Evanston/North Shore

YWCA Evanston/North Shore Wins Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Challenge®, Awarded $100,000 to Support Domestic Violence Survivors


Members of the Skokie Fire Department pose with the Purple Purse in support of victims of domestic violence. YWCA Evanston/North Shore partners closely with first responders to link survivors with the services they need as quickly as possible.

November 1, 2016 – Evanston-based nonprofit YWCA Evanston/North Shore recently won a $100,000 grand prize grant from The Allstate Foundation, triumphing over nearly 200 nonprofits nationally to win the Purple Purse Challenge. Funds raised will strengthen the community by providing services such as emergency and longer term housing and support, counseling, legal aid and financial education to help victims break free from abusive situations.

YWCA Evanston/North Shore has participated in the competition for the last three years, winning in 2014 and placing second in 2015.

“This is a feat that we could not have accomplished without the support of so many,” said YWCA Evanston/North Shore president and CEO Karen Singer. “We are so grateful to the community of close to 500 donors who gave in support of our comprehensive domestic violence programming.” 

Throughout the challenge, which took place in October, YWCA Evanston/North Shore staged a giant purple purse at various locations throughout the northern suburbs. Visitors to the giant purse had an opportunity to read survivors’ stories and were encouraged to post photos with the purse in support of domestic violence survivors and ending abuse.

Said Singer, “The Purple Purse campaign, which occurred during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, not only helped us financially, it also raised awareness of domestic violence. Calls to our 24-hour domestic violence crisis line and requests for emergency shelter often increase in October – a sign that when more women can name their situation and feel the support of a community, they often can make a call with the belief that they deserve better.”

The money from the contest will go directly to YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s free domestic violence services, which include staffing a 24-hour crisis line, providing safe rooms in the domestic violence shelter for survivors and their children, and expanding longer term housing and workforce training options. It also will help provide trained counselors, financial education, and legal advocacy so that women don’t have to navigate the intimidating process of filing for a court order of protection alone.

The Purple Purse Challenge is part of Allstate Foundation Purple Purse, which aims to help end domestic violence and financial abuse through economic empowerment. In its 12th year, Allstate Foundation Purple Purse has educated the public about how financial abuse traps victims in violent relationships. It has also propelled more than 800,000 victims on the path to safety and security, and invested more than $50 million to empower women to break free from abuse through life-changing financial education, job training and readiness, and small business programs.

If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, call YWCA Evanston/North Shore’s 24-hour crisis line at 877-718-1868, or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

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Learn more, get safe, get involved, empower yourself.