Giving Back

Purple Purse, Pass It On, Supporting The Work Of The YWCA With Domestic Violence

Pictured Left to Right, Dr. Patrick Smith, Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley, Lori Cicali, Lt. Frank Fortunato, Mayor Joe Bruno, Jan Lilien, Rev. Diane Ruffle and Police Chief Mike Mathis will each pass the purse to their network. Credits: Bobbie Peer

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Berkeley Heights’ Allstate-Heights Insurance Agency and the YWCA of Union County are teaming up for Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October in the “Purple Purse” campaign.

The Purple Purse campaign was created by The Allstate Foundation in order to urge people to openly talk about domestic violence, according to the Purple Purse foundation. 

In the U.S., domestic violence occurs more than 145 times every hour, according to stats provided by the Purple Purse foundation.

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“It’s time for people to start talking about domestic violence,” Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley said. “It’s the only way we will ever bring the statistics down.” 

Purple Purse represents a woman’s way to escape the cycle of abuse by gaining financial independence, Lori Cicali, agency owner of Allstate-Heights, said.  

“I am proud to work for a company that has the same passion as I do in supporting Domestic Violence Awareness,” Cicali said.

In order to raise awareness and money, Allstate agents and employees, including Allstate-Heights, local YWCAs, government officials, celebrities, and the media will be passing around purple purses that have information on domestic violence.

The Allstate Foundation will donate $5 every time the Purple Purse is passed and registered.  The foundation has pledged to donate up to $350,000 to YWCA.

“The Purple Purse campaign not only will raise funds for agencies such as the YWCA to provide our life-saving services for victims of domestic violence, but it also will  serve to ‘break the silence’ about domestic violence and encourage people to get and share information,” Janice Lilien, executive director at the YWCA Union County, said.
YWCA is one of the largest providers of domestic violence services in the U.S. and serves more than 550,000 people annually with programs that address and work to end violence, according to Lilien, who cited statistics claiming that one in four women will be a victim of domestic vioence.

“YWCA Union County is happy to be a part of the Purple Purse campaign, and to serve as a resource for the people of Berkeley Heights in need of our services,” Lilien said.

The community’s goal is to raise $10,000 towards domestic violence.  Berkeley Heights will be participating in passing the purse around town.  Mayor Joe Bruno, Lieutenant Frank Fortunato, Police Chief Mike Mathis, Councilwoman Jeanne Kingsley, Dr. Patrick Smith, Reverend Diane Ruffle and Lori Cicali will each pass the purse to their network.

The purse can also be passed around virtually through e-mails as well as through social media like Facebook and Twitter, Cicali said. Posters will also be displayed in community businesses.

Community members can log onto the campaign’s website at and type in the virtual purse code 01175 along with their zip code.

The donation period will last until the end of October or until the $350,000 goal is hit, the foundation said.

“The Purple Purse is a fantastic way to raise awareness and money for a much needed cause and I commend Allstate for taking the lead on such an important issue,” Kingsley said.

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