LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- During an event to commemorate Avon's 125th anniversary, Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung and actor Patrick Dempsey awarded a $60,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant to Canoga Park, CA-based Haven Hills to support its services for domestic violence victims and their families in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. The grant is part of the $1 million Avon Global Believe Fund that will fund a pioneering global effort to support women's domestic violence shelters and agencies in 16 cities around the world. Jung and award-winning actress and Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon announced the Global Believe Fund during a January event in Atlanta, part of Avon's 16-city global "Believe" tour to celebrate the company's heritage and belief in its mission to empower women.
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Sara Berdine, executive director of Haven Hills, said: "We are so grateful for the generosity and support Avon has provided us as a steadfast partner in the fight to end domestic violence. Avon has given us tremendous financial support, but also has donated so many items for the women and children in our shelter. When families enter our shelter, many have nothing but the clothing on their back. They are scared and withdrawn not knowing what is going to happen next. In sharing the gifts provided by Avon, the women are overwhelmed that someone cares."
This new grant brings the total Avon Foundation grants awarded to the Haven Hills – one of the oldest domestic violence shelters in the country – to almost $100,000 since 2004. In the state of California from 2000 through 2010, Avon philanthropy has provided nearly $58 million to breast cancer and domestic violence agencies.
As part of the Avon Global Believe Fund, the Avon Foundation for Women will partner with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to identify and fund an international network of outstanding nonprofit organizations to help them provide critical life-saving services for victims of domestic violence and their families. This global effort also aims to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence in communities everywhere. Grants awarded to date in include $60,000 grants each to Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) in Atlanta, GA, and Safe Haven of Tarrant County in Ft. Worth, TX.
The Avon Foundation for Women's Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program supports domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2010 in the United States, the Avon Foundation has donated more than $23 million to support awareness, education, direct service and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic violence.
Avon's new $1 million commitment is in addition to the company's previously announced financial donations to other major partners in global efforts to stop violence against women including: the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women; Vital Voices and the US State Department to establish the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women; and Cornell University Law School for the creation of the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice.
"As the company for women, Avon feels an obligation and responsibility to play a leadership role in helping to improve the lives of women around the world, and we truly believe we can make a difference," said CEO Andrea Jung. "Avon is the largest engine of economic opportunity for women on earth, serving more than six million Avon Representatives in over 100 countries. The Avon Foundation for Women is also the largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, and Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million to improve women's health and safety around the world."
Announcing the Global Believe Fund in Atlanta, Avon Global Ambassador Reese Witherspoon commented: "I am so proud to be working with Avon – a company that is on the forefront of women's issues around the world. Approximately one in three women globally is likely to experience some type of violence in her lifetime. It's a sad fact, and I believe we all have an obligation to address this vitally important issue, one of the most prevalent yet underfunded problems in the world."
"Avon and the National Network to End Domestic Violence aim to draw attention to the disturbing lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence in communities around the world," says Carol Kurzig, president of the Avon Foundation for Women. "The women's shelter movement plays a critical leadership role in the global effort to end violence against women and their children."
About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world's largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. Through 2010, Avon global philanthropy has donated more than $800 million in more than 50 countries for causes most important to women. Today, Avon philanthropy focuses its funding on breast cancer research and access to care through the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, and efforts to reduce domestic and gender violence through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence program. Avon also responds generously to provide support for relief and recovery efforts in times of major natural disasters and emergencies.
Avon, the company for women, is a leading global beauty company, with over $10 billion in annual revenue. As the world's largest direct seller, Avon markets to women in more than 100 countries through approximately 6.2 million independent Avon Sales Representatives. Avon's product line includes beauty products, as well as fashion and home products, and features such well-recognized brand names as Avon Color, Anew, Skin-So-Soft, Advance Techniques, Avon Naturals, and Mark. Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avoncompany.com.
SOURCE Avon Products, Inc.