In advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, The Mary Kay FoundationSM has awarded $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Mary Lou’s Place, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s domestic violence shelter for women and their children received one of the $20,000 unrestricted grants to maintain critical services and programs for individuals who are survivors of domestic abuse.

Each year, grants are awarded to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Remaining grants are distributed based on state population, with Illinois receiving a total of seven grants.

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore, the only provider of comprehensive domestic violence services in the northeastern Chicago area, provides shelter to nearly 240 women and children annually. “Our staff, volunteers and clients are so thankful for this grant from the Mary Kay Foundation,” said Karen Singer, President and CEO of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore. “We’ve provided a safe haven and support services for women who have fled abusive relationships for the past 30 years and this grant will go a long way in helping us serve the growing needs of the 16 communities we serve in the northeastern Chicago area.”

For nearly 20 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, $34 million has been granted to domestic violence organizations since 2000.

“The Mary Kay FoundationSM is proud to support local shelters that are on the front lines of helping the thousands of women and children who seek shelter and support from abuse,” said Anne Crews, Vice President of Government Relations for Mary Kay Inc. and board member for The Mary Kay FoundationSM. “The shelter grants are a signature program for The Mary Kay Foundation and represent just one of the ways we are committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence.”

Click here for a full list of 2013 grant recipients or visit marykayfoundation.org for additional information.

About YWCA Evanston/North Shore

The YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s mission to eliminate racism and empower women has been put into practice in the Evanston/North Shore community since 1931. Today, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore focuses on ending violence against women and children; nurturing women’s economic empowerment and leadership; fostering racial, gender and economic equity; and empowerment through aquatics. For more information, please visit their website at: www.ywca.org/evanston, Facebook at: www.facebook.com/YWCAEvanstonNorthShore and Twitter at: www. twitter.com/YWCAevanston.

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 $34 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $20 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay FoundationSM, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).