of helping us to spread the word about school safety.  All we knew is that we couldn’t give up on our kids.

In Joey and Emilie’s memory, we made it our goal improve the safety of our schools to ensure all students and teachers feel safe in their school community.

One year and six months after we launched Safe and Sound Schools, we met NaviGate Prepared, a company using technology to assist K-12 schools in emergency preparedness and safety. During the 2014 America’s Safe Schools Week, ASSA ABLOY , a leading provider of door safety and security solutions, joined our family. In July 2015, the nation’s leading provider of visitor management software for K-12 schools, Raptor Technologies, united with us in our mission to keep students safe.  Last year, in July 2016, we were fortunate to start a relationship with Status Solutions and in November 2016, H&H Medical Corporation also joined our family.

Each company/organization understood us, our loss, and our mission. There was “an affection based on benevolence and admiration that we had for each other.” They knew the work that needed to be done to ensure that no parent, family or community has to go through what we went through.  In their own way, they each “assumed the responsibility” of keeping us safe by keeping our students and schools safe.

Their sponsorship and support has played a huge role in our ability to continue our mission. This is why we hope that you help us show some #SponsorLove to them every day. They make the work that we do possible. We hope that as our organization grows with more resources and programs, we find sponsors (or donors) like you committed to empowering communities about rethinking school safety.

#LoveSafety,
Michele Gay

P.S. To learn more about becoming a sponsor and being part of our Safe and Sound family, click here.

 

1The Safe and Sound Team has been busy this quarter. Guided by our mission of empowering communities to improve school safety, we’ve continued our travels, flying near and far to speak and work with communities and professional groups across the country .

July travels kicked off with a trip to Robertson County, Tennessee, where Michele presented to district staff preparing for the start of a safe school year. Then it was off to Littleton, Colorado, where Safe and Sound speaker, Frank DeAngelis, and co-founder Michele Gay attended The Briefings: A National School Safety Symposium, hosted by the I Love U Guys Foundation at Columbine High School.

On July 21, Safe and Sound board members convened in Boston, Massachusetts to reflect upon the progress and future plans for the organization. A couple days later, Michele attended the Campus Safety East Conference in Washington D.C., where Safe and Sound was represented along with several other school safety non-profits, thought leaders, and industry representatives. Soon after, Michele headed back to Tennessee to present to the Bledsoe County district staff, as they finalized preparations for the 2016-17 school year. July travels concluded with Michele keynoting for the Kentucky Firefighters Association, where she was able to spend time with many dedicated professionals and educators.

2In August, Michele traveled to the Cypress-Fairbanks Schools in Texas and presented to a room full of district leaders and educators. Michele also traveled to the Maryland School Safety Center and Indiana Academy of Safety Specialists to present and teach. In Long Beach, California, board member, Bob Martin represented Safe and Sound Schools and spoke to an audience of emergency managers, educators, and safety & security professionals at the Campus Safety West Conference.

September brought the “official” start of school for many, beginning with visits to Virginia where Michele and Dr. Melissa Reeves, led two full day reunification workshops for area educators, safety directors, law enforcement and mental health professionals. Later in the month, Michele traveled to Columbus Ohio to present a webinar and hold a community forum sponsored by Status Solutions.

September ended with the addition of Natalie Hammond to the Safe and Sound Schools speaking team. Natalie presented for the Tennessee Department of Education’s “Creating Compassionate Schools” conference, sharing her perspective and personal journey as a survivor of the Sandy Hook School tragedy. She was very warmly received and praised by all in attendance. We are deeply honored to have Natalie with us, sharing her experience and dedication to safe schools.

The Safe and Sound team continued engaging the national community with #100DaysOfSafety, a summer social media campaign, aimed at providing online users with 100 safety tips over the course of 100 days. With the end of  #100DaysOfSafety, Safe and Sound Schools launched #ChangeForSchoolSafety –a campaign aimed encouraging community members to collect loose change and donate their collections to Safe and Sound Schools this year on #GivingTuesday, November 29.

Perhaps the one of the biggest highlights of our third quarter was the addition of Status Solutions to the Safe and Sound community. Thank you to the Status folks for supporting and sharing our mission of safer schools nationwide. We look forward to working together to spread the word and empower even more school communities.

For day-to-day updates on all things Safe and Sound, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. For information on our current campaigns, visit our website to learn about #ChangeForSchoolSafety and #GivingTuesday. Be a part of the change for school safety!