Avon Foundation for Women Awards $100,000 Grant to HELP USA as Part of Avon’s 125th Anniversary Global Believe Fund to End Violence Against Women

Global Believe Fund Recently Doubled to $2 Million


New York, NY – April 6, 2011 – During an event to commemorate Avon’s 125th anniversary, Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung and award-winning singer Fergie awarded a $100,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant to New York City-based HELP USA to support its services for domestic violence victims and their families in the New York metropolitan area. The grant is part of the $2 million Avon Global Believe Fund, a component of Avon’s 16-city “Believe World Tour” to celebrate the company’s heritage and belief in its mission to empower women. 


“I have had the pleasure of seeing Avon’s impact on women around the world and I am so proud to lend my name and support to Avon’s great work,” said Fergie. “It’s an honor to be affiliated with a company that is so committed to giving back to causes women care about so deeply.”


The Global Believe Fund is a pioneering global effort to support women’s domestic violence shelters and agencies in 16 cities around the world. The company announced last week that the Fund doubled to $2 million, expanding its impact by increasing support for the global services offered by domestic violence shelters and programs, including an expansion of grants to shelters in more Avon markets worldwide.


Maria Cuomo Cole, Chair of the HELP USA Board of Directors, said: “Avon has set the standard for corporate responsibility and philanthropy. Their generous contribution of funding and personal product donations improves the quality of life and opportunities for victims of domestic violence.  We are very grateful for the generosity and support Avon has provided us as a steadfast partner in our efforts to enable survivors of domestic violence to reclaim their independence.  This gift will serve as an investment in the futures of individuals and families in need of secure homes and services. Thanks to Avon's philosophy of giving back, the HELP USA model of housing, day care, counseling and employment services will help rebuild lives.”   


This new grant brings the total Avon Foundation grants awarded to HELP USA to $140,000 since 2004. In the state of New York from 2000 through 2010, Avon philanthropy has provided nearly $121 million to breast cancer and domestic violence agencies.


As part of the Avon Global Believe Fund, the Avon Foundation for Women is partnering 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. U.S. Avon Global Believe Fund grants awarded to date include $60,000 grants each to Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) in Atlanta, GA, Safe Haven of Tarrant County in Ft. Worth, TX, and Haven Hills in Canoga Park, CA.


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 $2 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 creation of the Global Believe Fund in Atlanta in January, 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," said 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. 


About Avon
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 6.5 million active 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.


HELP USA’s mission is to provide housing and supportive services for homeless and at-risk individuals in an effort to help those in need become and remain self-reliant.  Through the development of quality housing with on-site support services, HELP USA provides the environment and the resources its residents need to become independent and self-sufficient.  HELP USA breaks the cycle of dependency by addressing underlying causes in a way that respects the dignity of those we serve.  HELP USA has enabled more than 250,000 individuals to rebuild their lives since the organization was founded in 1986.  HELP USA’s goal is to help our clients help themselves. Learn more about how HELP USA is building better lives at www.helpusa.org.