Category Archives: HipNJ Cares

Hip New Jersey highlights the Garden State’s heart of gold. We feature passionate charity efforts and the philanthropic all-stars behind these important initiatives!

hometown heroes

Hometown Heroes

https://youtu.be/d6zPq1YKIiY

#HipNJ had the pleasure to sit with Michael Schwartz, founder of Hometown Heroes, and talk about his Garden State charity.

HipNJ first had the opportunity to work with Hometown Heroes during their Restore the Shore campaign, which raised over three million dollars for the 10,000 people and 2,700 families that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Since then, the charity has only expanded, both in size and in mission.

Hometown Heroes is located on Toms River, and recently opened an office in L.A. Schwartz seeks to open more chapters, saying, “we’re just trying to grow this thing nationally.” The charity works by “partner[ing] heroes in the community with people in need.” The heroes are real people who want to use their skills and talent to make their community and the world a better place.

Hometown Heroes provides relief to those struggling with domestic violence, drug abuse, homelessness, and more. According to Schwartz, “we try to fill those gaps that other charities can’t.” The charity empowers not only the people they help, but also those who volunteer. Or, as Schwartz likes to say, those who “wear a cape and be a hero.”

To help Hometown Heroes fill those gaps, visit usahometownheroes.org to donate and volunteer!

Gloria Foundation

A Taste of Italy with The Gloria Foundation

“1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.”

“Every 9 seconds a woman is beaten or abused.”

“35% of all emergency room calls are the result of domestic abuse.”

If you’ve never heard of The Gloria Foundation, a visit to their website reveals these lines beneath two simple and sobering words: “The Facts”

These are facts indeed, and Karen Arakelian founded The Gloria Foundation for the sole purpose of helping “provide resources to local safe houses and domestic violence organizations” in order to make a difference and help victims of domestic violence.

Karen Arakelian, founder of the Gloria Foundation

In an elegant show of support and solidarity, The Gloria Foundation hosted their 4th Annual Taste of Italy event on the 27th at Design Consign in Fairfield, NJ. The event had delicious catering, a live band, drinks, beautiful upscale furniture, and most importantly: all proceeds went directly to Partners for Women and Justice, who provide pro bono legal services for domestic violence victims.


Student volunteers at the event from Montville HS


Some of the beautiful furniture sold at Design Consign for the event


Caviar donated by Calvisius was given out in free samples with all sales going towards Partners for Women and Justice

Many gathered together dressed to nines in support of The Gloria Foundation and Partners for Women and Justice, making donations, mingling, and enjoying all that the evening and venue had to offer. It’s thanks to wonderful organizations like these aand strong women like Ms. Arakelian that we can look to the future in earnest for a society where victims of domestic violence can easily find the safety and support they deserve.

For more information, visit TheGloriaFoundation.org.

#HipNJ Remembers Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, has passed away at the age of 91. Hefner was an industry leader and a cultural icon, and #HipNJ wants to take a moment to reflect on his illustrious life and career.

One of the many things Hefner was known for would be his Playboy Clubs. He launched the Great Gorge Playboy Club in Vernon back in 1972. The mansion was luxurious, complete with outdoor and indoor pools, cafés, Jacuzzis and more.

The Playboy Club hosted various newsworthy events, including the first New Jersey Special Olympic Games. Also, the Club was host to performances from artists such as Frank Sinatra, Frankie Avalon and Englebert Humperdinck.

Hefner founded Playboy magazine more than 60 years ago, and by the 1970s, it had more than 7 million readers. Hefner will go down in history as an industry pioneer, and #HipNJ celebrates his life and legacy.