If I were speaking to a to a dear friend about the Big Sunscreen Partnership falling through, I’d say things like, “It’s for the best,” or “In the long run, you’ll be better off.” I’d have hope and belief in good overcoming bad policy. I’d tell my friend she’s fighting a good fight and even thought things have been up and down (and downright upside down at times), it’s all gonna be okay.
It’s a good thing I have friends who are telling me the exact same thing today, the day everything just kind of imploded on the partnership front.
Let me explain: almost as soon as the girls came home with second-degree burns from a school field day, I started getting product review offers and a few offers from companies wanting to use our story to highlight sun safety education (with product sponsorship, of course). My thought was to align with a company with a super product and the most leverage for national advocacy. And I found one in a a small, independent brand with a great product and really nice owner.
Trouble is, the company was in the midst of a re-brand and management/leadership transition. What seemed a perfect time to launch a national advocacy campaign got mired in investor and financing issues and legal hoops that proved to be too risky for our family.
After a month’s work on vision, initiative planning and investment of our time and energy, I had to walk away. Heartbreaking.
Having to walk away doesn’t mean I’m walking away from the initiative. It’s the opposite, in fact. I feel more invested than ever that policy reform in schools is vital to the safety of kids everywhere. I look at my kids and know it’s right. I remember the stories of the families who have reached out along the way and know I must keep fighting.
I’m going to start a non-profit, you guys. I’m going to take the work I’ve already done and parlay it into a resource for folks to organize, campaign and enact policy reform across the country. Now that I’m not waiting for a bunch of people to make decisions about my life, I can focus on what’s important: making some serious waves.
I won’t be able to do it alone.
Who’s with me?