Last week, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation Committee spent an afternoon reviewing almost 100 grant applications for its shelter grant program. Each year, it reminds us of the extent of domestic violence throughout our country. No one is immune.
As you can imagine, choosing the grant recipients (one shelter or outreach program in each province or territory across the county) is tough, as an $8,500 grant is on the line and the need is so great.
However, we also learn about some really creative programs that shelters offer to help. For example, some shelters give moms and children a chance to participate in art therapy, which can help uncover feelings in a way that talking therapy can’t.
Although, the actual decision-making is tough, there is an entire committee dedicated to the selection process. Following are the steps that we go through.
First, one committee member reviews all of the shelter grants received, creating a summary of important details for each one. These include the number of woman and children served, the shelter’s mission statement, their budget, and plans for the grant, etc. Then, the applications are divided by province/territory, and distributed amongst committee members.
Each member then reviews each application, prioritizing them based on several key elements: How many services do they offer? Do they do anything creative? How many people do they serve? What is the existing budget? What’s the greatest need? Is there Mary Kay Sales Force involvement in these shelters?
Then, based on the answers to those questions and more, the Shelter Grant committee sits together, taking turns presenting their recipient recommendations. Upwards of three shelters per province make it to the next level, which is an intense scrutiny of financial statements. As it turns out, it comes down to more than just financials. I can tell you, it gets personal: stories are shared and tears have been known to flow.
Out of those reviewed, one from each province will be selected to be presented to The Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Each year, we take pride in this experience, as each member knows that this is the result of people being committed; when their goal is to make a tough, but just, decision because they know it truly does have the power to change people’s lives.
Stay tuned for Shelter Grant recipients to be announced on marykay.ca in January. In the meantime, why not commit yourself to donating a few hours of your time at your local shelter? I promise, you won’t regret it.
Today’s blog post is from reader, baker, and yoga and meditation enthusiast Andrea Querido, who also happens to be the Communications & Script Specialist at Mary Kay Cosmetics Ltd.
*With files from the U.S. Mary Kay Foundation blog.