(Press release from Opportunities For Otsego)


As part of The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual shelter grants program, the Violence Intervention Program at Opportunities for Otsego has received a $20,000 unrestricted grant to further the organization’s efforts to combat domestic violence and provide rehabilitation services throughout Otsego County. The grant awarded to the Violence Intervention Program is part of $3 million in funding that the Foundation has awarded this year to 150 domestic violence shelters in 49 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.

The Violence Intervention Program will use the grant funding to complete necessary repairs and renovations to its circa 1900 residence used as the county safe house for victims of violence.  Updates include flooring more suitable for physically disabled victims, replacing inoperable windows which currently pose safety hazards, and replacing aged and inefficient appliances. These investments will enhance the ability of the Violence Intervention Program to provide a safe and supportive environment to facilitate the recovery of women and children seeking shelter.

“The Violence Intervention Program is incredibly grateful for support from The Mary Kay Foundation and its continued commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence,” said William Rivera, Crisis Intervention Director.  “This grant provides much needed support for the ongoing operation of the only 24-hour staffed domestic violence shelter in the tri-county area and ensures victims have immediate access to services that can protect them from further violence”.

“The fact that shelters across the country can use these unrestricted funds to best fit their immediate needs has often made the difference between keeping the doors open or closed, maintaining a critical service or providing a life-saving safe place for a family in need,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay Foundation and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “As the Foundation celebrates 20 years of making a difference in the lives of women and children, we are proud to continue our signature domestic violence program in communities nationwide. We know hundreds of thousands of lives have been impacted, not only today but for generations to come.”

Nearly 600 domestic violence shelters applied for The Mary Kay Foundation shelter grants this year. Mary Kay Inc.’s global cause-related program, Beauty That Counts, helps support The Mary Kay Foundation’s annual shelter grant program. Mary Kay has a deep commitment to ending abuse and alongside The Mary Kay Foundation has given $53 million to domestic violence prevention and awareness programs.  For additional information and for the full list of 2016 Shelter Grant Recipients visit marykayfoundation.org.

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 $54 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 the Violence Intervention Program - VIP provides comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and violent crimes so they may realize safety, self-determination, self-worth, and live free from abuse and oppression.  VIP provides 24-hour, 7 day a week access to support for primary and secondary victims of violence via its crisis hotline (607.432.4855).  For more information on VIP and the other programs of Opportunities for Otsego, visit www.ofoinc.org or call 607.433.8000.

About Opportunities for Otsego – OFO is a Community Action Agency that has been fighting the "War on Poverty" in Otsego County since 1966. The agency strives to alleviate poverty and fosters self-sufficiency through comprehensive and holistic client-centered services.   OFO’s mission is to be the leader in developing innovative solutions that promote healthy lives, thriving families, and caring communities.