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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-374-6016.