Virtually everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. Mary Kay Ash's personal encounter came in 1980 when her husband, Mel Ash, died of lung cancer. Subsequently, each time a member of the extended Mary Kay family was diagnosed with cancer, she became even more determined to work to find a cure.
In 1987, Mary Kay decided to put her money where her heart was and asked employees at Mary Kay Inc. and the independent sales force to do the same. Together, they began raising funds for cancer research, and in 1996, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation was established to formalize the raising and distributing of research funds for cancers affecting women. In 2009, the name of the Foundation was changed to The Mary Kay Foundation.
Mary Kay Ash cared about all issues affecting women, and she knew domestic violence was a problem in the community. She began to hear how prevalently this issue affected the Mary Kay Inc. independent sales force across the nation. So in July 2000, The Foundation embraced a second mission: to prevent violence against women.
Consistently, our donors have joined with us in big, big ways to support Mary Kay's dream of eliminating cancers that affect women and ending domestic violence. They are truly impressive and inspiring! Their steadfast commitment and heartfelt energies have enabled the Foundation to make a difference in the lives of women and their families through grants and creative initiatives. Our support for vital programs has surged from $500,000 in 1997 to $3.6 million in 2004 to almost $5 million in 2013.
Here are highlights of what we accomplished together in 2013:
Granted 150 domestic violence shelters $20,000 each – a total of $3 million.
Awarded 10 respected doctors and medical scientists $100,000 each in cancer research grants – a total of $1 million.
Awarded four Nature Explore Classrooms $20,000 each – a total of $80,000.
Donated $400,000 to CancerCare Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free professional help to people with cancer, for its Touching Hearts program.
Raised $464,000 from donations at Seminar 2013.
Raised $271,000 in the Mary Kay Charity Golf Classic.
Raised more than $137,000 in the Dallas annual MK5K® and Northeast Branch annual MK5K®.
Other Highlights from the Mary Kay Foundation:
Every October, The Mary Kay Foundation observes National Domestic Violence Awareness Month by awarding grants to deserving women’s shelters.
Since 2000, Mary Kay Inc. and the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation have awarded more than $11 million to domestic violence prevention programs and to women's shelters across the country. In the last two years, the Foundation distributed 300 grants totaling $6 million to women's shelters in all 50 states.
Since 1997, the Mary Kay Ash Charitable Foundation with support from Mary Kay Inc. has funded nearly $6 million toward research grants to fight cancers affecting women.
Employees from the Mary Kay Inc. manufacturing group in Dallas volunteer each year to give a warm welcome and show their support for U.S. soldiers returning home from the Middle East at the Dallas/Fort Worth international airport.
Mary Kay Inc. has made extensive financial contributions toward Hurricanes Katrina and Rita relief. The Company contributed more than $5 million in cash donations, in-kind and product donations that include more than $1 million to aid general Hurricane Katrina relief and long-term rebuilding efforts. Additionally, the following allocations were made:
$125,000 for immediate relief efforts to the American Red Cross.
$125,000 for initial hurricane relief efforts to the Salvation Army.
$100,000 was dedicated to the Dallas mayor's relief fund, Project Exodus, created to provide more permanent housing for survivors who relocated to the Dallas area after the hurricanes.
$40,000 to the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas to pay for free child care provided to survivors of the hurricanes who now reside in the Dallas area.
$100,000 to the National Network to End Domestic Violence to assist victims of domestic violence and domestic violence shelters impacted by the hurricanes.
$120,000 to Dallas-area Habitat for Humanity to build a home in the Dallas area for a hurricane survivor who has relocated to this area; and a second home to be constructed in New Orleans for a family who wishes to return or remain in their hometown.
Additionally, employees of Mary Kay Inc. volunteered their personal time to build the Habitat home in the Dallas area that was completed in July 2007.
Nearly $400,000 was allocated to assist the organizations leading the rebuilding efforts in areas where the largest numbers of Mary Kay independent sales force members live.