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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 30, 2020

Thank You for Showing Your Love at The Center

By Lori Draz

The Journal thanks its generous readers who donated more than 1,200 items to the 2019 Love at The Center campaign.

The staff and management of The Journal send the many generous readers who donated to The Journal’s Holiday Giving Campaign, “Love at the Center,” our most sincere thanks.

This year, The Journal magazines supported the work of The Center in Asbury Park, spearheaded by Father Bob Kaeding, formerly of St. Anselm and Precious Blood, and his devoted staff and volunteers. Over the years, this team has helped thousands of people living with HIV/AIDS by offering them access to social services and a warm lunch, along with the most important side dish of human compassion.

The Center staff asked you to donate nonperishable food items and socks, and you responded. Together, we collected more than 1,200 items, including 36 jars of peanut butter, 63 cans of meat/fish, 125 cans of vegetables and 108 pairs of socks.

Kaeding offered his prayers for all who participated, saying, “There is real kindness everywhere; you just need to ask. Your gifts will be a true blessing to the people we serve, especially in these dark winter months. Thanks so much to The Journal for all your work to help those in need and raise awareness of The Center. Your reader’s response was fabulous. Since the very beginning of The Center in 1992, it has been this kind of love and caring that has helped us serve the folks who depend upon us. The Journal’s holiday drive is another chapter in the story of the support we have received. It does make such a difference. Thanks to all!”

Father Bob Kaeding and Journal Publisher Lou Mercatanti

Patsy Quinn-Vornhagen of The Center said through misty eyes, “This is just so wonderful. I’m a little overwhelmed and deeply grateful.”

The Journal would also like to thank the libraries in Shrewsbury, Holmdel, Colts Neck, Middletown and Rumson for being our drop-off sites.

Journal Publisher Lou Mercatanti added, “The people served by The Center are in need all year long, and it was very gratifying to deliver the donations of our readers in January, when they need it most. It was an inspiring start to the new decade. Your donations do make a difference and on behalf of the entire staff of The Journal, we thank you.”

To learn more about the Center, visit