GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — To mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month, DTE Energy’s charitable arm is making donations to every state-approved domestic violence shelter in Michigan.
Some $400,000 in grants is going to 44 shelters, the DTE Energy Foundation announced during a Wednesday event at the YWCA of West Central Michigan in downtown Grand Rapids.
The YWCA helps victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including by providing a shelter for women and children.
It says government grants fund about 65% of its operations.
“We certainly don’t charge people that are in domestic violence situations for our services so we rely on charitable dollars,” Peggy Bishop, the YWCA board treasurer, said. “And I think DTE Energy Foundation is really leading the way for other companies to take note that this is a very powerful, very real subject that is happening here in our community and that we need those dollars to continue the great work that we do to support those that are victims to become survivors.”
She urged anyone who needs help to turn to the YWCA. It has a hotline that can be reached any time at 616.454.9922.
The DTE Energy Foundation said this is the first time the organization has provided a grant covering the entire state.
“(Shelters) do phenomenal work,” foundation President Lynette Dowler said. “And they have a heart for it. They do this work because they have a heart for lending themselves to provide hope, healing and health to the clients that are here so I’m very confident every penny will be well invested.”
In partnership with the Kent County Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team, the YWCA hosts a vigil at the start of each October to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month. At the event earlier this month, dozens of names were read to remember those who died as a result of domestic violence in Michigan in the last year.