It will be a Happy New Year for Courage Connection, who last April faced the possibility of a shut down due to the budget impasse in Illinois. The Mary Kay Foundation selected the agency as one of 150 domestic violence shelters around the country to receive one of these annual grants. Here's the scoop:

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ Awards Courage Connection Critical Unrestricted Funding as Part of New $3 Million Grant Slate

Champaign (December 18, 2017) –   The Mary Kay Foundation℠ awarded $20,000 grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam for a total of $3 million.  Local domestic violence agency, Courage Connection was chosen to receive one of the annual grants to further the organization’s efforts to combat domestic violence and provide rehabilitation services throughout Champaign, Ford and Douglas Counties.  This year’s highly sought-after grant slate brings the total investment in The Foundation’s annual shelter grant program to nearly $42 million.

Courage Connection will use the grant funding to continue current programming – including court advocacy, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and support services to victims and survivors of domestic violence. Other recipients use the unrestricted funds for basic operating expenses, hiring much-needed personnel, completing repairs and renovations or adding programs and resources based on the unique needs of their shelter and the clients they serve.

“Courage Connection helps victims and survivors of domestic violence rebuild their lives.  The Mary Kay grant is important in helping us provide services that often go unfunded, but are so important to the safety of our clients.  We are incredibly grateful for support from The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and its continued commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence,” said Isak Griffiths, Executive Director.

Last year, Courage Connection provided 24,190 nights of shelter, answered 819 calls on their domestic violence hotline and helped almost 1,500 people.  Courage Connection services range from court advocacy and emergency shelter to helping survivors build the skills they need to live independently.  Through Courage Connection, clients get job training, life skills, and ongoing support through counseling and support groups.

“More than 700 domestic violence shelters nationwide applied for The Mary Kay Foundation℠ shelter grants this year, which demonstrates the overwhelming need to maintain critical services and provide a safe haven for the survivors of an epidemic that impacts one in every four women,” said Anne Crews, board member of The Mary Kay Foundation℠ and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc.  “Working to prevent and end domestic violence is a cornerstone of The Foundation, Mary Kay Inc. and for countless members of our independent sales force. Since 2000, The Foundation has invested tens of millions of dollars in our shelter grant program and without a doubt, we know these funds make a difference in homes and communities across the country.”

Mary Kay Inc.’s global cause-related program, Beauty that Counts, helps support The Foundation’s annual shelter grant program.  Applications for the 2018 shelter grant program will be available January 15 through April 30.  Please visit marykayfoundation.org for additional information and the full list of 2017 shelter grant recipients.

About The Mary Kay Foundation℠

The Mary Kay Foundation℠ 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.  The Mary Kay Foundation℠ has awarded $70.7 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States.  To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation℠, please visit www.marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

About Courage Connection

No one has to deal with domestic violence alone. For over 45 years, Courage Connection has been helping survivors of domestic violence achieve safety, sta­bility and self-sufficiency.  24 hours/7 days a week, Courage Connection provides assistance and guidance to those in need whenever they need it with the Domestic Violence Hotline (217)-384-4390.  For more information, www.courageconnection.org