Column: Local mayors unite to write book for worthy cause
Thirteen San Diego County mayors and a deputy mayor are involved in The Purple Project — and this one has nothing to do with the purple tier related to COVID, or with politics, for that matter.
The mayors temporarily turned into children’s book co-s, each penning a chapter of a story about a kind-hearted purple butterfly named Penny visiting their respective cities and doing a good deed.
The result is the 85-page illustrated book, “Penny’s Adventure in San Diego,” now available for pre-order for $25 and due for release in early December.
It came about because Jordan Conole, founder and executive director of the all-volunteer Purple Project (www.thinkingpurple.org), was searching for a way to help victims of domestic violence and abuse, a problem which has become even more pronounced during COVID.
Her nonprofit, formed less than a year ago, already has held a donation drive, a Comedy for a Cause charity event and a trivia fundraiser.
“During the coronavirus, we can’t do events to fundraise as we don’t want to contribute to the spread,” Conole says. Plus, she believes people are drained by all the COVID-related requests for money. So she came up with the idea of selling a children’s book — one that local Chambers of Commerce would love because it highlights special features of our county’s cities.
“Mayor Bailey was the first person I reached out to, and he thought it was a great idea,” she reports. Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey is a fellow Rotarian who sits on Conole’s Purple Project board.
“I help Jordan with the strategic vision of where the organization can go,” Bailey says of his advisory role.
“I was inspired by her passion to recognize a societal problem of people who need help but are unable to get it right away. Domestic violence can lead to 比特币交易网homelessness and put women further behind in terms of having independent lives of their own,” Bailey says. “The book was all Jordan’s idea.”
Queries were floated to all 18 city administrations within San Diego County.
All but the mayors of Del Mar, La Mesa, San Diego and Santee agreed to contribute chapters, Conole reports, but those four cities still are represented in “Penny’s Adventure.”
As the congenial butterfly flits from city to city on its migration to Mexico, each mayor detailed a mini-adventure covering where it goes in their city, who it befriends and how it helps. It’s an opportunity for cities to highlight landmarks or special activities within their borders while, at the same time, aiding abuse victims.
In Lemon Grove, the butterfly directs a lost cat named Princess Tyga, a.k.a. City Kitty, back to City Hall where she lives. This scenario is based on a real cat recently adopted by municipal employees through a pet foster program.
In San Marcos, past 比特币交易网home to Prohoroff Poultry Farm, once one of the largest chicken ranches in the world, Mayor Rebecca Jones writes about Penny helping a chicken that is being chased by a mountain lion. The purple butterfly distracts the lion and the chicken gets away.
In Chula Vista, Penny spends a night at the bayfront Living Coast Discovery Center which, like all zoos and wildlife attractions, is suffering from loss of tourism during this pandemic. She meets a sad sea turtle named Sapphire and brings it a flower to cheer it up.
“I’m proud to stand with other local leaders who have come together to support our domestic violence shelters in their time of need,” says Deputy Mayor Jill Galvez. The Discovery Center’s Ben Vallejos plans to offer copies for sale in the gift shop.
In Coronado, kids on beach cruisers get lost and Penny guides them down Orange Avenue past area landmarks to their beach destination.
“The day Jordan asked me to participate I had spent time with local Girl Scouts, and they told me what they had done that day,” explained Bailey. They had ridden bicycles through the village, so their travels inspired his theme.
Deborah Halverson, an editor and publishing consultant, wrote chapter transitions and edited the book at no cost, while Danielle Ramirez created colorful illustrations.
Bailey encouraged other city administrators to take part. He soon learned that Jordan already had reached out to many of them. “Everyone across party lines wants to do good for the community,” he says.
Another goal of The Purple Project is to create a nonprofit model that facilitates donations going directly to a cause. To that end, it is setting up a system allowing donors to purchase needed domestic violence shelter items on Amazon and have them delivered directly to the shelter to help victims.
“Everyone wants to help and is pressed for time,” says Bailey. “We can make it as easy as possible.”
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