Avon Foundation for Women Awards $60,000 Grant to Chicago’s Family Rescue, Inc.


Grant is part of Avon’s new $2 million commitment to end violence against women in honor of its year-long 125th anniversary celebration


Chicago, IL – April 29, 2011 – Today, Avon Chairman and CEO Andrea Jung and Avon partner, actress Zoe Saldana, awarded a $60,000 Avon Foundation for Women grant to Chicago-based Family Rescue, Inc. to support its services for domestic violence victims and their families in the Chicago area. The grant was awarded during the Avon “Believe World Tour,” an event to commemorate the company’s 125th anniversary. The event in Chicago is the seventh stop of the 16-city Believe World Tour and the final stop in the United States.


The grant is part of the $2 million Avon Global Believe Fund, which makes ending violence against women a key element of the Believe World Tour to honor the company’s heritage and belief in its mission to empower women. 


Throughout 2011, approximately 125,000 Avon Representatives will participate in the Avon Believe World Tour as it visits Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, London, Istanbul, New York, Mexico City, Warsaw, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Manila, Shanghai, New Delhi and Johannesburg.  In addition to Zoe Saldana, special guests who have joined Avon at past stops of the Tour include Reese Witherspoon, Fergie, Patrick Dempsey, Yasmin Le Bon and Suze Orman. 


“I am excited to join Avon during the Believe World Tour and am proud to be affiliated with a company committed to raising awareness in Chicago and all around the world for important health-related and social issues such as breast cancer, domestic violence and emergency relief,” said Zoe Saldana.  “Avon’s ongoing dedication to women is unmatched.”


Joyce Coffee, Executive Director of Family Rescue, Inc., said: “The statistics in Chicago are sobering. In the first nine months of 2010 alone, there were 45 domestic violence-related deaths in the Chicago area – a 21 percent increase over the prior year. Last year, Family Rescue, Inc. provided services to 1,917 Chicago area domestic violence victims and their families. We are so grateful for Avon’s generosity and support to help us continue our essential work in the fight to end domestic violence.”


This new grant brings the total Avon Foundation grants awarded to Family Rescue, Inc. to more than $100,000. In Illinois from 2000 through 2010, Avon philanthropy provided nearly $39 million to breast cancer and domestic violence agencies.


“I’m just thrilled to be here in Chicago today, the final U.S. stop of the Avon Believe World Tour, to celebrate Avon’s commitment to empowering women with Zoe Saldana and 5,000 of our U.S. Representatives.  We’re so proud to honor Avon’s 125-year heritage and our belief in our Representatives with a Global Believe Fund grant to Chicago-based Family Rescue,” said Andrea Jung, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Avon Products, Inc. “Avon was founded in the U.S. in 1886 with the unique thought that women deserved an opportunity to earn an income; that was 34 years before women here earned the right to vote. We can only realize the mission to empower women when women everywhere are free from violence, and through our Global Believe Fund, we are furthering our commitment to end violence against women in our anniversary year.”


The Avon Global Believe Fund is a pioneering effort to support women’s domestic violence shelters and agencies in 16 cities around the world and to draw attention to the alarming lack of adequate services for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. To identify the best victim services providers to receive Avon Believe Fund grants around the world, the Avon Foundation for Women is partnering with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) to expand and improve the network of shelters that provide life-saving services for victims of domestic violence and their families.


Avon Global Believe Fund grants awarded in the United States to date total $280,000 donated to Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) in Atlanta, GA; Safe Haven of Tarrant County in Ft. Worth, TX; Haven Hills in Canoga Park, CA; and HELP, USA in New York City.


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 programs aimed at reducing domestic violence. One of the Avon Foundation’s signature domestic violence programs, Walk the Course Against Domestic Violence, will hold its first event in Illinois on September 13, 2011, at the Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont, IL, during the PGA TOUR’s BMW Championship. One hundred percent of proceeds raised at Walk the Course-Chicagoland will benefit five domestic violence agencies in Illinois.


Avon’s $2 million commitment to create the Global Believe Fund is in addition to the company’s previously announced 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 U.S. 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.


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.