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AND THE MVP GOES TO…

The Second Quarter 2017 GRACE MVP Award winner was nominated based on exceptional customer service, outstanding attitude, innovative thinking, interdepartmental collaboration, teamwork, and excellence in mission.

Sarah Armand is a true example of the GRACE Mission and Core Values.  As the Development Associate, she is the epitome of a servant leader and readily takes on special projects, specifically managing inventories for the GRACE Gala Auctions.

Sarah was a finalist in 2017 Admin Awards for her resourcefulness and relentless perseverance in a project that will make strides in refining high-level operations.

In addition to making sure every donor is thanked, gift acknowledged and auction item is accounted for, Sarah is charged with developing an understanding of GRACE’s relationship and accounting database.

The project that aptly entered Sarah into The Achiever Award category is her determined approach at integrating the two in order to streamline her processes.

Sarah is consistently gracious, personable, and has a wonderful sense of humor with those she comes in contact with. GRACE is tremendously blessed to have Sarah’s her poise, servant heart, and high attention to detail to further the GRACE mission.

Congratulations, Sarah!

Sarah’s husband, Co-owner of Big Daddy’s is hosting

Stock the GRACE Food Pantry

 a BBQ benefit raising funds and food donations.

July 19 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Scott’s Landing Marina Club Room (neighboring Big Daddy’s)

Barbecue and Live Entertainment

Entry is a suggested donation of $10 to GRACE or a food donation that will benefit the GRACE Food Pantry. 

“I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU WELCOMED ME IN”

Last week we had the privilege of handing keys to a grateful Transitional Housing client on her 65th birthday. White’s Chapel Church joined us to welcome *Karen to her newly-remodeled apartment and finally call it home.

While *Karen’s new chapter is just beginning, her response to last week’s blessings has already given us some important things to reflect on as a community.

Here are two things we encourage you to consider on this week in regard to the newest member of the GRACE family.

Not only can hospitality change the world, it can make a significant impact on our cities and neighborhoods

When we love and serve others in the community through hospitality, we are also serving God. Hospitality is taken very seriously in the Bible. Hospitality is described as a spiritual gift for some, but it’s something that all believers should practice.

When you support GRACE, you are creating a sanctuary for those God sends our way. Your support is a response to the urgent need for shelter, and a direct response to Jesus when He says, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me in.”

Your support reinforces value to clients who often lose their sense of self-worth along the way

You might not be able to meet GRACE clients face to face, but we want you to know what a profound impact having a stable home can make on a downtrodden spirit.

*Karen described her situation as the “bottom falling out.” It’s not uncommon for Transitional Housing clients to come to GRACE downtrodden, weary and discouraged.

When *Karen opened her closets to find clothing, cleaning supplies and other essentials, she exclaimed, “God loves me!” as if the experience itself answered the question her heart longed to answer.

Your support confirms what we already know to be true, that *Karen and other women and men who come through GRACE’s doors are precious, and worthy of being our special guest.

If you have a heart for welcoming women and men to the Transitional Housing program, we’d like to share ideas and resources that will fit your time and talents. Contact Transitional Housing Manager, Jamé Scott.

*Name changed to preserve identity 

KARLA’S SAVING GRACE

Feed Our Kids Volunteer Karla Turner has a unique bond with those who come to a particular Feed Our Kids site whose residents are most vulnerable to hunger. She and her three boys used to live there.

Karla relocated to Grapevine from Detroit in the early nineties and made their home in an apartment off Mustang Drive.

In addition to being a single mother, not having transportation made everyday tasks problematic. While she maintained a steady job at the Grapevine Senior Center, being the sole wage earner for a family of four meant money was tight.

A friend connected her with GRACE, where Karla received utility assistance for the hot summers and cold winters, and shopped at the GRACE Food Pantry to ensure there was enough food in the cupboard.

This was also a time before smart phones and search engines, and she recalls how comforting it was to have an advocate she could call on for referrals or family resources.

When asked if GRACE impacted her family, Karla’s tearful response was, “How can it not? Even though I had no family here, I knew I didn’t have to do it by myself. I was treated more than a client at GRACE. It gave me the confidence to pursue greater education and lead by example for my sons.”

Karla achieved her Associates Degree in Education, but it’s easy to tell that her most proud achievements are the boys she raised into remarkable men.

karla2Michael studied at Tarrant County College, and enjoys a stable, fulfilling job. Montgomery graduated with an academic scholarship to Baylor University, and is passionate improving healthcare policy. Dennis is about to graduate from University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Business and Marketing.

The close-knit congregation they attended was made up of fathers who were intentional about taking Karla’s sons to baseball games, fishing trips, and other opportunities for Christlike mentorship.

Michael, Montgomery and Dennis realize it’s important to revisit their roots in what is now The Courtyards Apartments to develop relationships with children who face the same struggles they once faced.

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Their family is passionate about encouraging at-risk children to dream big, and often remind them that the world is a big place full of opportunity and chances. Karla says she’s watched these children grow up, and doesn’t want them to feel forgotten.

“Without GRACE and the divine relationships within the Church, my boys would have been a statistic,” said Karla.

GRACE is grateful for Covenant Church and Karla’s family for serving families in the midst of hardships. Thank you for your servant heart and example!

Karla has partnered with GRACE on behalf of Covenant Church, where she serves on staff as the Special Events Coordinator. This is Karla’s seventh summer participate in Feed Our Kids.

CONGREGATION BETH ISRAEL RAISES $5,000 FOR LOCAL FAMILIES

The brotherhood at Congregation Beth Israel (CBI) collected $5,000 on behalf of local families in need.

CBI is in its fourth year of partnership with GRACE as an event beneficiary for their annual casino night, which takes place at the Good Shepherd Community Hall in Colleyville.

The unique event has garnered support from the entire community with exciting themes like Bond for a Night, Masquerade, and the latest theme, which transported us to a time of leather and poodle skirts in GREASE.

Macs on Main always customizes a top-notch menu to live up to the preceding year, and guests purchased “chips” for play and enter to win from a vast selection of raffle prizes.

The ticket proceeds, raffle sales and other purchases generated enough funds to feed 200 families for a week!

A heartfelt thanks to congregants and community leaders who invested their time into making the special event and equally meaningful one.

FOOD WHEN IT COUNTS

Meet Stephen Reynolds, GRACE’s new Food Pantry Assistant. Stephen retired after 24 years in the world of academia as a mathematics teacher and tutor.

He first learned about GRACE after his wife, Sharon, started working at GRACEful Buys Euless. He was so impressed by the scope of services, particularly meeting the tangible needs at the Food Pantry, that he left retirement for continued service to children and their parents.

Stephen is responsible for coordinating food pickups from grocers and other partners, and of course, counting the food inventory for quick distribution. It’s important to weigh and make an account of each donation quickly so it makes it to the shelves long before the expiration date.

In addition to coordinating pickups, the Food Pantry works hard to meet public health guidelines and offers maintenance support to GRACE facilities.

When Stephen first arrived, he was most notably surprised by frequency of groups and families who drop off donations “almost serendipitously” to supplement the daily needs at the Food Pantry.

“Throughout the day, people drop off bags of groceries and canned goods at our doorstep,” said Stephen, “it’s nice to know that every day, people are thinking of other families who need help.”

Welcome to the team, Stephen!

WHEN PICTURES GIVE A THOUSAND SMILES

If art reveals the heart, the children participating in Feed Our Kids have hearts flooded with color.

The community has continued to rally together, serving 16, 715 meals thus far into the summer months. It’s a remarkable feat itself to provide this many lunches, but children also receive something less tangible to measure, and that’s mentorship, kindness and laughter.

These pictures, drawn by a girl and a boy, give a glimpse of what it means to spend time with children who are not only at risk for hunger, but face summertime isolation and loneliness because of their parent’s stringent, often laborious, shifts.

Yesterday, the GRACE Boardroom was nearly standing room only with children and volunteer mentors during story time.

Groups that bring special games, festivities or treats make a profound impact on the summer for children who may not get to go to water parks, ride roller coasters or take a summer trip to the beach.

The groups become a family to these children. During NCL Southlake’s Feed Our Kids meal day, Paco carefully drew each of the NCL members alongside his family.

A young girl left behind a beautiful symbol of heartfelt appreciation during Community Impact’s meal day, a reminder that extending kindness to people of all ages is a beautiful image of God’s love and GRACE.

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FACE OF GRACE: SARAH WARE

Not only does the work of GRACE bring out the best in the people we serve, we believe GRACE brings out the BEST people to see that our mission is carried out.

“Faces of GRACE” is an editorial series that highlights instrumental members of the GRACE community.

Meet Sarah Ware of Sarah Ware Photography, the professional who captures the GRACE mission behind her lenses.

What compelled you to share your talents with GRACE?

I have always loved what GRACE has done for the community and always wanted to help contribute in any way I could.  I love photography, so it seemed like a no-brainer to help a wonderful organization by doing something that I absolutely love.

Sarah attests that even as a preteen, she rarely left the house without a camera around her neck. She pursued it as a hobby while struggling with her day job. In 2014, she had the courage to start her own business, and now has the ability to utilize her talents to help families through GRACE.

How have you used your talents to serve the GRACE mission?

Professional portraits, Gala Committee Photo, Board of Directors Photos, VIP Parties, the GRACE Gala Gifting Party, and of course, the GRACE Gala. I’m also collaborating with GRACE to do a client photo session, which I am really excited about!

Tell us what brings you to Grapevine

I moved to Grapevine my freshman year of high school. After graduation, I moved around quite a bit but made my way back to Grapevine. I have been married to my husband, a Grapevine native, for eight years. We have two beautiful children: a six-year-old son and four-year-old daughter.

We love everything about living in Grapevine; it’s such a fun place to not only live but a great place to have a business as well.

What is your photography specialty and why?

Newborn and first birthday sessions are probably my absolute favorite to shoot. Newborns, well who doesn’t love babies? One-year-olds’ personalities are so cute and parents really get into the sessions.

What would you say to the person who is hesitant to share their talents with GRACE or another non-profit?

I would say go for it. There are so many benefits that come with donating your time or services to a non-profit like GRACE; you can’t go wrong.

You are helping those in your community by donating your time the organization can use those dollars in other areas to help those that really need it.  You are also out there networking with other people in your community.

Lastly, and this is probably the best part, the people that you get to work with. Everyone that works at GRACE or volunteers their time is truly genuine.  The light within them just shines and being able to surround yourself with that light is just good for the soul.

What light shines brightest to you?

I have a special heart for GRACE Transitional Housing.

My mom raised us as a single mother, and although we weren’t escaping the same troubles these families might be, I know the struggle can feel overwhelming.

To be able to watch these mothers take their kids out of terrible situations, start over and thrive is just awe inspiring.  GRACE does such a phenomenal job helping them; it makes my heart so happy to contribute to this organization.

If you’re ready to share your talents with GRACE, we can connect your unique abilities with the needs in the community. Contact Volunteer Manager Lara Hohweiler for resources and ideas.

HELP US MEET THE NEEDS OF LOCAL CHILDREN

Volunteer support allows us the opportunity to provide struggling families with clothing, shoes, backpacks and supplies for their children.

GRACE will be at the GCISD Fair to dispense material assistance and make connections with families who might need additional support throughout the year.

Volunteers are needed August 4 & 5 to load trucks with donations, unload and transport items to the fair. Those under 18 can assist with as runners, and older volunteers might interface with families on behalf of GRACE alongside GRACE Staff.

This is an excellent family opportunity to serve other families needing special care at this time of year.

Though not required, volunteers who have dollies are asked to bring them, and all volunteers must feel comfortable lifting 30-40 pounds.

Sign up here

Did you know?

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

The number of homeless children in public schools has reached an estimated 1.3 million students

One in four children lives in a food insecure household, and is more likely to get sick and endure impeded emotional physical and intellectual development.

MEET GRACE’S NEWEST PARTNER, WAYFM

Our goal at GRACE is for families to know that when times are difficult, they are not alone. We extend God’s love to those in need by meeting the physical necessities that allow families to heal emotionally or spiritually.

In the same way, WAYFM is a faith-based radio that makes its point of contact in the most intimate settings—someone’s car, office or home—to let love and encouragement speak to the seemingly impossible situations.

WAYFM has partnered with GRACE to highlight our resale operations, which supports a portion of our program operations. In addition, WAYFM is extending their reach to new audiences as a GRACE Gala Amethyst Sponsor.

WAYFM was started by a married couple who realized the radio industry at the time didn’t address every generation. With faith and only two weeks of reserve in the bank, the station is now nationally-syndicated, launching new online platforms to reach a global audience.

The station’s “2020 Vision” is to reach 10M people throughout the world in order to influence authenticity in carrying out their faith, which includes our community!

The partnership launched an estimated 80 spots this month alone to share the GRACE mission to local families and businesses. So be sure add 89.7 to your presets; you might hear a familiar voice on the radio and the right song at just the right moment.

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