Women’s shelter celebrates grant


My Sister's House Executive Director Emily Lemus, left, talks with My Sister's House Board Chairman Claude Gardner, right, board member Anne Brantley, second from left, and board member Rocky Mount police Capt. George Robinson during a reception celebrating a $20,000 grant from the Mary Kay Foundation on Tuesday at the organization's office at Station Square.


Staff Writer

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

My Sister’s House of North Carolina celebrated a very special occasion Tuesday night at its main office in Rocky Mount.

The center held a reception at its main office at Station Square in Rocky Mount to celebrate a 2017 Domestic Violence Shelter Grant it received from the Mary Kay Foundation. This year marks the second time since 2006 that the facility has received the $20,000 grant.

The facility was one of 150 domestic violence centers nationwide and one of only two statewide to receive the grant from the nationally-known organization. Reach of Haywood County was the other North Carolina domestic violence center to receive a grant — of the same amount — from the foundation.

The grant is important for My Sister’s House of North Carolina because unlike other grants it has received, it is an unrestricted grant, said the center’s Executive Director Emily Lemus. That means that there are no limitations on how the money can be spent. Lemus said the center plans to use the money to install an updated security system.

“Safety always takes priority,” Lemus said. “I hope that once it is installed, our clients and staff will feel safe. I am really glad to offer that security to our clients and staff.”

Lemus said the 2017 Domestic Violence Shelter Grant was the first that she wrote when she took over as the center’s head in February, adding it is the center’s largest private foundation grant. She offered praise for the Mary Kay Foundation for making the grant available.

“I’m really excited about this,” Lemus said. “It is bold of the Mary Kay Foundation to take an issue that is hard to talk about and address it like this. At My Sister’s House, we are incredibly grateful for the support from the Mary Kay Foundation and its continued commitment to break the cycle of domestic violence.”

The Mary Kay Foundation has awarded more than $43 million in grant funding to domestic violence centers nationwide since 2000 and approximately $3 million this year alone. Lemus said 700 centers nationwide apply for the grant, and that field is narrowed down to 150 centers through examination of grant proposals by the foundation’s grant committee. Those 150 centers are each awarded $20,000.

More information on My Sister’s House is available online at http://www.mshnc.org.