When Candice and I started Hello Parent, the mission was to create a better way for parents to share information in order to ensure child safety, especially when the child was away from the home. I think as you build your product and simplify the story, it's easy to forget to communicate the real product you are building. We aren't building an app so parents can plan playdates. It's just something a parent can do while using the Hello Parent app. While the scheduling tool is what our community will use most frequently, it's not even the most important part of our product. It's the messaging tool, the profile page and the event details. It's all the places where parents can share important safety information. It's the places where we provide the questions that parents want to ask but hesitate to do so. We remove the awkwardness of asking and open the conversation to make sure kids remain safe when they are away from their own home.

Tomorrow night Grey's Anatomy is tackling the difficult topic of gun control. It's a touchy subject and I applaud them for putting themselves out there in order to address the issue. About a year ago, Candice did an interview where she talked about our desire to create a space for parents to share information. In that interview she talked about the questions parents are sometimes afraid to ask. One of those questions includes "do you have a gun in your home". A few weeks later The Brady Campaign contacted us wanting to know more about Hello Parent and the work we were doing. After several conversations we realized we were all trying to get to the same place - keeping kids safe. We started a partnership with Brady, specifically the ASK campaign (Asking Saves Kids). Their mission is to get parents talking and asking one simple question "if you have guns in your home, are they locked?". There's no preaching about whether guns should be allowed in the home or not, it's just one question that can make a huge difference.

Over the last year, working with the ASK campaign, attending events and listening to speakers we've heard story after story of children being killed by accidental shooting from unlocked guns in a home. The stories are heartbreaking. Heartbreaking. As a parent, I just can't even let my brain go to a place where I lose my child especially so unnecessarily. The point is, we aren't a scheduling app. We want to make a difference. We want you, our amazing community of parents, to be able to talk to one another. Ask the questions you have always been afraid to ask. Do you have a gun in the home? Is it locked? or Do you have a pool? Provide information about your family. You'll be able to share dietary restrictions, allergies, and fears or anxieties for your child.

We all love a good playdate or sleepover. The more we communicate during these times the more we keep the environment safe and fun for our children. That's the end goal. It's everything Hello Parent is about - be smart, be safe and have a lot of fun.