Other NJ News

“Hate Has No Home Here” Campaign in Somerville Gains Momentum

5a9aec3bb31625ae985f_sompixhatehasnohomehere.jpg
A "Hate Has No Home Here" lawn sign in Somerville Credits: Courtesy Donna Volpe
2d6ce6556fff4016ae45_sompixHHNHHdonnavolpe.jpg
Somerville resident Donna Volpe introduced the "Hate Has No Home Here" campaign to central New Jersey. Credits: Courtesy Donna Volpe
1c2c45dfa4c7ed0e66bb_sompixhhnhhsignclinton.jpg
A "Hate Has No Home Here" sign in Clinton. Credits: Courtesy Donna Volpe
5a9aec3bb31625ae985f_sompixhatehasnohomehere.jpg

 

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Slowly, but surely, borough resident Donna Volpe is helping to send a reassuring message to her neighbors here and people in surrounding communities that “Hate Has No Home Here.”

Inspired by similar campaigns in towns and cities across the nation, Volpe launched a grass-roots, one-woman campaign in mid-February, spending $100 on the red, white and blue lawn signs printed in multiple languages that carry the simple message.

She started a Facebook page and GoFundMe campaign online and in short order, she ran out of signs.

Sign Up for E-News

More requests for signs are being received daily, according to Volpe.

HHNHH promotes just and inclusive communities by encouraging neighbors to declare their homes, schools, businesses, and places of worship to be a place where everyone is welcome and valued.

The campaign is zero-profit and not affiliated with any political party, candidate, or political organization, according to Volpe, who is a secretary with the Hillsborough Board of Education.

Since starting the local campaign on Feb.15, Volpe has distributed 300 lawn signs in Somerville and surrounding areas.

The movement locally continues to build momentum. She has since expanded the HHNHH Somerville campaign to include Central Jersey, with signs ordered by residents in nearly two dozen towns, including Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Martinsville, Piscataway, Middlesex, Avenel, Dunellen, Flemington, Neshanic Station, Millington, Trenton, Willingboro, Lambertville, Princeton, Belle Mead, Metuchen, East Brunswick and Hackettstown.

“A woman in Clinton purchased 30 signs; I have a feeling I’ll be making a lot of deliveries there,” Volpe said.

Volpe has ordered an additional 100 signs and launched a website on April 1, www.hhnhhsomerville.wixsite.com/home.

The website includes a link to the national HHNHH organization, which features a map showing the locations of those towns in the US that have launched initiatives similar to Volpe’s.

“When I first started central New Jersey was completely blank, but I have been updating the map with the towns that have posted signs and now it’s no longer blank; I take a sense of pride in that,” Volpe said.

The nationwide sign project began with a group of neighbors from North Park, a Chicago neighborhood characterized by its diversity of age, race, nationality and ethnicity.

The phrase used in the poster was conceived by students at Peterson Elementary School; Steven Luce, a North Park neighbor and designer, created the graphics; and neighbors Catherine Korda, Barbara Nordlund, Megan Trinter, Carmen Rodriguez, Jeanne Marie Olson and Kurt Peterson secured the translations, organized and launched the campaign.

Volpe was inspired to join the campaign in the weeks and months following the 2016 presidential campaign, November election and January’s inauguration.

“I was consuming a lot of news and feeling a little distraught at the direction things were going in,” Volpe said.  “This gave me a positive direction to go in, it kind of spoke to me. It was something I could handle.

“I’m not very political; I like that fact that is not partisan and I can run it independently,” she added.

Volpe said feedback has only been positive.

“One woman sent me a message telling me about her experience driving through another neighborhood involved with the campaign.  She said, ‘almost every business and home on the main road had these signs. There were a significant number on each of the side streets. It felt welcoming and safe.’

“This woman’s experience, to me, captures the spirit of this campaign.  Because of generous donations, I am able to distribute posters to local businesses to display so they can join in sharing the message that our community is committed to a diverse and inclusive spirit.  Getting involved in this campaign has been a win/win effort for me. I was feeling down with the increased reports of hate-related incidents throughout New Jersey and the country.  I feel better for doing my small part in taking action against
this trend.

“My hope is that those who feel maybe threatened at this time, that this will send them a message of hope,” Volpe said.

“A lot of people I speak to say ‘what difference does it make, we have no voice;’ this is the simplest way to have a voice.

“I love the quote by Desmond Tutu - "Do your little bit of good where you are, it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Tutu is a South African civil rights activist and retired Anglican bishop.

"I see each one of these signs as a little bit of good,” Volpe said.

A minimum contribution of $6 for each lawn sign or $3 for each bumper magnet is requested to cover the cost of printing.  Any additional funds collected are paid forward to help launch new “Hate Has No Home Here” campaigns, according to Volpe.

To request a lawn sign or magnet and for more information visit the Hate Has No Home Here - Somerville/Central NJ
Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hhnhhsomervillenj or GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/hhnhhsomerville. The national project website is https://hatehasnohomehere.wordpress.com/.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Brunswick-Cranbury

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 29, 2:00 PM

Otto Kaufman Community Center, Skillman

Relax, Rejuvenate, Renew

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_655bff643922e36ca526_color_me_flyer_final_cut__3_-page-001

Sat, May 5, 9:00 AM

Sewaren

Color Me Run to End Domestic Violence

Sat, May 5, 8:00 PM

Bergen Performing Arts Center, Englewood

New Jersey Ballet's An Evening of Romance and ...

Arts & Entertainment

South Brunswick and Cranbury Police Blotter

August 9, 2017

Sponsored by Reilly's Collision Center in Monmouth Junction. Click here and scroll down for the latest updates and alerts from South Brunswick and Cranbury Police.

See the most recent messages from South Brunswick Twp Police Department, powered by Nixle.

Hospital ER Expands as Caseload Jumps to More than 100,000 Annually

April 24, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - More than 100,000 patients come through the emergency department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, up from the approximately 40,000 cases that came through the doors less than 20 years ago.

 

"Spaces that were designed for one patient now have had two," said Dr. Robert Eisenstein, the hospital chief of emergency care. Obviously the number of ...

New Brunswick Water Department Workers Guilty in Scheme Costing City $500,000

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Two city Water Department employees have pleaded guilty to charges of falsely reducing water to about 50 different properties in exchange for bribes, costing the city about $500,000, state officials announced.

Joseph “Gordo” DeBonis, 55 of Toms River, a suspended senior account clerk, and William “Billi” Ortiz, 56, of North Brunswick, a meter ...

Gun-wielding suspect drives robbery victim to bank with two young children in tow

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers police are investigating a lunchtime robbery on Tuesday in front of Campbell Hall, 617 George St., on the College Avenue campus, which involved two young children and a trip to a Somerset Street bank.

The victim, who is affiliated with Rutgers University, reported that he was walking near Campbell Hall dorm at 12:30 p.m. when a vehicle, ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 11, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

Reps. Watson Coleman, Pallone, Sires and Espaillat Lead Introduction of Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

April 24, 2018

Today, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) joined co-sponsors Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) to announce The Handgun Licensing and Registration Act of 2018. This legislation would overturn an outdated 1986 law to build a framework of commonsense standards for handgun gun ownership in the United States by creating a federal licensing and ...

High School, College Students Sought For County Youth Conservation Corps

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - Middlesex County is looking for high school and college students who want to improve and protect our environment and don’t mind lifting, bending, and getting dirt under their fingernails.

Applications are now being accepted for the Middlesex County Youth Conservation Corps, whose mission is to protect and preserve the more than 8,000 acres of Open Space ...