Posted Thursday, November 3rd, 2016



l/r) Jesse Linder, Jets Director of Community Relations; Brett Dickinson, Director of Operations, Ed Block Courage Award Foundation; Jets Safety Rontez Miles; Maria Savettiere, Deirdre’s House Executive Director; and Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp.

 Deirdre’s House, a child advocacy center located in Morristown, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Ed Block Courage Foundation, through the foundation’s ties to the National Football League and the Florham Park-based New York Jets.

The award was made last week at a ceremony at Deirdre’s House.

It was attended by members of the Jets, the Foundation, Deirdre’s House, Morris County Prosecutor Fredric M. Knapp, and members of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit.

The money will be used for the Deirdre’s House advocacy and outreach programs and the clinical counseling program.


“The Jets organization has been a long-standing partner of Deirdre’s House. By designating Deirdre’s House as the Jets’ official Ed Block Courage Award Foundation House, the Jets have strengthened their commitment to help Deirdre’s House continue to provide vital services to child victims of abuse and neglect,” said Maria Savettiere, Executive Director of Deirdre’s House.


The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation ( is dedicated to supporting the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children through its Courage House National Support Network for Kids. Through a partnership with the NFL, the Foundation cultivates awareness at each designated Courage House and helps to raise funds for their programs and initiatives.

The goal, according to the organization, is to break the cycle of abuse and neglect and to lay the foundation for generations of safe and nurturing families.

Freeholder Jim O'Brien at 1996 opening of Deirdre's House

Freeholder Jim O’Brien at 1996 opening of Deirdre’s House

Deirdre’s House was officially designated as a “Courage House” on Oct. 25. Members of the Jets organization, including team member Rontez Miles, attended the event. Miles is a fourth year safety for the Jets.

Prosecutor Knapp commended the work and dedication of the staff of Deirdre’s House on behalf of abused, neglected, and at risk children.

“One of the many goals of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office is prosecuting those who injure our children. Deirdre’s House provides a necessary platform towards that goal,” said Prosecutor Knapp.

Deirdre’s House commemorated its 20th anniversary earlier this year as a safe haven in Morris County for youngest victims of sexual and physical abuse. The event was attended by the family of the late Freeholder Jim O’Brien and his wife Georgia, who were instrumental in creating the center.

After the 1982 murder of their 25-year-old daughter, Deirdre O’Brien, the Mendham Township couple devoted themselves to the plight of crime victims, and brought special attention to the need for the protection of Morris County’s youngest victims with the 1996 opening of Deirdre’s House, across from the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown.

 Deirdre’s House plays a critical role in Morris County’s ability to address the needs of child victims of physical and sexual abuse. It is the only site in Morris County were a child victim under the age of 12 can be interviewed, medically examined and treated, digitally recorded, and counseled in English or Spanish, all under one roof.

This non-threatening atmosphere at Deirdre’s House greatly contributes to the ability of the child to relax and more freely disclose the horrific details of the abuse, which is oftentimes embarrassing and deeply personal.

Since 1996, Deirdre’s House has provided services to more than 24,000 children. For more on Deirdre’s House, visit: