During the month of September and early October, the YWCA Evanston/North Shore participated in Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge, which aims to raise money for domestic violence and financial empowerment services. YWCA Evanston/North Shore raised $311,000 in the Challenge.
The Purple Purse Challenge ran from Sept. 2, to Oct. 3. In total, the Challenge  raised $2.5 million and the Allstate Foundation contributed nearly $650,000 to participating organizations through incentive funding and direct grants.

“This is a feat that we could not have accomplished without the support of so many,” said YWCA Evanston/North Shore President/CEO Karen Singer. “For our domestic violence services, right here in northeastern Illinois, we raised more money than any of the other 145 challengers nationwide.”

“As importantly as financial funding, we (assisted by the media who were especially attuned to it this month) raised awareness about domestic violence issues with the month-long campaign. As a result, calls to our 24-hour domestic violence
crisis line and requests for emergency shelter have increased dramatically – a sign that more women can name their situation, feel the support of a community, and make a call with the belief that they deserve better.”

The money from the contest will go directly to the YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s free domestic violence services that include staffing of the crisis line 24/7, safe rooms in the shelter for women and their children, food and transportation vouchers to doctor’s appointments, jobs, job interviews and school. This money provides trained counselors and financial education, and legal advocacy so that women don’t have to navigate the intimidating process of filing for a court order of protection alone.

“It’s been a great month, but we know our work here isn’t done,” said Ms. Singer. “The Purple Purse Challenge has helped us up our game in terms of generating conversation, awareness and support for survivors of violence. Now we need to keep it going.”