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The Mary Kay Foundation Awards SPARCC $20,000 Grant- Sarasota, Arcadia, Venice and North Port

| Sande Caplin |

In support of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, The Mary Kay Foundation announced today that it is awarding $3 million in grants to 150 domestic violence shelters across the country. Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) has received a $20,000 unrestricted grant to support local survivors of domestic violence. This year’s grant contribution brings the Foundation’s total investment in its shelter grant program to $50 million.

The Mary Kay Foundation was established in 1996 with the overarching purpose of supporting issues impacting women. In 2000, The Foundation expanded to include ending domestic violence as part of its mission. The Foundation is committed to funding the life-saving work of women’s shelters and the annual shelter grant program has helped finance critical needs including emergency shelter, transitional housing, counseling and legal aid. All of these resources support women and children as they seek refuge and relief on their journey to an abuse-free life. This year, more than 1,200 organizations applied for the Mary Kay Foundation shelter grants.

 “At Mary Kay, we believe in helping women improve their circumstances and live their best lives.  One in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime and it is our responsibility to support the women’s shelters that aid these survivors,” said President of the The Mary Kay Foundation Board of Directors Michael Lunceford. “At the heart of The Foundation’s work is the shelter grant program which is actively supported by our independent sales force. We’re proud that our commitment makes such a powerful impact in local communities and in the lives of domestic violence survivors across the country.”

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According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, more than 72,000 adult and child victims receive domestic violence services across the United States in just one day. Unfortunately, in the same period of time, more than 11,000 requests for services are unmet due to a lack of resources.

SPARCC provides free and confidential services to survivors of domestic and sexual assault in Sarasota, Arcadia, Venice and North Port. In the 2017-2018 fiscal year, SPARCC provided 358 adults and children a safe place in its shelter, assisted 2,591 calls through its Crisis Helpline, offered advocacy services to 2,181, made 89 hospital visits and provided prevention education to over 5,000 local area students.

SPARCC Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center“SPARCC continues to reach more people with services that empower and equip them to live a violence-free life,” said SPARCC President and CEO Jessica Hays. “Our shelter has been at max capacity for several months, and The Mary Kay Foundation grant will help us to meet immediate needs as they arise, positioning the organization to remain focused on serving those in crisis.”

About The Mary Kay Foundation℠
The Mary Kay Foundation℠ was created in 1996, and its two-fold mission includes funding women’s and ending domestic violence. Over the course of more than two decades, The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $78 million to women’s shelters and domestic violence service providers, as well as cancer research programs and related causes throughout the United States. To
learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation and its mission, visit or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

SPARCC’s mission is to stop domestic and sexual violence in our communities. SPARCC is the only state-certified center for domestic violence and sexual assault services for Sarasota and DeSoto Counties. All of SPARCC’s services are free and confidential. In addition to serving victims, SPARCC is actively engaged in promoting social change through community awareness and education, in an effort to prevent such violence in the future. To learn more about SPARRC visit

Photo from Mary Kay Foundation Website

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