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Our Shelter Grants at Work
Our Shelter Grants at Work

Every October, The Mary Kay Foundation observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by awarding grants to deserving women’s shelters. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $20,000 grants to more than 150 women’s shelters across the United States for a total of $3 million.

Here’s a sampling of how shelters all over America put this grant money to work.

A Safe Way to Travel

Gastonia, North Carolina


Thanks to the grant from the Mary Kay Foundation, the Shelter of Gaston County has hired a person to drive residents to and from their job interviews and appointments. Prior to this grant, residents relied upon limited public transportation since many of them do not own cars. Often, not having transportation causes a huge barrier for success.

"This is a powerful step in assisting women with their goals," said Cathy Cloininger, Shelter Coordinator. "This service will help them feel safer and more secure."


Center Uses Grant for Emergency Shelter

Bastrop, Texas


Picture a mom leaving home in the middle of the night with her two young daughters. She calls the Family Crisis Center from a pay phone. The volunteer makes arrangements for them to stay at the emergency shelter. They arrive about 2:30 a.m.

Thanks to the Family Crisis Center and MKF grant money, emergency shelter exists for rural Central Texas. In the last six months, the center provided a safe haven for more than 200 adults and children in crisis. The MKF grant helped to fund the general operating budget and support services such as medical and legal advocacy, counseling, transportation and safety planning.


Funds Cover Shelter Necessities

Watson, Louisiana


In these tough economic times, Women Outreaching Women experienced a decline in donations, which made it difficult to pay the monthly bills. So WOW used the MKF grant funds to pay for basic operational expenses like water, sewer, electricity, phones and garbage pickup.

"The Mary Kay Foundation grant is such a blessing to Women Outreaching Women," said Mona Mistric, Executive Director. "Not only does it make up for a deficit in funding this year but gives us hope and strength to continue what we do. Domestic violence is not going away and deserves very serious attention. Programs to help battered women and their children require a lot of resources. That’s why we are so thankful The Mary Kay Foundation is helping us help families in Livingston Parish."


Funds Make Shelter Accessible for All

Norwich, New York

Catholic Charities used its grant funds to make the shelter accessible to women with physical disabilities, who can experience unique forms of abuse such as when caretakers withhold medicine or refuse to help with daily needs like bathing, dressing or eating.

After working with several experts on how to improve its shelter, Catholic Charities installed sensors for the front door to help those with hearing impairments, baby monitors for deaf women as well as talking and vibrating alarm clocks for women with visual impairments. Two larger improvements included making one bathroom and outdoor patio accessible to women in wheelchairs.


MKF Grant Keeps Panhandle Shelter Open

Perryton, Texas

The Panhandle Crisis Center exists to serve victims of domestic violence and sexual assault for three northeastern counties of the Texas Panhandle. Before receiving the Mary Kay grant, the shelter experienced a financial crisis that threatened its very existence. Thanks to the Mary Kay grant, the crisis center can now fund the salary of one caseworker and general operating expenses for the center.

"We are the only family violence shelter in our service area," said Cindy Smith, Executive Director. "If we weren't here, victims in the area would have nowhere to turn for shelter, counseling and supportive services."

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