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Women Aware

2016: A Look Back

In 2016, you drove major success at Women Aware. Together our team grew stronger, and we brought safety to more people than ever before. Thank you for joining us on our mission to end domestic violence and help survivors move beyond abuse. To learn more about the lives you changed in 2016, read the full report here.

Outgoing RWJF President Visits Women Aware Table on Her Last Day

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our volunteer table today at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Our many visitors included Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, who completed her 14-year tenure as the president and CEO of RWJF today. Check out her 7 lessons for improving health in America here. Together we can create a culture of health in our communities! We are honored to be generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Project Night Night Donates to Kids in DV Shelter

Today Project Night Night donated care packages for every child in our shelter. Each bag contains a book which encourages reading and family bonding, a security blanket which can be cuddled, and a stuffed animal which can become a cherished friend. Their mission is to deliver Night Night Packages to every homeless child in the country who needs one. By providing objects of reliable comfort, Project Night Night reduces trauma and advances the emotional and cognitive well-being of the children we serve. Our hearts are full, thank you Project Night Night!

Are you interested in changing the life of a child? Please consider making a donation today or contact Katie Orlemanski, Development Manager to discuss your philanthropic impact (korlemanski@womenaware.net / 732-258-0415).

AT&T Supports Random Acts of Kindness

Thank you to the local AT&T employees who participated in AT&T’s Random Acts of Kindness Campaign by donating to Women Aware’s emergency shelter. Your generosity will make someone’s journey to safety a little easier.

Interested in supporting victims of domestic violence? Consider making a donation at here

Merck Women’s Network Donates Hundreds of Wish List Items to Shelter Residents

The Merck Women’s Network Rahway/Kenilworth delivered hundreds of urgently-needed items to victims of domestic violence at Women Aware. The group, headed up by Laura Daidone, sponsored a collection drive for items on Women Aware’s Wish List. This is the second-year in a row the group has supported our clients. Thank you!

Next month Women Aware will apply for a $25,000 grant from Merck & Co. Inc.’s Neighbor of Choice program to support the capacity of our shelter. We see the blossoming of a fruitful partnership to end domestic violence and support survivors in our community.

Women Aware Vice-President Honored

EDISON–Last night the Middlesex County Bar Association held its 12th Annual Awards Dinner. The Association honored long-time Women Aware supporter and current Vice President Jessica Oppenheim, Esq. with the prestigious Criminal Practice Award. It recognizes attorneys who are model leaders in their field, the Bar, and charitable endeavors.

Jessica’s reputation for personal and professional integrity earned her the Award, along with the tangible contributions she makes to the community through her service with Women Aware and the ARC of New Jersey.

Congratulations, Jessica!

NJ Ladies Give Back, a Muslim-led Initiative, Raises Thousands for Women Aware

South Plainfield, N.J. – On Saturday night, over 100 women gathered at the South Plainfield Senior Center for a night of Zumba, dancing, and empowerment.  The night’s mix of music ranging from 80’s to modern hip hop to Desi and Arabic tunes reflected the massive diversity of the crowd.  

The objective of the evening was to raise funds for Women Aware, a nonprofit in New Brunswick, New Jersey that has over 35 years of experience providing services to survivors of domestic violence. “We are the sole domestic violence agency in Middlesex County,” stated Katie Orlemanski, development manager at Women Aware.  “1 in 4 women in the United States are affected by violence,” she continued. “These women need to be empowered.  We advocate for resources and housing and provide trauma therapy for affected children.”  Ms. Orlemanski also noted that Women Aware provides “8,000 nights of refuge every year to women and children fleeing violence.”

“Every year we choose a national or international group in dire need and support this group with the proceeds from our annual dance party,” noted Amal Awad, a co-founder of NJ Ladies Give Back.. “We hope to continue this kindness and inspire other women to unite and create these important initiatives around the world.”

“I visited Women Aware and witnessed what they do,” Ms. Awad continued.  “They have even contracted with AT&T to provide translators for callers who are seeking help but are unable to speak English.”  Ms. Awad encouraged attendees to donate what they could, even after purchasing tickets.  “It is what you have in your heart that you put in this collection bucket,” she said.  Ultimately, after covering a few event expenses, NJ Ladies Give Back donated $3,423 to Women Aware.  

NJ Ladies Give Back is a Muslim-led initiative that strives to highlight the good that women are doing in New Jersey and to support humanitarian causes at home and abroad.  Their signature event is annual ladies dance parties and after two years of supporting Palestinian children and Syrian refugees, the group decided to identify a local cause.  

“At the end of the day, we are just a group of five friends who want to help our neighbors and people across the globe,” noted Abby Feitar, another NJ Ladies Give back co-founder.  “Additionally, we hope these events will showcase the true face of our faith, a faith that is rooted in justice and compassion.”  
To follow NJ Ladies Give Back, visit us at https://www.facebook.com/NJLadiesGiveBack/  

Are you interested in hosting a similar event to benefit victims of domestic violence? Contact Katie Orlemanski, Development Manager at korlemanski@womenaware.net or 732-374-6016. 

Thanks-for-Giving Tuesday!

Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Did you know that today is GIVING TUESDAY? It’s a time to step back from the holiday shopping and direct our resources towards helping others. Women Aware’s ability to support domestic violence victims and their families would not be possible without your continued commitment and generous support. Please consider making Women Aware part of your year-end giving.

Donate here to help families move beyond abuse

(Photo: Mothers and children at Women Aware’s domestic violence crisis shelter traced colorful hearts for our November Gratitude Board.)

Vote for her story…From Survivor to Advocate

When Maliha was in college, her abusive ex-boyfriend walked into the mall and shot at her five times before turning the gun and killing himself. Nine years later, Maliha has overcome violent tragedy to become one of the leading advocates against domestic violence in New Jersey. Today she serves as the Director of Client Services at Women Aware doing innovative work with youth survivors. Click the link below to hear Maliha tell her own story and to learn more about her work at Women Aware.

UPDATE: Maliha’s story “From Survivor to Advocate” has been chosen as 1 OF 24 VIDEOS IN THE NATION up for a grand prize of $5,000 to support her work. Now it’s up to US to vote for Maliha!

To watch and vote for Maliha’s story:

  1. Click https://www.challenge.gov/challenge/domestic-violence-video-challenge/
  2. Click on “Solutions” in the left column.
  3. Scroll down towards the bottom to find Women Aware’s video (Blue House Icon)
  4. Before clicking on the Blue House Icon…
    1. There are stars underneath the Blue House
    2. Hover over the last star in the line of 5 stars
    3. Make sure all 5 stars are lit
    4. Click on the 5th star
  5. You’ve voted. Thank you!

Public voting closes November 30th. Thank you for spreading the word over social media, email, texts, and word of mouth.