With shared goals and a special connection, PopSockets has joined The ALS Association’s Every Drop Adds Up campaign to bring individuals and organizations together to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The funds will go toward supporting research into ALS treatments.
PopSockets are plastic circles that attach themselves to flat phones or cases with a reusable adhesive. They pop out twice and resemble a tiny accordion.
As it turns out, there’s a backstory between PopSockets and The ALS Association.
David Barnett, who is founder and chief executive officer of PopSockets, is the grandson of Lawrence Barnett Sr., a guiding force behind the association’s founding. In 1985, he became the organization’s first chairman, and played an active role in the group’s funding and development.
Formerly a prominent entertainment executive, Lawrence Barnett was moved to act after a family friend was diagnosed with ALS. Known as the association’s “grandfather,” he died in 2012 at the age of 98. David Barnett said his grandfather was his role model.
“He inspired me to be an entrepreneur as a kid,” Barnett told the association.
Over the years, the Barnett family’s contributions to the fight against ALS have advanced understanding of the disease through groundbreaking research. The association’s Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program funds preclinical studies aimed at developing product-driven ALS therapeutics. The program is named after Barnett and his wife.
David Barnett said it almost seemed like fate when he realized that PopSockets grips help people with mobility issues, including those with ALS, hold their smart phones more securely. Four years ago, he learned that, thanks to PopSockets, a girl with severe arthritis was able to use her phone for the first time.
“From there, we started learning from other people with mobility issues — people with Parkinson’s, someone here with ALS,” he said on the association’s website.
PopSockets began its DoGoods philanthropic initiative with a focus on mobility issues. Not only are the PopSockets grips helping people use their phones, they’re also allowing individuals to express their values, and support causes important to them, Barnett said.