By The Telegram

Family Crisis Services, Inc. has been chosen to receive a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation as part of the organization's annual $3 million national domestic violence grant program. FCS is one of 150 domestic violence organizations participating in the program. The grant will be used to begin making the shelter handicapped accessible and to better be able to serve survivors suffering injuries or disabilities.

"This grant is such a blessing to Family Crisis Services, Inc. in a variety of ways," said Robin Shelden, executive director. "Not only does it make up for a deficit in funding this year, but also gives us hope and strength to continue what we do. Domestic violence is not going away and deserves very serious attention. Programs to help battered women and their children require a lot of resources. That's why we are so thankful The Mary Kay Foundation is helping us help families in Garden City and southwest Kansas."

"In light of the economic downturn and alarming increases in domestic violence, The Mary Kay Foundation's mission is more critical than ever before. Family Crisis Services, Inc. has helped so many women and their families in the Garden City area. We know they will use these funds to benefit even more domestic violence survivors and their children and help end domestic violence," said Jennifer Cook, Mary Kay Foundation board member.

According to the second "Mary Kay Truth About Abuse" national survey conducted in March 2011, domestic violence shelters indicate the economic downturn has increased demand for services. Shelters also report the ability to raise funds and provide services will be hampered into 2012. Due to the economy, the survey also revealed:

* 80 percent of domestic violence shelters nationwide report an increase in women seeking assistance from abuse, and most attribute this to financial issues.

* 76 percent of domestic violence shelters indicate their funding has decreased.

* 65 percent of women in shelters can't find employment due to the economy.

* 56 percent of shelters note the abuse is more violent now than before the economic downturn.

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. Since the Foundation's inception, it has awarded $28 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and more than $16 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation, log on to www.marykayfoundation.org.