“Cooking Matters” at GRACE

Cooking Matters

Nutrition courses at the GRACE Community Clinic take a competitive turn when graduation nears. Students in the 6-week course turned into Iron Chefs in a “Battle of Healthy and Delicious” last week.

Each team brought their superb skills, knowledge, teamwork and confidence in meal preparation into the Community Clinic Kitchen—all skills gained through the Cooking Matters for Adults course.

Each week of the course, Cooking Matters participants receive take-home groceries, which they can use at home to practice a recipe they learned in class. The course includes:

  • Participatory food preparation that provides cooking and food safety instruction
  • Engaging nutritional activities and discussions
  • Promotion of healthier eating habits
  • Practice with food budgeting
  • Workbook and 65 healthy, delicious recipes
  • Tips on grocery store visits or other food shopping experiences
  • Communal eating of the food made in class
  • Celebratory final class and graduation ceremony for participants who completed at least four of the six classes


Each of the Cooking Matters curricula use the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid as the foundation for basic nutrition guidelines, then builds upon these ideas, using interactive lessons to teach cooking, food safety, and food resource management.

The Cooking Matters classes are locally sponsored by the Tarrant County Food Bank and nationally sponsored by ConAgra Foods Foundation and generously supported by the Walmart Foundation. Volunteers are provided through Tarrant County Food Bank.

The next 6 weeks’ Cooking Matters course begins on Wednesday, October 1 at GRACE Community Clinic, 837 East Walnut Street in Grapevine. Classes will be held each Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. through November 5.

For more information contact the GRACE Community Clinic, 817-488-7009, ext. 151.

By the way, the “Battle of Healthy and Delicious” ended in a wholesome, nutritious draw!
by Shirley Roberts, RN BAS CCM

Feed Our Kids Wraps Summer 2014

FOKThe last of the plastic folding picnic tables are making their way to storage. The smiling faces, the giggles and grateful “thanks” are memories to the hundreds of volunteers who braved both downpours and blistering heat the past few months.

The eighth season of GRACE Feed Our Kids ended today. Lori Stevens, GRACE Seasonal Programs Manager who oversees the Feed Our Kids activities, estimates over 37,000 lunches were served this year.

It is a bittersweet time for Lori, who begins work early in the spring to secure volunteer groups and then conducts training sessions for group leaders to manage their sites. The sadness of saying goodbye to the hundreds of volunteers—and to the neighborhoods of children—is tempered by knowing tens of thousands of lunches were given out this summer.

The longevity of Feed Our Kids is a testament to the volunteers who join the program early in the season with the promise of taking on a day, a week or more at one of the six Feed Our Kids sites.

Summer feeding programs were rare when Feed Our Kids started eight years ago. Children on the school’s free and reduced lunch program were left with very few options when summer started. Even now the other feeding programs require children to walk several blocks, many crossing busy streets, to get lunch.

Feed Our Kids volunteers go directly into their neighborhoods, set up tents and give out meals and goody bags. As simple as that concept sounds, the coordination, scheduling volunteer help, securing provisions, and managing site facilities is quite an undertaking.

The Feed Our Kids program, and the children who would go hungry without it, rely solely on the generosity, drive and commitment of its volunteers.

Congratulations to all who made Feed Our Kids a part of their lives this summer. On behalf of GRACE: Job well done!

On behalf of those you served: You may never know the extent of the good you’ve accomplished or the lives you’ve changed, but know that years from now, these kids—then grown—will remember this summer fondly—and the good times they had at Feed Our Kids.

Gown Couture at GRACE

GalagownsWhat is greater than looking like a million bucks? Wearing high-end, designer couture for a fraction of the cost! As special occasions are nearing such as Homecoming, company events, the GRACE Gala, or even a night at the theater, gowns at Style & GRACE range from extravagant to classically elegant. Floor length, cocktail, and even that little black dress can be spotted at Style & GRACE. We can accommodate most necklines, hems and sizes, and the money you save on the dress allows you to get it customized, so your gown is impeccably tailored for your body shape. All are gently worn, and many have only been worn once. Some gowns still have the original price tag, but we promise you won’t have to pay it!

“We love this time of year because all women love to get dressed up,” says Jana McGlone, Style & GRACE Manager, “women might come to Style & GRACE with jeans and a t-shirt, but they’ll leave with a stunning formal outfit from head to toe.”

Not only does Style & GRACE accommodate a variety of colors and sizes, we currently have an extensive stock of jewelry, which every woman knows is the ultimate statement piece.

Style & GRACE has become a particularly popular destination for GRACE Gala gowns. The excitement builds as the weeks near the big day. The GRACE community loves to make it a fashionable night, and who can blame them on the most distinguished evening in Northeast Tarrant County? The GRACE Gala celebrates what has been done and looks forward to what can be accomplished in the community. It also gives women the chance to put their fashion foot forward, with swanky heels purchased at Style & GRACE of course.

Both your patronage of the GRACE resale stores and your donations of clothing, housewares and other items support GRACE programs that provides much-needed services to thousands of people in Northeast Tarrant County and surrounding community. Style & GRACE is located on 121 and Glade in Grapevine near Hobby Lobby. Visit http://www.Style-and-GRACE.com for more information.


Gala Tables….Going…Going….

GalaAuctionTableThe GRACE Gala Auction promises some great bargains, wonderful gift-shopping and something-for-everybody.

The Auction, held in conjunction with the GRACE Gala, October 11 at the Irving Convention Center, is in three parts.  There will be hundreds of terrific Silent Auction items and packages valued from $40 to $1,000 and more.  This year, bidding with smart phones and devices will add to Silent Auction excitement.

A select number of packages valued upwards from $1,000 will be included on the Big Board that will be updated throughout the night as the bids come in.  Strategically-placed wide-screen monitors will keep guests updated on the bidding action.

Finally, a special select group of items and packages will be auctioned live with renowned auctioneer Mike Jones as the guest caller.

One item Mike will be gaveling is a sponsorship to the GRACE Gala in 2015. The 2013 Gala was a sell-out, and tables to this year’s event are filling up fast! Eleven lucky people secured their tables for the 2014 Gala during last year’s Live Auction.

Winning bidders will be recognized as a Bronze Sponsor—with all the amenities. Also, Ken Thompson at The Thompson Group at Classic Chevrolet, title sponsor of the GRACE Gala, has promised the choice of a Camaro, Tahoe or Suburban to use during 2015 Gala Weekend.

Mike will also put up many great items like destination resorts—most with travel included, and one-of-a kind experiences, jewelry, sports and entertainment.

But you can only bid by attending the GRACE Gala October 11.  Call for table and ticket information: 817-305-4654. Or visit www.GRACEGala.org.


Keep GRACE in the lead!


For 18 hours on September 18 from 6 a.m.to midnight GRACE supporters will have the opportunity to amplify their donation from a pool of two million dollars in bonus funds and prizes! To promote giving in our community, North Texas Giving Day is giving multiple rewards to nonprofits throughout the day for a total of 60 prizes ranging from $500 to $10,000. As one of 1,600 nonprofits in North Texas, your involvement is crucial in keeping us on the leaderboard and making GRACE eligible for bonus cash awards!  Each dollar you give goes toward advancing GRACE’s mission to serve our community. On the 18th, your dollar goes further, and so does your community impact.

Here is a list of the prizes GRACE can win during North Texas Giving Day:

  • Best Business Partnership: If your business is interested in advancing the mission of GRACE by North Texas Giving Day, GRACE would be eligible for an additional $2,500 cash bonus. Contact Jennifer Jayroe at JJayroe@gracegrapevine.org.
  • Top Two Nonprofits: Awarded to the top two nonprofits with the most donors.
  • Top Two Nonprofits: Awarded to two nonprofits with the largest increase in number of donors over last year.
  • Golden Tickets: Awarded $1,000 every hour from the list of nonprofits who received donations during that hour.
  • Random Prize for the 1,929th Donation: Awarded to the organization receiving the 1,929th donation in honor of the year The Dallas Foundation was established.
  • Random Prize for the 2,014th Donation: Awarded to the organization receiving the 2,014th donation to celebrate a stellar year.
  • Tarrant County Prizes: Four $2,500 prizes will be awarded to organizations present during the Sundance Square event.
  • Communities Foundation of Texas Prize: Awarded at random to two nonprofits present at the Communities Foundation of Texas Headquarters.
  • Most Re-Tweets: Awarded $500 to the nonprofit with the most retweets using hashtag #NTXGivingDay.

The best way to participate is spread the word about North Texas Giving Day and share GRACE’s mission with others. Donations to GRACE on September 18 can be made directly HERE.

 By: Jennifer Jayroe

Welcome Heather

hortnerGRACE is proud to welcome Heather Ortner to the staff as the Marketing Communications Manager. Her primary duties will be to manage the community relations, advertising, branding and marketing functions of the agency. The weekly Amazing GRACE newsletter, emails ads for Style & GRACE and GRACEful Buys resale stores and the GRACE websites are just of few of her mass communication duties.

Heather joins GRACE from the staff of the Mid Cities Pregnancy Center in Euless. There she managed much of the design and print work, media and communications, and event planning .

Her work as the Director of Marketing at Mid Cities, and before that in Community Relations at Williamson County (TX) Pregnancy Help Center, brings significant knowledge and experiences in the areas of development, graphic design, social media, event and campaign management and community engagement.

Heather has a heart for equipping children and parents to strengthen families and foster giving in our community. She can be reached at 817-305-4652, or by email at hortner@gracegrapevine.org.


Eagle Scout Soars on Heat Waves at GRACE Main Cottage

BoyScoutProj“Keep hydrated,” were the cautious watchwords of the day. To a person, the more than two dozen Boy Scouts, their troop leaders, moms and dads heeded Eagle Scout Candidate Daniel Stroik’s prudent advice. By mid-afternoon (and the heat of the day) the landscaping in front of the GRACE Main Office Cottage had been transformed from a rock bed into a lush garden.

Daniel’s Eagle Scout project seemed simple enough: root out the dead or dying boxwoods; salvage the four live boxwoods and Mexican Sage bush; pull out the grass that had woven its way through the gravel that someone had intended as a xeriscape years ago; and replant with modern drought-resistant and heat-tolerant plants.

The bed’s southern exposure and the reflection of the white cottage, added to the “inexact” watering and fertilizing regimen over the years, had created hardscrabble gray soil and a rock garden cemented by run-off sediments. When the troop’s trailer filled with gardening tools, especially the viscous-looking four-claw weeders, pulled into the GRACE parking lot, it was evident Daniel knew the full extent of his task and was ready for the challenge.

Participation by members of Daniel’s troop was inspired and dedicated. Also, whether intended or coincidence, younger members of the troop joined workers closer in age to Daniel. It was a genius move as the older, taller and stronger volunteers struggled with the tenacious boxwood roots with leverage from above and the younger volunteers tackled the underbrush work with clippers and saws.

Throughout the day, Daniel and his crew learned lesson after lesson on the usage of spades and other types of shovels  (and the joy of a very sharp sharpshooter blade), pick axes and adzes, weeders, pruners, loppers and cultivators—all hand tools, and the blisters to prove it.

After a pizza-laced breather, the afternoon wore on with retaining stones, top soils, mulches and greenery where once brownery reigned. The final touch was a hand-made (by Daniel himself) glass and stone mosaic of the GRACE logo placed as a welcome to the Cottage.

The day’s tally included sore backs, bruised shins, bandaged fingers, case after case of empty water bottles, and dozens of Boy Scout red t-shirts soaked-through with the joy of helping others and the pride of a job well done.

Thanks Daniel and friends!