From 180 Turning Lives Around:
On Saturday, May 12, hundreds of kids will be participating in the HOPE Walk at Middletown North High School in support of 180 Turning Lives Around’s programs and services. The walk is the brainchild of Middletown Domestic Violence Response Team (DVRT) Advocate Jennifer Bane, who believed something positive needed to come out of the horror of the recent murder of Kimberly Allen of Lincroft.
"After the murder in Middletown, I searched for a way to make an impact in the community,” Bane said. “When I went to church, I asked one of the sisters what resources they use when dealing with cases of domestic violence. When she answered, 'none,' I gave her information on 180 and realized there was work to be done."
With the blessing of Middletown Police Sgt. William Colangelo and 180, Jennifer was given the go-ahead to arrange the walk. Her thought then turned to involving kids. “Domestic violence is a learned behavior,” she said. “If I could reach the kids and teach them what domestic violence is, then we can break the cycle.”
Jennifer discussed her ideas with Jacqui Hillman, who leads the Atlantic Highlands LEO (Leadership, Excellence, Opportunity) Group, whose members range from 6th to 12th graders.
At that first meeting with the LEO Group, one of the kids suggested naming the walk "HOPE" — Hold On. Pain Ends. “The kids got excited,” said Bane. “They want their voices to be heard.”
“We are grateful for the efforts of all the young people who will be walking and raising money and awareness for the vital programs and services 180 provides for victims of domestic violence,” said Connie Heath, 180’s director of Development.
So on May 12, hundreds of kids will walk around the track at Middletown North High School in hopes of raising awareness about domestic violence, as well as raising funds to support the programs and services of 180 Turning Lives Around. The non-profit is an organization dedicated to ending domestic and sexual violence, which provides 24-hour hotlines, emergency housing, family court assistance and trained advocates who accompany survivors at police stations, hospitals and family court.
For more information on 180 and to get involved in the HOPE Walk, contact Jaimee Skidmore at 732-264-4360 x4232 or email@example.com.