The Journal Launches “Nets Make A Difference”

By Lori Draz

As we enter Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Journal publications are proud to announce the roll-out of our “Nets Make a Difference” campaign to benefit 180 Turning Lives Around. Starting October 15, you will see our colorful nets in many locations all over. We will be collecting much-needed items for the victims of domestic and sexual abuse who are aided by this life-saving organization.

Domestic violence is willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse. One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. On a typical day in New Jersey, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls; that’s approximately 15 calls every minute. Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime; 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner and 94% of the victims of these crimes are female

180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. is a private, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence in Monmouth County. In addition to providing services to individuals and families affected by domestic and sexual violence, 180 operates an annual holiday boutique so that their clients can “shop” for essential needs and gifts for their families in safety and privacy. This year, The Journal will be casting some very special nets throughout the community to help stock those items.

Journal owner and publisher Louis Francis Mercatanti explains, “We are very excited to be offering a way for our generous and concerned readers to help the mission of 180 Turning Lives Around. The statistics of women dealing with domestic and sexual abuse are truly staggering. And it’s not just limited to women. Men, teenagers, and seniors, too, are also victims. Many are forced to flee at a moment’s notice and have to start rebuilding their lives from scratch. They need all manner of support, from jobs, money, and transportation to housing, access to services, and the basic essentials of life.”

We encourage our readers to make donations of new, unwrapped items and gift cards at these drop-off locations or at our office in Shrewsbury. All the collected items will be used in 180’s Holiday Shop, and any extra items will be used by the organization throughout 2017, as the needs are ongoing.

The following are some of the most needed items. Please be sure all are new and unopened.

• New clothing (they cannot accept used clothing)

• Children’s and parents’ pajamas

• Gift cards to Target, Walmart, Shoprite/food stores

• Sports equipment for teens

• Beauty products and costume jewelry for moms

• Winter coats for all ages

• Hats and gloves

• Toys

• Diapers, infant and children’s educational toys

• Educational electronic games

• Twin bedding

• School and art supplies

• Toiletries and household paper goods

Director of Development for 180 Lynn Lucarelli said, “180 is sincerely grateful for the support of The Journal magazine, especially in our 40th anniversary year. With the recent opening of our new and expanded Safe House, an emergency shelter for Monmouth County families escaping abuse, we anticipate serving more families this coming holiday season than ever before. With the expected increase in families served, we are especially appreciative for The Journal’s sponsorship and hosting of 180’s annual Holiday Gift Shop. We are confident that with The Journal’s support and that of many local volunteers and generous donors, 180 families can expect a plethora of gifts to make their holidays just a little brighter.”

Listed below are the locations near you. Additionally, if you have a group or organization who would like to have your own drive, we’ll gladly pick up the items. Groups like the Seniors of Little Silver and the ECW Auxiliary of St. John’s Episcopal Church have already made a commitment. Please join in the effort.

Drop-off locations include:

The Journal office, 1151 Broad Street, Suite 118, Shrewsbury

Barnstormers, 102 Avenue of the Two Rivers, Rumson

Hobby Shop, 1077-C Route 34, Aberdeen

Kick Fitness, 611 River Road, Fair Haven

Little Silver Library, 484 Prospect Avenue, Little Silver

Middletown Arts Center, 36 Church Street, Middletown

Middletown Library, 55 New Monmouth Road, Middletown

Monmouth County Regional Library Eastern Branch, 1001 Route 35, Shrewsbury

Monmouth University Center of Arts, 400 Cedar Avenue, West Long Branch

Red Bank Library, 84 West Front Street, Red Bank

Salon La Di Da, 549 Route 35 North, Middletown

Texas Road House, 2105 Route 35, Holmdel

Toy Box, 410 Route 34 South, Colts Neck

Voyagers’ Community School, 215 Broad Street, Eatontown

Additionally, readers can look on The Journal’s website,, and on our Facebook page at The Journal NJ for additional drop-off locations or to organize a drive. You may contact Lori Draz at (732) 735-5441 to learn more.