Last night 180 Turning Lives Around held our signature Domestic Violence Awareness Event at the JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank–the first since the passing of Amanda’s Easel Program Coordinator, Cindi Westendorf, who spearheaded the event for many years. Her presence was felt throughout the evening in so many ways. Thanks to the generosity of the JBJ Soul Kitchen who has hosted us for the past seven years, together we worked in perfect synchrony to produce a memorable occasion attended by a caring force of nearly 75 supportive guests. Thank you JBJ for helping us capture the heart & soul of 180 while highlighting the restorative power of our special mission.
The display of survivor-family art — paintings, sculptures, photographs and hanging artistic mobiles, as well as the handmade luminaries in honor of Cindi set the scene for a meaningful exchange. 180 Music Therapist, Susanne McMahon composed and sang a lovely song of hope and healing in honor of DV Awareness Month, while Program Coordinator Samantha Muccini, quoted the words of a child therapy participant who said, “my parents used to fight like cats and dogs — I was the toy that was ripped apart — Amanda’s Easel taped me back together”. Please take a moment to watch this one minute video recap of our event as it really emulates a wonderful evening in honor of mission.
So many people contribute their own special gifts to help families and children find their way to healing and hope. Staff, counselors, donors, Board members, advocates and volunteers: this event is representative of our collective efforts to empower survivors. Our work is made possible by the generosity and volunteerism of our community. 180 is a place of empowerment, hope, safety & comfort for thousands of Monmouth County families and we thank you for your support.