Call it serendipity, but when I lost my eyesight, everything became clear.
Five years ago, I sat at a lovely little deli with two friends of mine: a product developer and business executive.
After catching up about our kids, our spouses, and current events, the conversation suddenly turned somber.
“You heard about what happened, right?”
“Kids are dealing with so much, but school shootings?”
“Seriously, when is this going to end?”
As the conversation wore on, I felt a pit in my stomach. As a mother of two, it was hard to grasp: this was the reality my children — all our children — face every time they put on their backpacks and walk into their school each morning.
The list is staggering: Columbine, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Santa Fe…and so many more.
As a mother, I felt so many emotions. I didn’t understand – how could this be happening to our kids. And why wasn’t anyone doing anything to protect them?
This felt too big. What could I do?
So years went by, but that pit never left my stomach… and my brain never stopped thinking about finding a solution.
“You’re going to talk to me about school safety”: How losing my eyesight made me see clearly about protecting our kids
Fast forward to one October morning in 2017.
I woke up, and the world was a blur.
In my blurriness, I knew, God was calling me. This time it was a flashing neon sign: “It’s time you get crackin’ on this, Tizzie,” I imagined God saying.
And then I realized I was meeting with the one person I knew who seemed to always have a straight telephone line to God’s insight: my friend Derek.
“I think there’s something God is telling me to do,” I said, as tears started to well up.
He held up a hand and smiled. “Hold on a second…” he said, “I feel like you’re about to talk to me about safety.”
It was another sign. I broke down and started crying right then and there.
Giving Kids a Shield
After two days when my eyes healed and my sight regained, I was filled with a surge of inspiration and determination to get to work on what I was being called to do.
God had shown me the way, and my mission was crystal clear – to create a product to protect our kids against school shootings.
I enrolled in business courses, partnered with a ballistics expert at The Ohio State University, collaborated tirelessly with product designers, and most importantly, tested our shields to surpass industry standards to ensure 98% effectiveness in stopping bullets.
And the SPARKTM Shield was born.
The SPARKTM Shield protects….it also empowers our children, makes them feel safe, and gives them a last line of defense against violence.
Because when our kids step on and off that school bus, they deserve to feel safe. They deserve to BE safe.
My Mission: Giving Kids a Way to Protect Themselves from Gun Violence and School Shootings
From the bottom of my heart, I hope no child will ever have to hold up a SPARKTM Shield to protect themselves…. But it gives me hope knowing they now have something to protect themselves in a moment when they’ll need it most.
It gives me hope that the conversation is opening up more and more about how we can keep kids safe at school … how we can prevent, protect, and do better for our kids.
Someday we won’t have to be in business anymore, but for now, I’m on a mission to protect every child in America. Because our kids deserve to be safe.