Advocates for a Violence-Free Community (AVFC) and Sprout House Safe House, a local women's shelter serving all of Grand County, received a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay FoundationSM. In observation of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the Mary Kay FoundationSM awards $20,000 grants to more than 150 domestic violence shelters across the country for a total of $3 million.
AVFC will use the grant to provide critical support for Sprout House Safe House programs which includes: Empowerment tools and training, individual therapy for clients and their children, support group, legal support, and life skills training. Additionally, the grant will be used to fill gaps left by other funding sources as The Mary Kay FoundationSM allows programs to use funds where they need it most.
"These funds have come at a very important time for us. It is our first full year in operation as a shelter. We had lost funding from another funder as a result of the recession. The Mary Kay FoundationSM grant will ensure that our services continue with no interruption. We feel extremely honored to be among the 150 agencies nationwide to receive these funds. The Mary Kay FoundationSM recognizes the challenges faced by all domestic violence programs to maintain funding streams, but especially in rural communities." says Deb Bittner, Executive Director. "We are committed to be good stewards with these funds, making Sprout House Safe House a place where victims can grow, violence free, and move from victim to survivor."
Sprout House Safe House combines safe shelter with programs that help victims understand the cycle of violence, and provides safety planning to increase their future safety, support through individual case management and connects them to other survivors. Advocates works from an empowerment model helping victims to access resources in the community, and learn new skills which will assist them as they rebuild their lives. Advocates staff also provides prevention education in the schools and throughout the community.
"Our goal is to provide the tools to recognize the signs of domestic violence, to know ways to respond, and then to refer to the appropriate resource. Only by our community as a whole recognizing that domestic violence impacts all of us on some level and being willing to take a stand against it, will we be able to affect change," Bittner said.
"The Mary Kay Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence." says Anne Crews, Mary Kay Inc. Vice President of Government Relations and board member for The Mary Kay Foundation. "Through our grants, we honor and support shelters across the country that are having a profound impact for women and children in their communities. Since 2000, we have granted $31 million to help domestic violence shelters meet their critical needs and support their ongoing community efforts."
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 $31 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $18 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM, visit marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).
About Advocates for a Violence-Free Community
Advocates began as an all-volunteer organization in the late 1970's. In 1984 the organization received tax-exempt status and was able to hire and executive director to oversee the agency. Over the years programs and services have expanded to include outreach and education in the community and schools, a 24-hour confidential crisis line staffed by trained volunteers, and comprehensive services to assist victims of domestic and sexual violence. In 2011 the agency opened Sprout House Safe House and has been occupied since opening. To learn more about Advocates for a Violence-Free Community, visit gcadvocates.org or call 970-725-3442.