Former GRACE Board Member Mark Seebeck of Seeback & Associates presented a $5,000 donation to GRACE on behalf of Million Dollar Round Table Foundation (MDRT) to fund life-changing programs through GRACE.

The MDRT Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Million Dollar Round Table, an esteemed association with a robust history for elite professionals.

MDRT is an international, independent association of nearly 50,000 of the world’s best life insurance and financial services professionals. The esteemed association carries the gold standard for outstanding business practices worldwide.

By combining the generosity of each contributor, the MDRT Foundation is a powerful vehicle to maximize the global impact of MDRT members committed to improving the life of children and families in need through organizations like GRACE.

Since 1959, the MDRT Foundation has awarded more than $30M million in life-changing grants to charitable organizations worldwide. Seebeck has been a member of MDRT for over seventeen years, and was elected a “Top of the Table” member in 2012, shared by the narrow elite in the insurance and financial planning industry.

GRACE has been fortunate to have Seebeck’s oversight in multiple facets, including the Development Committee, GRACE Gala Committee, and the Strategic Planning Task Force that included oversight in Fundraising and Community Relations.

A special thanks to Mark Seebeck for serving as such a worthy ambassador for GRACE and MDRT Foundation, whose funding allows GRACE to continue our essential programs.


There are many ways it pays to shop resale. The thrill of the hunt, the satisfaction of a killer deal, and—unique to our community—the lasting impact it has on local families in need.

This post is speaking to our fix-it-yourselfers. You know who you are. But for those who have never experience how gratifying DIY projects can be, let us introduce some resale finds that make for the perfect Saturday project.

Thrifted Tray

tray.PNGThis tray makeover makes for a speedy project that requires a little bit of paint and a generic tray that can be found at either GRACEful Buys stores for pennies on the dollar.

Here the handles are embellished with twine, but you can get creative with gold metallic paint or strips of leather. Purchase acrylic paint and a foam brush from a local craft store, and you have a unique tray for around $5.

Monogrammed Plates

thriftplate.jpgA misplaced dish from grandmother’s china might not be impressive in its lonesome, but pair with three or four floral arrangements to make a charming monogrammed medley.

A growing trend in the craft world is upcycling old art or re-purposing a large frame. Many give old paintings new life by repainting over a canvas, or stenciling over the painting to let the old painting show through. There’s always the option to take out the art to frame something else.  One customer made custom art gallery in her nursery for less than $20.

Furniture Finds

furntiureAnd finally, for the fearless types there is the classic furniture makeover. Both GRACEful Buys locations have a longstanding reputation for the best furniture deals in town. A customer sent us her furniture makeover, and the finished product rivals what you would find at a high-end store for hundreds of dollars.

Perhaps most rewarding about your project is that it allows GRACE to meet tangible needs for families facing hardship. Every dollar generated from our resale store supports emergency relief and translates to warm meals, life-changing medical care, education and hope for the future.


Durham Intermediate School did it again, only this time with oodles of dungarees—253 pairs to be exact!

GRACE first got to know the students two years ago with the launch of their charity campaign, “Helping others is a ‘Bucket’ of fun”, where the students sold 2,600 paper designs to raise $1,300 for GRACE programs.

To think this same group of young children, some in or approaching 8th grade, have now managed a marketing campaign of this magnitude fills us with pride.

The students oversaw all the marketing logistics and stood with homemade signs outside the drop off area. They also designed posters that were shared throughout the school and broadcast through the school’s radio and TV station.

Denim is an essential commodity in all walks of life. For low-income families or teens experiencing homelessness, jeans are the most requested clothing item. They can be worn multiple times between washes, are durable, versatile and provide a sense of normalcy to the person wearing them.

“We have an unusually large number of adolescent boys who already need teen-sized jeans, says Clothing Room Manager Dina Pesina, “right now we are cleaning and collecting clothing to be prepared for the back-to-school rush in August. Quality jeans are a huge help to us.”

Thanks to these students for this impressive collection!

Current Clothing Room Needs

  • Boys and Girls socks in small and medium
  • Girls underwear sizes 6,8,14


The Southlake Dragons Varsity Baseball team went for an extra inning last week. The group had such a positive response that they divided and conquered to serve at not one, but BOTH GRACEful Buys locations!

The teams were introduced to the colored tagging system in the Men’s and Women’s section. The staff was amazed by how quickly the team finished the task at hand. The team also made a huge impression with their contagious energy as they helped load furniture for a customer.

“Our Varsity Dragon baseball players enjoyed the opportunity to give back to their community through GRACE,” said Coach Zach Sellers. “This was a chance for our team to serve others and put others first. Many of our players work with nonprofit groups year round because they know the importance of caring for others. We really have a special group of guys!”

Volunteers are a vital part of our operations, and one of the most encouraging aspects of the agency is its ability to engage all resources of a group, regardless of age.

Their impact is seen by how they lead the younger Dragons to serve families in need. GRACE has been able to facilitate charitable projects with the Southlake Carroll schools from elementary to high school. Most recently in September, Carroll ISD partnered with GRACE and Ozarka to host an unprecedented district-wide drive that collected a total of 5,849 pounds of food!

Volunteering at our resale sites might seem off the beaten path from providing assistance to families in need, but GRACE’s ability to serve other relies on the success of our resale stores.

The net proceeds generated from the stores work hard to provide food, clothing, shelter and medical care to local family members in the midst of hardship.

In the same way, every hour of volunteer service matters to a customer, a child or a parent receiving services from GRACE. Thanks to the Southlake Dragon Baseball team for their positive enthusiasm and work ethic!

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” – 1 Timothy 4:12


The GRACE Community Garden is in full bloom for the spring, and we are calling all families to take part in Family Gardening Day on Saturday, April 8.

This month’s volunteers were hard at work, planting 27 pounds of potatoes, 72 cabbages and 800 onions—all in under three hours!

Volunteers are putting their green thumbs to good use on St. Patrick’s Day weekend by planting squash, melons, corn and peppers. Families are invited to continue their work for the April workday, where volunteers will weed the nightshades plot, plant cucumbers and mulch new walkways.

Garden workdays are rewarding, feasible opportunities to help local families in a tangible way. Having access to fresh fruits and vegetables is a game changer for families, for whom fruits are a rare luxury and nutrition is key.

The GRACE Community Garden provides an average of 1,800 pounds of fresh, organic produce each year to nourish families in need.

Get some family friends together to plan for the Family Gardening Day April 8.

RSVP to Becca Clark at 817-454-0731.


A year and a half ago we introduced the GRACE family to Luther, a 36 year-old single father with his then 12 year-old son. A series of tragic events led him and his son on the brink of homelessness. You can read Luther’s story in his own words here.

By his own admission, the emotional hardship of personal loss left Luther in a fragile state that the pressures of life too heavy a burden to carry on his own.

As soon as Luther entered the Transitional Housing program, GRACE collaborated with our counseling partners, including Senior Adult Pastor Frank Roberson, LPC, MAMFC of First Baptist Grapevine to meet with Luther on a regular basis.

Roberson’s unique ability as a seminary-trained pastor and state licensed counselor allowed him to forge a relationship with Luther and present coping strategies when dealing with relationships, life events and grief.

Luther is an example of how individualized care and holistic support is a vital element in guiding a family toward self-sufficiency. Luther had the education needed to advance his career, and the drive to give the best for his son. But having a support system and professional support invigorated Luther to emotional wholeness, employment and confident fatherhood.

Luther had the courage to share his experiences during the recent Transitional Housing graduation, and we are happy to report that Luther is moving forward assured, equipped and determined continue a path of self-sufficiency.

luthersingingAfter his remarks he was compelled to share a song that had great meaning to him while in the program. Aside from being a talented musician, Luther sang with such a profound conviction that the audience will never soon forget the chorus:

Jesus take from me/All from the pressure, pressure, pressure/to be someone that you did not create. I just want to live for you, nobody else–just you

Luther’s journey has taught us that “casting your burdens to Jesus” requires love, vulnerability and courage. Please continue to pray for the emotional wellbeing of all our clients as they lean on God and his people to pursue an abundant life.

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” –Galatians 6:2


When Transitional Housing graduates follow new horizons after completing the program, it’s always bittersweet. Your generosity facilitates a life-changing experience that creates a lasting bond with their peers and the staff at GRACE.

Even though we know that we’ll keep in touch as their journey moves forward, a great deal of energy goes into allowing new families to enter the Transitional Housing Program, which can last up to two years of intense case management.

GRACE anticipates nearly a dozen new families this fiscal year.

It’s crucial that these women and men feel absolutely reassured when they come to GRACE, and have all the houseware comforts needed to make a new future.

We are calling for groups to prayerfully consider adopting a household, which means supplying everything a family would need when moving to a new location. This would include all kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, furnishings and food in the refrigerator.

This is a commitment that will have the full support of GRACE resources, but we are also looking to groups to coordinate together to ensure that these needs are met, whether it’s through fund raising, a donation drive or purchasing the items.

If your group is considering this, please contact Lara Hohweiler to discuss ideas.


Once a month, volunteers with Friends & Family deliver commodities to our senior population, many who are isolated, physically impaired or immobile.

These frequent visits, along with additional visits throughout the month, often forge a bond between the volunteer and the senior. Once a trust relationship is established, needs arise that might otherwise go unnoticed.

On an unusually bleak morning, a volunteer couldn’t help but notice how chilled Ruby’s* apartment was. Ruby shared that her heating unit stopped working, and there was nowhere else to turn for help.

The volunteer quickly got in touch with a GRACE staff member to meet the need. When longtime supporter Charlie Walker of Walker Engineering learned of the situation, not only did he immediately purchase the unit, he installed it himself.

While it’s never our hope that a client go without such an essential utility, the situation made us evaluate the client’s needs from every level to ensure that she received comprehensive support, including groceries, utility assistance and clothing.

According to Friends & Family Coordinator, Maryanne Waddell, the human interaction was above all the most meaningful gift to Ruby.

“After Mr. Walker and the Executive Director paid a visit to her home to check on her, [Ruby] said she felt incredibly loved and cared for. We often take those small relationships for granted, but just knowing that there are people who remember and care for them mean the world to seniors that crave that connection with others.”

Thanks to the Walker Family and Walker Engineering for being so quick to meet the timely needs of others, and for our wonderful volunteers who are always looking to enrich the lives of those they serve.

Participating in the Friends & Family program, which provides assistance and companionship to displaced or immobile seniors, is a much-needed avenue to extend your heart to a senior in need of affection. Contact Maryanne Waddell to find how your talents align with a need.

*Name changed to preserve anonymity



A note from the Executive Director

I am tremendously humbled to receive the 2017 D.E. Box Citizen of the Year Award from the Grapevine Chamber not because of any accomplishments of my own, but the legacy of the leaders who have preceded me.

To fully appreciate the award’s namesake, some background is appropriate.

D.E. Box moved to Grapevine in 1919 to found the Tarrant County State Bank, which is now known as First National Bank of Grapevine. In the beginning of the 20th century, establishing a local bank was a strategic move so Grapevine families could flourish with commerce and small business following the slump of the First World War.

Box played integral roles in the community, also founding Box Insurance and serving as a Mason and member of the Lions Club and Texas Bankers Association, among others. Upon his death in 1957, The Grapevine Chamber established an award in his name to recognize those who pioneered growth and goodwill to create the unique community we know and love today.

One can hardly imagine how different life was nearly one hundred years ago when shopping plazas were cotton farms, but the spirit of service remains the same. 

Today, the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce continues to honor DE Box’s legacy by identifying a member of our community as a “Citizen of the Year”.  To even be mentioned in the category of the individuals who have received this award over the past 60 years is an honor in and of itself.  I am flattered by this recognition and feel the responsibility of carrying forward the legacy of DE Box and all of the great citizens of this city.

May God bless you and keep you as we serve together.

In His Service,

Shonda's signature

Shonda Schaefer, GRACE Executive Director

Help us congratulate the winners and nominees of the Grapevine Chamber Awards (winners are in bold.)

D.E. Box Citizen of the Year

  • Chris Badger
  • Debbie Gill
  • Scott Mahaffey
  • Teri Rhodes
  • Shonda Schaefer

Business Hall of Fame

  • Edd’s Towing
  • First Financial Bank
  • Grapevine Mills
  • John T. Evans Company
  • Wise Guys Pizzeria

Don Ramey Community Spirit

  • Debbie Gill
  • Susie Howell
  • Joy Mayo
  • Bruno Rumbelow 
  • Natalie Thompson-Garner
  • Elite Care 24 Emergency Room

Member of the Year

  • Kirby Kercheval, KD Factors & Financial Services, LLC
  • Kevin McNamara, Wise Guys Pizzeria 
  • Shonda Schaefer, GRACE
  • Charlie Van Zant, Retired, VIP

Ted Willhoite Legacy Award

  • Mike Davis
  • Jon Michael & Sue Franks 
  • Ken Thompson

Women’s Division Woman of the Year

  • Lori Choate
  • Traci Coy
  • Dottie DiiBon 
  • Marci Junge
  • Janice Kane
  • Emily McRoberts
  • Joe Ann Standlee
  • BJ Wilson

Director of the Year

  • LeAnn Brown 
  • Steve Brown
  • Susie Howell
  • Theresa Mason

Chairman’s Award

  • Steve Brown, Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano 

Ambassador of the Year

  • Linda Broom 
  • Lori Billman
  • Nancy Cable
  • Bruce Whitlock
  • Teri Rhodes

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