Dallas, Sept. 21, 2009 – The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual shelter grant giving program awarded $3 million in total grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states. Each shelter received a $20,000 grant to help combat domestic violence, educate local communities, provide much needed shelter and rehabilitation for survivors and keep shelters open during the current economic downturn. In light of the economy, the Foundation is reinforcing its commitment to help bring an end to domestic violence, especially in a time when donations are down and the need for services is on the rise.

Domestic Violence and the Economy
In May 2009, “Mary Kay’s Truth About Abuse” survey of domestic violence shelters across the country revealed some alarming results: three out of four domestic violence shelters report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse since September 2008, a major turning point in the U.S. economy. The survey data directly connects the downturn in the economy to an increase in domestic violence. Additionally, www.endabuse.org reports nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.

“The economy is exacerbating domestic violence, and the demand for victim services is up,” said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. “We applaud The Mary Kay FoundationSM for stepping up and making this significant investment in life-saving domestic violence services. The Mary Kay Foundation’s contribution will help survivors of domestic violence live safer lives.”

The Mary Kay FoundationSM – Shelter Grants at Work
Every October, The Mary Kay FoundationSM observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by awarding grants to deserving women’s shelters. These grants provide services such as counseling, transportation vehicles, emergency shelter, food, clothing and basic needs to domestic violence survivors and their children.

“The Mary Kay FoundationSM is committed to ending domestic violence through our partnerships with shelters nationwide who provide the critical services survivors need most,” said Anne Crews, The Mary Kay FoundationSM board member and vice president of Mary Kay Inc. “Especially now, with the need for services increasing and donations on the decline, we are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of women and children who will be impacted by our annual shelter grant giving program.”

Mary Kay has long recognized the importance of educating women about domestic violence and keeping them safe from it. Mary Kay Inc. provides materials on domestic violence awareness and prevention to its independent sales force which exceeds 2 million members worldwide. The Mary Kay FoundationSM is supported by thousands of Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultants, Mary Kay Inc. and is an important part of the legacy of Mary Kay Ash.

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 nearly $22 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and $13 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM, log on to www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

About Mary Kay
Mary Kay, one of the largest direct sellers of skin care and color cosmetics, realized another year of record results. In 2008 Mary Kay Inc. and its international subsidiaries achieved $2.6 billion in wholesale sales worldwide. Mary Kay® products are sold in more than 35 markets worldwide, and the global Mary Kay independent sales force exceeds 2 million. To learn more about Mary Kay, log on to www.marykay.com or call 1-800-MARY KAY (1-800-627-9529).