April is Child Abuse Awareness / Prevention month

WE NEED YOU- to be the voice for the children in Sussex County who have been abused or traumatized. April is Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention month and we need you to help spread the word about how to report child abuse. Special thanks to our sponsor, Planet Networks! Please share this post and show your support by purchasing a “Pinwheels for Prevention Kit” to put in your yard or in front of your place of business during the month of April. Each kit comes with a yard sign, wire stand and 10 pinwheels (the symbol of child abuse awareness) Click here to purchase:

Ginnie’s House Beefsteak Dinner & Auction

For the past 19 years, Ginnie’s House Children’s Advocacy Center has worked to provide a child-friendly environment for the investigation of criminal child abuse, as well as medical evaluations, mental health and support and advocacy services to children who disclose abuse. We continue to seek funding to support this mission.

This year, we are honoring “The Community Spirit of Laddy, Clark and Ryan, LLP.” Laddy, Clark and Ryan ( has supported this agency and other small businesses through their Hot Topics in Employment Law; and, more recently, through the 2016 Non-Profit Summit.  In addition, a member of the firm, Jessica Jansyn, is a member of the Board.  Laddy, Clark and Ryan, LLP has been a key component to our success, and to that of other non-profits in the community.

Our 18th Annual Auction is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2016 and will be a Beefsteak Dinner catered by The Brownstone at Pope John XXIII High School in Sparta.  This very popular event will feature Live and Silent Auctions and a wonderful Tricky Tray.  Our 50/50 will be drawn at the end of the evening.  Last year’s winner received a check in the amount of $3610.  For tickets, please contact Maryanne Mitchell at or call 973-579-0770 ext 18.

We will also feature our fourth Mystery Item:  Tickets are $10 each or 3 for 25.  Last three years of prizes have been:  Bose radio and CD player with 4 CD changer; Two tickets to Broadway Show, a gift certificate to a New York restaurant and an American Express Gift Card for incidentals; a $750 gift Certificate for J. Thomas Jewelers in Sparta.  What will the item be this year?  Only two people know.

For added fun, this year we will have a photo booth so that guests can take photos to remember their evening of fun  (

Tickets are $75 and include the delicious Brownstone meal (vegetarian options are available) and complimentary wine, beer and soda.  Tables of 8 or 10 are available.  Call Laurie at 973-579-0770 ext 10 for tickets.

As we approach our 20th anniversary of service to abused children, let’s make this event our Best Ever!




2015 New Jersey Governor’s Jefferson Volunteer Awards

Ginnie’s House Wins Public Service Award

Ginnie’s House Children’s Advocacy Center of Newton, NJ has won the 2015 NJ State Governor’s Jefferson Award for Public Service in the category of “Volunteer Program/Group.” Honorees for this award represent outstanding acts of public service without the expectation of recognition or compensation. The award ceremony and reception will take place Monday, June 8th at the Newark Museum.

When child abuse is suspected, reported or disclosed, Ginnie’s House provides a safe place to address the healing and safety of the child, family and community, as found to be appropriate. This is accomplished through providing a place for the coordinated efforts of individuals and agencies, including: child protection, law enforcement/prosecution, healthcare and mental health professionals.

Volunteers at Ginnie’s House have, since 1999, been strengthening the Sussex County community through significant efforts at raising awareness of child abuse, and resources to support services to children. They have successfully learned to communicate with the public regarding the difficult topics of child abuse, such as symptoms and red flags and how to respond through appropriate and timely reporting. The work includes grass roots presentations at the county’s township days, the New Jersey State Fair and at expos and other public events. Efforts also include fundraising on behalf of the organization to support direct services to child victims and their non-offending caregivers.

Volunteers at Ginnie’s House are willing to serve in both the “exciting” tasks, such as working with the children or organizing a zumbathon fundraiser as well as the “mundane” tasks that will help the organization as a whole. Mary Harrington is an example of an outstanding and selfless volunteer at Ginnie’s House and she will represent the volunteers at the award ceremony Monday. She is currently retired and watches her two year old granddaughter, Vivian, for part of the week and volunteers weekly at Ginnie’s House as well. Mary recalls first taking a tour of Ginnie’s House ten years ago and finding “you can’t not love it.” At that time she immediately signed up to be a volunteer. As Mary put it, “If someone hasn’t been at Ginnie’s House, it’s like going to Grandma’s house. It’s warm. . . and such a wonderful place to give the children a chance to relax and be interviewed and taken care of without the sterile environment.” Mary’s volunteerism started with going to the State Fair and manning the Ginnie’s House table. She has also wrapped presents for the children, stuffed envelopes and helped with the ad books for Ginnie’s House’s dinner dance. Every other week, Mary lovingly cleans the children’s counseling room at Ginnie’s house, organizing the toys and making the environment sterile. As Mary stated, “It’s a great organization! I’m not a counselor and these are some ways that I know I am also helping the children.”

Volunteers have reported that they are motivated to join Ginnie’s House for many reasons. Primarily, they want to “give back” some of the bounty they feel they themselves have received. Some join because in their line of work they have had a contact with a child or children who have been abused. Others volunteer fill the hours of retirement or are motivated to try to save a child from the abuse they themselves suffered. All volunteers are screened to ensure any past history has been addressed before representing the agency. To become a Ginnie’s House volunteer, call (973)579-0770.

Mah Jongg Madness Tournament a Success

On beautiful Sunday, April 19, 2015, twenty-six ardent Mah Jongg players gathered at the Lake Mohawk Golf Club to play their favorite game for a favored charity.

The event was developed by Danielle Mazuy, Rebecca Minmaugh, and Suzanne Friedland – all ardent Mah Jongg players.  Danielle hosted the games indicating specials with small prizes (bars of scented soap, or small purses).   The games were played using the new Mah Jongg 2015 card.

During the delicious lunch, Ginnie Littell, Chairman of Ginnie’s House Board of Trustees, spoke of the need for a Children’s Advocacy Center and the collaborative efforts of so many to make it become a reality in Sussex County.  Rhona Beadle, Executive Director, outlined the specifics of child abuse investigations conducted through Ginnie’s House.

Author Karen Gooen donated a portion of sales of her book “Searching for Bubbe Fischer – The Path to Mah Jongg Wisdom” to Ginnie’s House.

The day finished with the veteran player Ruby Sarner winning first prize, Rashmi Drummond took second place, while Karen Gooen won third place.

Prizes included jewelry donated by J. Thomas Jewelers in Sparta – allways so supportive of our community.

Next year’s tournament is scheduled for Sunday, April 17, 2016, at Lake Mohawk Golf Club in Sparta.  Save the date.

Mah Jongg 4-19-15Mah Jongg 4-19-15 aMah Jongg Sunday April 19

Pinwheels for Prevention

Nationally recognized as the symbol for child abuse prevention, our 700 (approx.) pinwheels dance in the breeze outside Ginnie’s House proclaiming the right for every child to grow up safe, strong, and free of abuse.

As many site visitors will know, a Children’s Advocacy Center has to provide a safe and secure setting in which our tiny victims feel OK to talk about what has happened to them.  Safety is both physical and psychological; therefore, our door is only open to those who need to be inside the building.  Our partner agencies have access 24/7, of course.

One a year, in order to foster community understanding of the needs of our special victims, and the extraordinary work of the multidisciplinary team, we host an annual ‘Open House’ – this year scheduled for April 15 – for invited professionals in Sussex County who work with children:  police officers, child protective service workers, pediatricians, school nurses, educators, therapists, guidance counselors and clergy.  If you did not receive an invitation and would like to attend next year, please email us at

In the meantime, please enjoy the pinwheels on the square, and the blue ribbons through Newton and the County Park.

APril Pin WheelsPin Wheels in the Breeze

Ginnie’s House supports St. Patrick’s Day Grand Marshalls Mary and Dennis Harrington

Volunteers, staff and friends of Ginnie’s House showed support for volunteer Mary Harrington on Saturday, March 21.  Mary and her husband, Dennis, were named this year’s Grand Marshalls of the annual Parade on Spring Street, Newton.

“Mary has been an active volunteer at Ginnie’s House since 2005, so it is fitting that we stepped out and honored for her” said Maryanne Mitchell, Volunteer and Event Coordinator at Ginnie’s House.

For more information about Mary and Dennis Harrington, see Grand Marshalls. 

2015 St. Patrick's Day Parade

Marching in the Parade:  from left to right:  Peter Spinney, Aniyah, Tori Simeone, George Creathorne, Laurie DuBel, Maryanne Mitchell, Amanda Goritski, Kasai, Paige Ortega, Alexis, Pat Lynch (not pictured, Rhona Beadle). Four footed marchers, Genni and Maggie, were delighted to work the crowd and greeted anyone under the age of 6.

Goal 100% Towns: April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

During March, Ginnie’s House has invited all Mayors of all municipalities to Proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

In 1985, President Ronald Regan issued a National Proclamation designating April at Child Abuse Prevention Month.  We have come a long way since then.  More and more communities nationwide are recognizing that child abuse prevention is the best defense for our children.

The Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente released a study of over 17,000 people.  The findings (ACE Study Flyer) show that the more trauma experienced in childhood the more likihood in later life a person is to experience substance abuse, illnesses, mental health issues, intimate partner violence, and obesity, to name a few.

“The ripples of child abuse affect everyone – child, school, family, community” said Virginia N. Littell (Ginnie), Chairman of the Board and founder of Ginnie’s House.  “We must continue to bring attention to this issue, for only by openly discussing its existence, can we hope to eliminate it.”

Check for progress as our towns decide to join the campaign against child abuse.


Ginnie’s House 17th Annual Dinner Auction Fundraiser

Held on Friday, November 14th at beautiful Perona Farms, our 17th Annual Dinner Auction was our most successful yet.   Over 220 guests gathered to support the programs at Ginnie’s House and to honor Lois Ferguson, LPC.

For 21 years Lois worked in the prosecutor’s offices of Morris County and then Sussex County, working to provide victim advocacy during investigations and at trial.  Lois received her Masters in Professional Counseling in 2010 and retired from the Prosecutor’s Office in 2011, when she contracted with Ginnie’s House to provide therapeutic services and psychoeducation to supportive caregivers of abused children.   In August 2014, Lois left Ginnie’s House to build her already succcessful practice in Sparta, Saphire Counseling.

Guests also heard from a mother whose child had needed the services at Ginnie’s House and who had been a client of Lois at Ginnie’s House.  The standing ovation and frequent use of tissues left little doubt about the purpose of the agency.

And guests were busy bidding on the Silent Auction items, featuring an ‘elephant table’ donated by Barbara and Frank Lacatena, a one-of-a-kind Tiffany purse donated by Scott Process Equipment, two ‘Dine Around Sussex County’ pacakges, and a hand decorated Christmas Wreath made and donated by Danielle Mazuy.  Live Auction items under the gavel of auctioneer Vic Brown of Weichert Realtors in Hamburg included a vacation home on West Beach Haven, a wine chiller filled with assorted wines, a hand-made necklace, and an opportunity to make your own wine at a winery.

The Mystery Item this year included two tickets to a Broadway Show (winner’s choice), a gift certificate for dinner at Amarone Ristorante,  and an American Express Card to use for parking or after show refreshments.  This is the second year Ginnie’s House has had a Mystery Item raffle.  In 2013, the Mystery Item winner took home a Bose Radio and CD Player with CD changer.

The event was generously sponsored by Atlantic Health System, Saint Clare’s Health System, Thor Labs, Lakeland Bank and PowerHawk Technology.

This Campaign has ended. No more pledges can be made.