March 25, 2020

Shining a Light on Today’s Non-Profit Organizations

Design 446, a Manasquan-based marketing firm, helps non-profits continue to deliver their important message in new ways.

MANASQUAN, NJ – While it may not be ‘business as usual’ for the majority of New Jersey, the vital services and programs offered by local non-profit organizations continue in a variety of different forms. “As we navigate this world of video calls and virtual conferences, Design 446 understands the importance of communication for all our clients including our local non-profit organizations. We are simply the vehicle to aid our local non-profits in getting their important message out to the public,” said Tom Villane, President of Design 446. Design 446 is proud to shine a light on the tireless work of some of our non-profit partners: Family Resource Associates, HOPE Sheds Light, the Ocean County YMCA, 21 Plus, Inc. and the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation.

Family Resource Associates (FRA) continues to serve people with disAbilities throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties, offering virtual classes and remote services daily. Home-based Early Intervention programs, offering vital developmental and therapeutic services to local children have transitioned from In home to video conferencing platforms. FRA helps children, adolescents and people of all ages with disAbilities to reach their fullest potential. For more information about FRA, please visit

The mission of HOPE Sheds Light is to raise awareness and educate individuals, families and the community about the impact of addiction by having the courage to share personal experiences and offer strength and wisdom to provide Hope and resources that lead to positive community change and long-term recovery. HOPE Sheds Light is providing virtual meetings and a new Rise with Hope Facebook Live program daily at 9:00 am. Family Meetings (Finding HOPE and Finding RECOVERY) and Recovery Center events can be joined online or by telephone via ZOOM/Facebook Live. In need of Call-in Recovery services? Please call HOPE’s 24/7 HELPLINE at 855-850-HOPE. For more information about HOPE Sheds Light, please visit

While the Ocean County YMCA has had to close its physical doors, the organization is stronger than ever. Through virtual exercise classes via Zoom, virtual book clubs and a full calendar of remote programming, the Y continues to promote social interaction, physical activity and healthy lifestyle choices. “At the Y, we will not allow social distancing to become social isolation,” stated Peter Rosario, President and CEO of the Ocean County YMCA. Additional community outreach includes a partnership with Fulfill NJ, providing boxed meals for those in need. For more information about the Ocean County YMCA, please visit

21 Plus, Inc. provides community-based programs for individuals over the age of 21 with developmental disabilities, and although many of its daily programming has been suspended, their group homes and staff continue to serve residents 24/7. “These people are heroes,” said Diane Huton-Rose, Executive Director of 21 Plus, Inc. “They didn’t sign up for this and are not celebrated for their selflessness in the press like first responders. And yet they do it.” The mission of 21 Plus, Inc. is to continue to make lives meaningful for people with disabilities. At a time of unrest and unemployment, 21 Plus, Inc. is hiring Group Home Assistants, with fast-tracked employment and paid training. For more information about 21 Plus, Inc., please visit

The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation’s (AOK) mission is to give children living with financial barriers the opportunity to find their own voice, increase their self-esteem, give them a sense of belonging and provide them with positive reinforcement through the performing arts. While AOK’s primary objective is to serve children living with financial barriers, all kids are now in need of a creative outlet and sense of belonging. Through adapting current music, dance and acting lessons to a virtual format, AOK is able to bring their services to all kids! Every Monday, AOK offers a free Zoom acting class. Every Friday, the whole family is invited to bust a move during the virtual Hip Hop Dance Party. Additional programming is in the process of being developed in an effort to give children a creative outlet and an opportunity to socialize and interact. For more information about the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, please visit

The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce is a resource for business and non-profits alike. With over 70 non-profit members, the Chamber’s Non-profit Committee is one of the most active committees. “In a time when there is so much uncertainty for our non-profits, it is imperative for the community to come together and support one another,” stated Committee Chair, Heather Barberi. Through the Chamber’s Non-profit Committee, non-profits are sharing challenges and working virtually to problem solve and lift each other up. The Committee will be hosting multiple meetings a month during this time to give organizations in the greater Toms River area a chance to connect, share and innovate. The next virtual meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 1st at 8:30 am via Zoom. All non-profits in the greater Toms River area are welcome to attend. For more information on the Chamber, visit:

No single person, company or organization can navigate through this virtual “new normal” alone, nor should they have to. “We all have something to offer to support our community and the greater good. Helping our non-profit partners communicate their important message at this time is the least we, Design 446, can do. We are proud to be a part of this community and will continue to do and be better together,” stated Ann Marie Baker, Vice President of Design 446.

About Design 446
Design 446 is a full-service marketing firm based in Manasquan, NJ. The firm creates sales environments, signage and brand development, in addition to interactive presentations, digital/traditional advertising, website development, e-marketing, social media/public relations, graphic design, on-site printing, interior merchandising and installation. For more information about Design 446, please visit

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