Giving Back

Josephine’s Place Hosts Wine Tasting Fundraiser

Nicole Ortega stands with mom, Flor, on left, and Giannina Villafana. Both women have been guests of Josphine's Place and now olunteer their time there.   Credits: Fran Sullivan
Sr. Judy Mertz (standing) greets guests with Sr. Noreen Neary (left) and administrative assistant Carmen Nunez. Credits: Fran Sullivan
Nicole Ortega, an eighth grade student at Terence Reilly, addresses the audience while Sr. Judy Mertz stands by.  Credits: Fran Sullivan
Donna Sartor, communications director for the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, and her husband, Rick, enjoy a beautiful afternoon at Cedar Hill Golf and Country Club.   Credits: Fran Sullivan
Guests at the wine-tasting fundraiser enjoy a beautiful afternoon. Credits: Fran Sullivan

ELIZABETH, NJ – Terence Reilly eighth grader Nicole Ortega explained to the guests at Josephine’s Place Wine Tasting Fundraiser, April 24, what the center for women meant to her.

“Since both my parents are Hispanic and didn’t speak English, I would come to Josephine’s Place, and Sr. Judy would help me with my homework,” she said. “She helped me be the best student I could be. Josephine’s Place is where love hits you are soon as you walk in the door.”

Josephine’s Place is a drop-in center on Elizabeth Avenue, and its mission is to provide a space that will help empower women. It focuses on the needs of the women as expressed by them. There is a wide variety of classes and workshops such as English speaking and writing, parenting, computer, and needlework. The center also counsels those wishing to become citizens. At present, Josephine’s Place serves 565 women in programs and classes and 4,000 who drop in on an irregular basis.

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The need, according to Sr. Judy Mertz, the center’s executive director, keeps growing. “There is a waiting list of women for classes, but we don’t have enough volunteers to teach those programs,” she said.

Josephine’s Place is located at 622 Elizabeth Avenue, 908-436-0044, or visit

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