Funding Provides Critical Services and Resources for Nearly 400,000 Women and Children
Seeking Safety from Abuse
DALLAS – (Sept. 22, 2014) – While domestic violence has experienced a recent boost in awareness, shelters around the country are struggling to overcome funding gaps which directly affect their ability to provide resources for women and children fleeing abuse.
In advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay FoundationSM is awarding $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Each shelter will receive a $20,000 grant to maintain critical services and programs.
“It’s been a bigger challenge than ever for shelters to keep their doors open and grants from The Mary Kay FoundationSM are a vital part in helping shelters move forward in their missions,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay FoundationSM and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “We have witnessed significant progress in raising awareness that domestic violence is an unacceptable crime but there is much more work to be done. These grants are a signature program for us and we know the nearly 400,000 women and children served by the 150 shelters receiving our funding will have their lives changed for the better and join The Mary Kay Foundation in changing the dialogue surrounding abuse for generations to come.”
While more than half of the grant recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses including utilities and meal preparation, others hire much needed personnel, complete repairs and facility renovations or add additional programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve.
The Domestic Violence Project in Ann Arbor, Mich. is using their grant from The Mary Kay FoundationSM to increase language services provided by their helpline. In New York, the Urban Resource Institute will be able to offer computer training as part of their expanded working internship program. Clients of the Marie Detty Youth and Family Services Center will now have a storefront to shop for free clothing to replace items they left behind when leaving their abusers. Iva’s Place in Lenoir City, Tenn., just 30 miles southwest of Knoxville, is using their funding to conduct healthy relationship workshops for high school students in hopes of ending the cycle of abuse before it starts. In St. Louis, an overnight advocate will be hired at St. Martha’s Hall to assist with the intake and care of clients. More prevention efforts are underway in Northern California at the Westside Domestic Violence Shelter in Orland where a self-defense class will be taught.
“There is never going to be enough money to address the full needs of shelters and their programs,” said Crews who, as a long-time advocate against abuse, is the Mary Kay liaison to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence and serves as president of the board of directors for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence. “It’s up to all of us to volunteer or get involved with nonprofits focused on the issue.”
For years The Mary Kay FoundationSM has supported the prevention and elimination of domestic violence, an epidemic that touches one in every four women in her lifetime. Through the Foundation’s annual shelter grant program, $37 million has been granted to domestic violence organizations since 2000. Each year, grants are awarded to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam with remaining grants distributed based on state population. Nearly 700 shelters applied for funding this year.
About The Mary Kay FoundationSM
The Mary Kay FoundationSM was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded more than $37 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and nearly $22 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. More than 97% of each donated dollar goes to the missions. To learn more, visit marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).