Annette Gross

Purple Hat Project Leaves a Lasting Impression

Filed By Annette Gross | October 24, 2012 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Indianapolis PFLAG, Joshua Driver, Purple Hat Project

Purple Hat Project Logo.jpgThe Purple Hat Project, spearheaded by Joshua Driver, is being closed down. This project was started after Joshua read an article written by Mickey Maurer in the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Maurer was addressing the Tea Party Republicans and said that we should enact legislation requiring immigrants and homosexuals to wear purple hats so we would know who they are on sight. Joshua took this quote and turned it into a movement! Thus was born The Purple Hat Project.

Indianapolis PFLAG worked with the PHP on a few projects and events. We wore purple shirts and were photographed with our LGBT loved ones for a photo display. We were interviewed and shared our stories.

Joshua put his heart and his soul into The Purple Hat Project. He reached out to so many people and taught Hoosiers what love and acceptance are really about. I will never wear purple again without thinking of Joshua and The Purple Hat Project. And even though Joshua will be moving on, I know that he will always be an advocate and that we will see more of his creativity and ingeniousness down the road as he works to show the world what love is really about.

Check out Joshua's goodbye letter to his fellow Purple Hatters after the jump.

Greetings my fellow Purple Hatters!

It's been a while since you have heard from me. I am so sorry for that. We had an amazing turn out at our booth at Indy Pride. I think a lot of people liked the mission, and we loved meeting you all. I can't thank you all enough for sponsoring, volunteering, and participating in everything that we have done in 2012.

It's been one hell of a ride from the start. This idea, was a breakout success, thanks in part to Danelle, my parents, all of you, and many local businesses. I never anticipated the media, the press, and the support that I received. Still today, people still ask how things are going, or they know me from an article or heard about us from someone else. It's been amazing. There are still so many people that pass along the love, forward my words, and support what I stand for. You are the embodiment of what love is. It's been a lot of hard work, but every minute has been worth it.

With this support, there has been quite a bit of hard times. While I have never been great at asking for money, its taking its toll on me personally, financially, and physically. Anyone that knows me, knows that I have never been good at saying no, or setting limits to my capabilities. It's taken a toll on my career, relationships, and family . . and for that I am sorry. During this journey, I have become an advocate for many, but failed as friend, partner, son, grandson, employee, boss, and human. I've seen the best out of so many, but the worst in quite a few as well. I lost sight of the positive and let the negative overpower that, and that's not what The Purple Hat Project stands for.

I can honestly say I tried my best. I worked many hours, and I exhausted as many resources that I could. I can't thank enough my parents, my mother especially, who is the genius behind all the quotes on our social media, who always wears purple, and has shown up to every event . . even though she lives 3 hours away. She's pushed me, and held me to task on this. And The Purple Hat Project would't be anywhere near what it was without her. Many nights have been spent with me crying on the phone, having to make difficult decisions that have altered my life completely, but she has been strong and guided me when I needed it.

After many nights of tears, and realizations, and debates with my closest friends, family and Board members, I have decided to shut down The Purple Hat Project. Looking at the mission, I have lost sight of promoting love personally. I have ignored the needs of my family, my friends and my partner, all of whom I love dearly. I know that we have shown Indiana and the nation what love is. How the Midwest is not full of small-minded people, and there are many types of families here. And I am SO PROUD of you all for stepping up and letting us display what family means to you.

My family, The Drivers, Suggs, Mahars & Schroerings have been there for me every step of the way. And I want to personally thank you for your help. I want to publicly say I love you all, and thank you.

The Purple Hat Project 501c3 paperwork, budget, trademarks and assets are all here and intact. If someone feels like they would like to take over, or absorb the mission into their organization, I would be happy to give that over to you.

It's important to me personally, to be effective in the fight for love, and I think my strengths can be better served in the background, and helping fight the good fight with organizations that already have that head start, and are doing amazing things in our community. I am open to help in whatever way I can. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or thoughts. All remaining funds will be donated to Indianapolis chapter of PFLAG. As they have been such a support of The Purple Hat Project, and a beacon of hope and love for all of us.

So this is it for me, as the Founder of The Purple Hat Project. I apologize for the poor grammar, as I try to type though tears, but again, I love all of you, thank you for everything, and make sure to tell those in your life that you love them, that they matter, and that you appreciate them.


Joshua David Driver
Founder, The Purple Hat Project.

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