Giving That Goes a Long Way
Charitable giving at M3 is so inextricably linked with purpose that we have a hard time separating the two. In other words, we’re focused on what the dollars can really do. We give to local organizations that are amazingly effective at transforming the lives of people in need. The inspiring dedication of these organizations and the courage of the people they support remind M3 of the things that really matter in life.
IMPACT IN ACTION:
A Shelter, a Place to Heal, And So Much More
“Confidential.” Not all that long ago, that was the address to DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services) in Madison, Wisconsin. Functioning from two single-family homes cobbled together for shelter and admin space, conditions could get cramped and chaotic. But it was from those less-than-ideal surroundings that a determined staff carried out the DAIS mission: support and empower survivors of domestic violence and advocate for social change through community education and outreach.
But staff at DAIS also had a dream: to someday create a space that not only reflected safety and security as its highest priority, but one that existed as a visible – and integral – part of a supportive community. Such a place would be a beacon to those desperately in need of refuge. More than that, it would serve as a hub in which the larger community could participate in an open dialogue about domestic violence through volunteer trainings, community gatherings, and partner organization meetings.
Today, thanks to a multi-year initiative called the Capital Campaign and the support of hundreds of businesses, organizations, and individuals from the Dane County community, that DAIS is here.
Liz Klaus, Donation Coordinator at DAIS, explains that M3 and other companies who became strong supporters of the Capital Campaign early on “were essential to sending a message that this project is important.” She adds, “It was obvious that M3 believed in the mission of DAIS. They invested at critical points during the campaign, and we saw them as key leaders in the community.”
According to Liz, that’s why DAIS approached M3, along with CUNA Mutual and Madison Gas and Electric, to name the new building’s community room.
The Reality of Domestic Violence
Victims of domestic violence often live in a world of shame and secrecy. According to Liz Klaus, Donation Coordinator for DAIS (Domestic Abuse Intervention Services), that’s exactly why it’s so important to understand the prevalence of domestic violence. Nationally, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be the victim of severe physical assault at the hands of an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime.
More locally, Liz offers this statistic for the Madison/Dane County area: every year about a third of all cases (roughly 3,000) that police refer to the district attorney’s office are for domestic violence related crimes. Now add to this the estimated 3 in 4 domestic violence incidents that go unreported and you begin to understand how serious the problem is.
From its recently built Mortenson Family Center for Hope and Safety on Madison’s Northside, DAIS not only serves as the only emergency domestic violence shelter in Dane County, it provides crucial services to the greater community, services that help people better understand the causes – and solutions – to domestic violence.
“We thought it was powerful that these three companies were coming together to name the space and publicly pledge their support to ongoing outreach, education, and training – the kinds of activities that could now be done out of this crucial space.”
Donations not only helped build the new DAIS center; they send an important message to abuse survivors. Liz explains that victims of domestic violence are often told by their abusers that no one else cares about them. “They can really be broken down from their experience,” she says. “So being able to see support from the community can be empowering for abuse survivors. It says, ‘We support you, we are invested in your safety and healing, and you are not alone.’”