Not Just a Princess Announces Charity Partnership with Down Syndrome Ireland & Special Olympics Ireland.
Dublin dad Gavin Leonard has created a new book featuring ‘Nora’, a Special Olympics athlete, with all proceeds from sales to be donated to Down Syndrome Ireland and Special Olympics Ireland – Not Just a Princess, which launched a six-book series earlier this year, will release a new title later in October with all proceeds from the sale of the book donated to the selected charities.
The book will, once again, feature Princess Jade on a mission to make the world a better place. On this adventure, she will be joined by a new character, Special Olympics athlete and lifeguard, Nora. The culturally diverse and inclusive books series, aimed at empowering young girls, has already sold over 6,000 copies worldwide and creator Gavin is hoping that the new book can raise some serious funds while raising awareness of both organisations.
Gavin said: “We have had such amazing support over the last 12 months and we really wanted to do something to give back to the community – a charity book seemed like the perfect way to do just that! I’m so pleased to feature ‘Nora’, a Special Olympics athlete, in this book alongside Princess Jade. The character is based on my second cousin, Nora, who speaks Chinese and English. Our families have been close for a long time and watching Nora grow up I have been always been so amazed at her determination and her kind heart. The full details of the story will remain under wraps until the launch, but I’m confident that Not Just a Princess supporters will be delighted with the latest installment in the series. We are hoping to raise €20,000 and want all of Ireland to get behind the initiative for these brilliant organisations.”
The Dublin dad-of-one originally created the series after searching for empowering stories to read to his then 2-year-old daughter, Jade. What he found was limited and so decided to create his own army of princesses for his daughter. Each princess has a unique set of skills and, along with her animal sidekick, helps people to solve problems. The concept behind the books is to highlight strong role models for young girls and boys and to break away from traditional gender stereotypes with stories that are made for everyone.
Gary Owens, CEO of Down Syndrome Ireland, said: “Down syndrome should not define who a person is and what they can do and achieve and the ‘Not Just a Princess’ book really reflects that. As people with Down syndrome are given opportunities to lead more inclusive lives, we see more and more what they can achieve, and we are very proud to be part of that journey. We’re so grateful to Gavin and the ‘Not Just a Princess’ team for highlighting that people with Down syndrome are people first and foremost and for supporting Down Syndrome Ireland in the process.”
Matt English, CEO Special Olympics Ireland, said: “It’s fantastic that the lead character in the book, Nora, is based on a Special Olympics athlete. We continue to see the important role that sport plays in celebrating children and athletes with an intellectual disability. Sport provides athletes like Nora with new skills, increased confidence, fitness, and lifelong friends. This book is a great way to speak to a younger audience in their own language and to continue pushing the messaging of diversity and inclusion. We’re delighted to be involved!”
Gavin added: “It is a dream come true to partner with Special Olympics Ireland and Down Syndrome Ireland – my hope is to sell as many books as possible and raise as much money as we can for these two fantastic organisations.”
The new book was launched on October 24th and will be available to pre-order for Christmas delivery.