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GRACE Blog

Giving as we have received to help those in need

JOIN US FOR A VOLUNTEER ORIENTATION

Our programs are only as good as our volunteers, and the compassionate care GRACE provides to over 5,000 family members each year is only made possible by the talented, selfless, and generous volunteers in the community.

An estimated 5,700 volunteers served approximately 51,533 hours this past year, which means if each volunteer combined their hour of service, someone would be serving at GRACE 24 hours a day for nearly six years!

The first way to get engaged is by attending the GRACE Volunteer Orientation, a one-hour informational session in an intimate setting that relays the scope of programs, addresses questions and—most importantly—determines which type of service projects would be best suited for your individual talents and resources.

“We believe that every person at every age and from every walk of life has God-given talents and resources to offer,” says Volunteer Manager Lara Hohweiler. “If there is a cause you care deeply about, we’re here to help facilitate a way to serve.”

Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to attend an hour-long orientation to find ways to get involved. Orientation dates and other information can be found on our website.

Here’s a quote from longtime volunteer, Terry Meyers, about her Friends & Family senior companion as a GRACE volunteer:

“To be honest, I know I’ve gotten more from this experience than anyone,” says Terry, “Catherine never ceases to amaze me. Although she is legally blind and faces health issues; she is remarkably sharp, determined, and has a great sense of humor. Before coming to GRACE, I prayed God would give me the right direction; I’m so thankful He led me here.”

“WHY DOES SHE STAY?” A FORMER VICTIM SPEAKS ON THE TOPIC

While we rely on psychologists, seasoned social workers, and domestic violence experts to directly address the physical, emotional and spiritual turmoil domestic abuse can cause, as advocates for clients fleeing domestic abuse we’d like to share a message that speaks to the most common question people ask involving domestic abuse: “Why does she stay with her abuser?”

A Harvard and Wharton Business School graduate moving up the ranks at Fortune 500 companies is hardly the type of person someone might assume falls into the psychological trap of an abusive dynamic, but at 22-years old, this was Leslie Morgan Steiner’s story.

This engaging Tedx speaker corrects misconceptions in hopes to recognize the early subtle signs of violence and reveal how abuse thrives in silence.

Watch the 15-minute address here.

tedtalk

GRACE IS HIRING!

GRACE is looking to grow our family! If you or someone you love is looking to utilize their skill set to advance the GRACE mission, there are several open positions to meet the growing needs of our clients.

Driver/Donation Station Intake Coordinator Associate

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Donation acceptance and processing for resale store
  • Unloading donations from donor vehicles
  • Loading trailers/trucks for deliveries
  • Driving box truck and loading/unloading furniture & household items and making deliveries
  • Equipment maintenance checks
  • Some warehouse work
  • Requires ability to lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly and stand for extended periods of time
  • Must work weekends
  • Must be able to work outside in hot/cold temperatures
  • Ability to multi-task
  • Must have valid, current Driver License and good driving record; CDL not required, but applicants must be 21 years of age or older due to insurance requirements
  • Previous warehouse and/or nonprofit experience preferred
  • Previous experience as a mover or with furniture delivery preferred.

Please note: position requires working outside in the heat/cold. Qualifications and requirements listed are not exclusive. All offers of employment are contingent upon the results of reference checks, a criminal background check, drug screen and lift test. Submit minimum salary requirement and resume to hr@gracegrapevine.org

Apply for position


Grantwriter

GRACE is seeking an organized, mission-minded individual to research and write grant proposals for funding and manage/maintain donor database. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: research and write grants that result in new funds for agency programs and/or expansion of services; develop proficiency with Sage Fundraising 50 and other software to ensure proper entry of grant information and reporting data; work closely with Program staff to gather needed application and report information; provide on-going report of grants progress monthly; work with Development Team on an on-going basis to accomplish department and agency goals. Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and/or equivalent combination of education and experience; 3-5 years non-profit fund development experience, grant writing preferred; demonstrated computer knowledge including experience in Microsoft software and Sage Fund Raising 50/Abila software preferred; excellent communication skills. Position reports to the Director of Development.

All offers of employment are contingent upon the results of a criminal background check, drug screen and reference checks.

Apply for position


 

Pantry/Warehouse Assistant

GRACE is seeking an organized, mission-minded individual to work closely with the GRACE Pantry Manager to maintain the pantry site and services.  Key responsibilities include but are not limited to:  warehouse and forklift operation; acceptance and pickup of donated product; maintain pantry stock with donated and purchased products; maintain and encourage positive relations with donors, volunteers and clients; assure safety and compliance with public health guidelines; encourage client shoppers to make economical and nutritious food choices; provide maintenance support for the GRACE facilities, operations and vehicles.  Minimum qualifications:  Associate’s Degree preferred, high school diploma/GED required; equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted; warehouse/driving experience; non-profit experience & bilingual preferred; general facility maintenance knowledge with basic skills preferred; must have current Driver License and good driving record, CDL not required, but applicants must be 21 years of age or older due to insurance requirements; availability to work weekends, evenings or early mornings if needed; must be able to lift 50 lbs.  Position reports to the Pantry Manager.

Forward resume and salary requirements to hr@gracegrapevine.org or mail to GRACE, Attn:  M. Simpkins, P.O. Box 412, Grapevine, TX  76099.

All offers of employment are contingent upon the results of a criminal background check, drug screen and lift test.

Apply for position

 

 

TACKLE HUNGER THIS SUPER BOWL SEASON

Souper Bowl of Caring is vowing to “Change the Game” in local communities across North Texas during the weeks leading up to Superbowl Sunday. We are thankful to have such committed partnerships with local businesses, including Albertsons in Colleyville, which has made it their game plan to ensure local families receive nourishment throughout the year.

Through Superbowl Sunday, Albertsons gives customers the opportunity to purchase pre-filled bags at the register on behalf of families at risk for hunger. Each filled bag costs $9 and contains protein and nutrient-rich staples such as tuna, soup and vegetables.

Souper Bowl of Caring addresses the startling number of chronically-poor households, which equates to one in seven Americans. More troubling still is that 16 million of those Americans are children, some living within miles of our doorsteps.

In 2016 Colleyville Albertsons received the GRACE Outstanding Community Partner Award for going far and above the call to provide meals to families on a local level.

But businesses like Albertsons are making an impact in the local community. The store estimated to have given 73,000 pounds of food to the Food Pantry since 2013. When you visit your local grocer to purchase food for the Big Game, consider sponsoring a meal to a family in need of encouragement.

About the Food Pantry

The GRACE Food Pantry provides perishable and nonperishable food to individuals and families in need. The Food Pantry utilizes a self-select system that allows GRACE clients to “shop” and select the food items that meet the cultural and dietary needs of their households. The grocery store setting is designed to create a dignified atmosphere in which clients can receive support for their family.

CLINIC CORNER

Staff and volunteers have been passionate about preventative care lately, and one of their missions is to reduce the effects of diabetes and pre-diabetes—which plagues nearly half of all GRACE clients—with preventative education.

We are pleased to report that in last quarter 71% of clients decreased their HgA1C (used to determine blood sugar control in diabetic patients) by at least ten percent from their admission date. What’s more, 68% of diabetic clients reduced their BMI (Body Mass Index) by at least ten percent from their first visit.

Nearly three-fourths of GRACE clients have made more conscious, measurable changes, like meeting or exceeding their goal of reducing blood pressure by ten percent. These standards are rare and are recognized with a top-tier “gold ranking” by the American Medical Association and American Heart Association.

These are more than numbers on a chart; these benchmarks show the far-reaching benefits collaboration and education has on families committed to reducing their grocery bill and need for costly medications.

 

How it’s done:

Each diabetic patient has a one-on-one session with a volunteer diabetic educator to set goals, learn best practices, and ensure their current medications are at the correct level.

In addition to being monitored on a continuous basis, hands-on classes are offered such as Cooking Matters, an applied cooking course that uses fresh produce from the Community Garden to demonstrate how using whole, unabridged foods costs less than processed foods that wreak havoc on those struggling with chronic illness.

Care Coordination sessions look further than an isolated diagnosis to address the holistic needs of a patient, who might also have a hypoactive thyroid, or a high-risk for chronic depression, for instance.

How to get involved with the Community Clinic:

The volunteers and staff are forging new paths for their patients, and continue to their focus and scope of referral treatments. The Community Clinic is looking for passionate Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Doctors, and Specialists who can invest their time and resources into providing the best care possible

Contact Volunteer Manager, Lara Hohweiler to get more information.

Hundreds of you gathered around shopping carts, toy drive bins, and heaps of socks, coats, canned goods and dolls and books for children this holiday season.

You sorted goods at the Food Pantry and gave hearty meals to families in need. You collected items from your home to donate to Donation Station. From every age and class and industry, you were determined to give much to those who had little this Christmas.

The numbers are in, and we are so grateful for the ways your support was able to encourage, equip and nourish families .Your generous Christmas gifts provided new, unwrapped toys under the trees of 639 households—that’s 1,350 children and 2,379 family members!

Over 1,000 parents were able to wrap their carefully-selected gifts and watch their children’s faces light up on Christmas morning, all because you were passionate about sharing God’s love with your neighbors.

Not only did so many families enjoy the sounds of Tonka trucks, nerf guns and singing Elsa’s on Christmas Day, your support also provided the delicious smells of a warm holiday meal from the GRACE Food Pantry.

Since Thanksgiving, you packaged and loaded 771 meals to families facing hardship this season. The community also provided commodities, groceries and Christmas gifts to over 100 local displaced seniors, thanks to the Grapevine Chamber Women’s Division.

To the families, businesses, church groups and civic leaders, this remarkable community once again provided for families during a time when hope was needed most.

NEW YEAR, NEW FUTURES

Nothing prompts us like the promise of a new year to get in control of our health, our career, or other personal goals to for a higher quality of life.

Those who come through GRACE’s doors are no different, but their ambitions are some many of us take for granted.  Some clients may wish to complete their GED, purchase a family car for job transportation, or pay off staggering medical bills.

GRACE is a haven for individuals looking to improve their lives through goal setting. Our assistance goes hand-in-hand with education and training to guide clients toward self-sufficiency for stronger family units.

Here are just a couple examples of how GRACE strives to empower families:

FAITH Program

Families And Individuals Towards Hope (FAITH) is a GRACE service model that navigates families on the brink of homelessness toward a promising path of stability through measurable steps and regular accountability.

Those enrolled in FAITH collaborate with their advocate for a minimum of 90-days. Each intensive plan is carefully monitored and requires weekly accountability and ample oversight. Small, reasonable steps are set in place to accomplish major goals, such as finding employment, paying down credit cards or knocking costly habits.

Last month, an unemployed married couple received their last form of assistance as both are gainfully employed! Another FAITH client is pursuing a second job to accomplish his goals to building a better future.

Job Training 

Knowledgeable GRACE volunteers with a knack for business instill job principles to clients through resume building, mock interviews, job search, and networking strategies.

“My role at GRACE is part educator and part coach. As an educator I help clients better understand the technical and process related aspects of finding work,” said Volunteer Job Trainer David Rea. “Quite often, however, what clients really need is a coach who will listen, encourage, and challenge them. By filling these roles I believe GRACE is helping to lay a foundation of knowledge as well as confidence for clients to weather any future employment challenges.”

Preventative Classes at the GRACE Community Clinic

Beyond receiving primary medical care, GRACE strives to equip families with the tools and education to make measurable changes that will sustain their family long term.

Onsite classes have allowed clients to take ownership of their health, including Cooking Matters, Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes Care, Self-Care Behaviors, Chronic Disease Self-Management, and Smoking Cessation, along with multiple healthy lifestyle and fitness courses. This has empowered many families to reduce their grocery bill, lower their blood sugar levels and the reduce risk for or eradicate chronic illness.

Showing families how to budget their meals and take these types of steps equips them to take ownership of their health to reduce the need for insulin and other costly medications.

Transitional Housing

Caseworkers collaborate with Transitional Housing residents on a continual basis to set benchmarks and encourage progress with education, budgeting, job opportunity, and emotional and spiritual wellness.

Vocational experts are regularly brought in to mentor, encourage, and help residents apply life skills that can land their next job, save for their first home, or pay off debt.

2018 holds so much promise for families that are overcoming painful life obstacles. Please continue to pray that the choices they make strengthen their families for brighter futures.

HEAR YE, HEAR YE

By royal decree, all “lords and ladies” are invited to attend CBI’s 2018 event: A Midwinter’s Evening of Merriment and Games of Chance on Saturday, January 13 at the Good Shepherd Community Hall. A portion of the proceeds supports local programs like GRACE.

Guests have medieval fare and spirits to look forward to, games of chance and plenty of prizes, silent auction and live auction items.

The unique event has garnered support from the entire community with exciting themes like Bond for a Night, Masquerade, GREASE, to this year’s theme of chivalry and medieval maidens.

To date the brotherhood has collected nearly $15,000 in event proceeds to further programs through what has been heralded a premiere event.

To purchase individual tickets or become an event sponsor, visit their link here.

CHRISTMAS COTTAGE PROVIDES JOY TO COMMUNITY

GRACE Christmas Cottage Open House has become one of the most popular opportunities for community members to witness the tangible difference their gifts and support means to hundreds of children and parents each Christmas season.

If you weren’t able to view room after room brimming with toys for all ages, the festive album is live on our Facebook page.

This year guests were treated to a special caroling performance by the talented Academy Musical Theater Company from the Texas Center for Arts and Academics.

Guests of all ages indulged in gooey mac and cheese, brisket croissants with jalapeno jelly, and cowboy cookies that were worth every calorie, thanks to our friends at Scratch Kitchen, who graciously provided all the party fare free of charge.

There were remarks from board members, volunteers and staff extending their gratitude for their donations, and a word from Transitional Housing client Courtney and her two-year-old son, Damien, (whose smile stole the heart of every guest).

If you were able to join us and add to our collection of donated gifts, we are truly grateful for your abundant generosity. If you were not able to join us or participate in Christmas Cottage, there are still ways you can give to ensure the success of next year’s Christmas Cottage and continuation of GRACE programs for 2018.

Special thanks to Apple Price Photography and Scratch Kitchen for donating their goods and services to ensure the event was a success!

As we put away our tinsel and lights, there’s one gift you can give that doesn’t require a bow. GRACE relies on year-end charitable gifts to ensure vital programs can continue the following year. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation here before 2017 ends. A gift of $20, $50, $150, or $500 or more will provide direct relief to families struggling in our midst.

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