Don’t Let the Spotlight Fade

10-14-2014 10:27 AM

Shine a Beacon on Domestic Violence Shelters with Us

The NFL domestic violence scandal grabbed headlines throughout the month of September but what happens when the issue fades from the national spotlight? We’re asking you to join The Mary Kay Foundation’s efforts to keep this important issue at the forefront – not just during Domestic Violence Awareness Month this October, but every day.

Mary Kay Ash’s Decades-long Commitment to End Domestic Violence
While there will never be enough money to address all of the issues facing domestic violence shelters, it’s up to all of us to get involved, volunteer or donate money to shelters and nonprofits working to prevent and eventually end this crime. Our founder Mary Kay Ash took this challenge to heart when she committed to supporting domestic violence initiatives decades ago.

Back in the 1980s, a group of women here in Dallas reached out to Mary Kay Inc. and other local businesses for support in funding the first domestic violence shelter in Dallas. As a result of that first meeting, Mary Kay Ash encouraged volunteerism at shelters and product donations for their clients, but she didn’t stop there. She knew that more work needed to be done.

Fifteen Years and $37 Million Committed to the Cause
Since 2000, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has donated $37 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention. Last month, the 2014 shelter grant recipients were announced, and once again, 150 shelters in all 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam, received $20,000 each to fund a variety of needs.

Whether the shelters use the money to keep the lights on, pay for meals, hire and pay critical staff or fund a capital project – these shelters make a difference. In fact, the 150 shelters receiving grants from the Foundation in 2014 served 400,000 people in the past year! And these shelters know how to put even the smallest donation to work – nobody can stretch a dollar further than a domestic violence shelter.

Keeping Domestic Violence in the Spotlight
To keep the domestic violence issue in the spotlight, the Foundation will shine a bright beacon on 12 shelter grant recipients over the next year. You will learn about their challenges and accomplishments, and we hope you will share these stories to keep the issue of domestic violence top of mind.

There are so many other ways individuals can raise awareness about this issue and help victims affected by abuse.

  1. Be aware and tell others that domestic violence is a crime.
  2. Volunteer at shelters and nonprofits that support the issue.
  3. Shelter a pet of a domestic violence survivor.
  4. Donate money, clothing and daily necessities to shelters (some shelters even accept vehicle donations).
  5. Educate yourself about resources for victims of domestic abuse so you can point those in need to seek help. Visit (and share) the Foundation's resources and programs page here.
  6. Share this story on social media and ask your friends and followers to do the same. (Use the social sharing buttons at the top of this story.)

Through donations big and small, we can help supplement the shelters’ constant need for more funding. Thank your for supporting this very important cause and shining a spotlight on the crime of domestic violence.

Anne Crews serves on the Board of Directors for The Mary Kay Foundation and is Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. She served two terms on the U.S. Department of Justice's National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and represents Mary Kay Inc. as the president of the board of directors for the Corporate Alliance to End Partner Violence (CAEPV) and is a liaison to the American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence. She was named one of "21 Leaders for the 21st Century" for her advocacy work against domestic violence.