With a truck loaded full of donations, The Purple Project, a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that provides support programs to domestic violence shelters in need, traveled to the Santa Clarita Valley to the Child & Family Center last week.
Diapers, wipes, towels, journals and more were donated, providing some much-needed supplies to the Child & Family Center’s 30-day crisis shelter, used to house individuals and their children fleeing domestic violence, while providing crisis intervention as well as individual/group counseling and education.
“They’re coming from all over, at all stages of exiting those relationships,” Leah Parker, an outreach specialist at the Child & Family Center, said of the shelter’s clients. “Sometimes, they come with nothing, so these donations really do provide us the opportunity to provide for their very basic needs and what they need to start the healing process.”
Funds for the donation were aggregated from The Purple Project’s recently released cookbook collaboration, “Winning Recipes: By America’s Finest Athletes and The Purple Project,” which features recipes composed by 40 of America’s greatest athletes, many of whom have competed in the Olympics, Special Olympics and Paralympics and world championships.
“Food brings people together and sports do the same thing, so with COVID-19 and tensions so high, I wanted to create a fun way where people could do some good in the world, especially with domestic violence rates going so high in the pandemic,” said Jordan Conole, founder and executive director at The Purple Project, adding that each athlete chose their own recipe.
Among the athletes who participated in the cookbook was Olympian Anita Alvarez, a synchronized swimmer who could be seen unloading donations at the Child & Family Center last week.
“It’s one thing to put together the cookbook, but then getting the supplies and now looking for the next thing they can do, and the next thing is what I’ve been amazed of because it doesn’t stop,” Alvarez said of The Purple Project’s continued efforts.
Alvarez said she’s always looking for ways to help others in need, and that as an athlete, it’s the least she can do.
“We have a certain status as elite, Olympic athletes, and I think it’s really important for us to give back (because) there are so many people who support us on our journeys and through our challenges to reach our goals, which are so tiny compared to the challenges that other people face, so it’s the least that we can do for everything that everyone does for us,” Alvarez added.
“The shelter’s very expensive to run, so any donation that eliminates additional costs is valuable,” added Krysta Warfield, domestic violence program director at the center.
Through the pandemic, funding for the shelter was cut more than 25%, making every little donation that much more important, Warfield said.
“This is what keeps us functioning,” Warfield said, gesturing to the cart loaded with donations. “There has been such a drastic change in the world right now … so being able to provide for clients’ basic necessities and just being able to just stay within budget is very important to us and it came at a very crucial time for us.”
The Child & Family Center’s shelter is connected to a 24/7 crisis hotline, which can be reached by calling 661-259-HELP (4357). To learn more about the center’s most-needed donation items, visit childfamilycenter.org/support-us/ways-to-give. “Winning Recipes: By America’s Finest Athletes and The Purple Project” is available for pre-order at winningrecipes.org, with proceeds set to go toward supporting The Purple Project and its mission.