Tennis League Serves Up Fun for Youth

Volunteers from Northeast Tarrant Tennis League (NETT) hosted a play day for neighboring youth that involved engaged teaching and physical activity in a way that just felt like fun. Coinciding with Feed Our Kids Spring Break, the GRACE parking lot was transformed into a tennis court, lined with several nets, cones, and even hoola hoops for the creative types.

As a non-profit organization that has promoted the lifelong sport of tennis for 20 years, the leadership at NETT has had an increased interest in addressing the growing epidemic among inactive youth and bringing the love of the game to underserved populations.

When NETT President Melanie Devlin and her team recently discovered that today’s youth is the first generation to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, they knew that had to give back,

“We were shocked, and as parents saddened to think that this was our children’s generation,” said Devlin, “motivated to help change the inactive lifestyle of our children, we looked for opportunities [to serve] children who might not otherwise have access to the sport of tennis.   GRACE has always had a large presence in our area providing support to at-risk children and their families.  Partnering with GRACE allows us to reach these children and support GRACE.”

It was also important to the members of NETT to share their love of tennis with children who might not be as familiar with the sport. With so many neighboring public tennis courts in the area, tennis is surprisingly accessible, and offers the benefits of family cohesiveness, teamwork and physical activity. Studies show that youth who play tennis have better grades, are better behaved, and are more focused on community and higher education.

When asked what she hopes children can gain from the experience, Melanie responded by saying,” We want to help these children and their families enjoy physical activity.  A racquet and a ball is all you really need to learn the sport.  Tennis is unique in that it is truly a sport for life.  Any age and level of fitness can learn and play tennis.”

Greater than the physical benefits was the level of engagement the volunteers had with the little athletes, who were beaming with energy. The enthusiasm a little support can give a child is contagious, “Watching them dive right in to a new activity is priceless. And those smiles…you can’t leave without having your mood lifted by these children.  The response far exceeded our expectations!”

Thank you NETT for investing the well-being of our children and supporting GRACE!

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Thanks Sabre

sabreIn response to the items lost in the recent fire, our kindhearted friends at Sabre took swift action.

For four days this March, several Sabre staff members collected the many articles of clothing, electronics, and household items given by the rest of the Sabre staff.

Tina Stover, Executive Assistance to GRACE Board President John Elieson, headed the drive, donating 30 hours of her time to promote and manage the collection. Stover felt humbled to hear so many comments from employees that relayed a genuine interest to see GRACE thrive.

According to Stover, one woman—who said she felt led by God to give—donated approximately 30 bottles of shampoo and other toiletry items. Another Sabre employee felt such concern for the effort that she wanted to “pay it forward” by buying the volunteers snacks from the nearby coffee shop.

It is no surprise to us that Sabre is filled with compassionate employees. The combined divisions at Sabre have given 3,600 volunteer hours and have been volunteering since 2001, making Sabre one of our most faithful partners. Throughout the years, Sabre employees have taken advantage of their employee giving matching campaign, and have served at virtually every GRACE program.

In less than a workweek, Sabre collected ten overflowing boxes of donated goods. Items collected will be reserved for GRACE families in need, our Transitional Housing clients, and to our resale stores, where the proceeds go directly back to GRACE programs.

Thank you Tina and the other dedicated volunteers at Sabre!

Linda Clark, GRACE Boardmember

John Elison, GRACE Board President

Marie West

Tina Stover

Robert Newman

Lori Courtney

Gretchen Greene

Deborah Magee

Linda Smith

Jan Cole

Ashley Brynum

Ginny Mahl

Melanie Lenahan

 

 

 

Thank You For Your Support!

24-hours-of-graceFor all who supported our “24 Hours of GRACE” online campaign this past week: Thank you so much!

Your generous gifts are already at work helping those in need in our neighborhoods. Those who are struggling financially, medically or need the services of GRACE in other ways are grateful for your support to help them through their tough times.

We also asked you to spread the word about “24 Hours of GRACE” to your friends. Many of you became campaigners for the GRACE mission! Please know your words and endorsements have had a great impact!

Please know that while “24 Hours of GRACE” is a chance to tell about the needs—and successes—of our clients, the work of the GRACE mission continues the other 364 days of the year.

Please continue to keep the work of GRACE in your thoughts and prayers. Talk about the mission of GRACE and how, for many of our clients, the goal of self-sufficiency is just a helping hand away. And please help when you can with a gift, a few hours of volunteer time, or even a kind word of encouragement.

Your support truly changes the lives of those GRACE serves. Thank you for your support of “24 Hours of GRACE.”

Celebrate at Drive into the Night

ditnIf you’ve never played golf at night, GRACE’s Drive into the Night is your perfect chance, and you’ll finish the night with a great after-party to celebrate the experience.

Grapevine Golf Course pros Russell Pulley and Robert Singletary are planning some changes that will enhance play, provide challenges (as if playing at night isn’t challenge enough) and bring you back to the clubhouse for some great food, drinks and fun!

Steve Brown (Esparza’s-Grapevine and Coppell) and Gary Humble (Grapevine Craft Brewery) are teaming up to make sure the high spirits flow through the night. The Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau and Buffalo Wild Wings are covering the eats for dinner and the after-party.

Since the nature of the event is to GLOW! Special prizes will go to those who embody the spirit of the evening by decorating themselves or their golf carts to glow-rified glow-ry!

Of course, golfing skills will also be tested with the Putting Contest, and the Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive competitions on both courses.

The cool thing about Drive into the Night is that anyone can win! Literally. All players’ names will go into the hopper and the winners will be drawn for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

Thousands of children and families in communities throughout northeast Tarrant County will benefit  from the proceeds of Drive into the Night . Programs like Feed Our Kids, Christmas Cottage, the Clothing Room, School Supplies and the many assistance offerings that serve young families receive support from event proceeds.

The focus of the Drive into the Night has remained the same since its inception six years ago. The event began as a small novelty to raise funds for GRACE children’s services. In its first five years Drive into the Night has raised more than $200,000 to help the youngsters GRACE serves.

There is still time to be a part of this great fun event! A few teams and players spots remain to be filled. Sponsorships are very welcome, starting at $1,000. Individual player spots are $200 each; a foursome is $750.

Call Mark Woolverton at (817) 305-4654 or email mwoolverton@gracegrapevine.org to join the fun!

Welcome Jonathan

Jonathan-Kilstrom

Even though he joined the GRACE Clinic two months ago, Jonathan Kilstrom, PA, has quickly mastered the clinic’s busy pace.

Jonathan comes to Texas from his alma mater in Nebraska, where he received his Master of Science in Physician Studies. A former EMT, Jonathan has a heart for critical care, and holds numerous certifications in trauma care and disaster relief.

Jonathan works full time at Baylor Medical Center in Grapevine and periodically at an urgent care center in Grand Prairie.

Despite his numerous accomplishments and demanding schedule, Jonathan has committed to serving GRACE on a monthly and as-needed basis.

According to those he works with at GRACE, his reference said it perfectly when he described him as having, “an outstanding character based on integrity, compassion, and a great work ethic… the definition of a true team player and godly man.”

He is willing to do whatever it takes to help patients and ensure the best care possible for the patient. Recently at GRACE, he saw a clinical need for a patient but we did not have the equipment to take care of the treatment.  After finishing he ran to his office and  immediately came back with his own equipment to meet the patient’s need.

His heart for others in evident by his community service, which has served a vast range of people from the homeless population in Nebraska, to patients from his rescue ambulatory squad in Iowa, to the Peruvians on his medical mission.

Needless to say, we are thrilled that he is now in Grapevine and serves the community at GRACE. We are tremendously blessed to have Jonathan Kilstrom, PA-C, on our volunteer provider staff.

By: Shirley Roberts, RN, BAS, CCM, Clinic Nurse Manager

God’s Extravagant Love

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There’s still time to give for “24 Hours of GRACE,” a critical window when we ask for your help to give families hope in despair.

Just as GRACE is committed to being excellent stewards of the community’s resources, our programs are designed to empower families to become financially, physically and emotionally healthy.

During the summer months, GRACE provided lunches in the Schrader’s neighborhood through Feed Our Kids. This program provides 38,000 meals to at-risk children each summer.

In the midst of the Schrader family’s financial trial, GRACE was able to offer the comfort of a warm meal during the holidays–a season that often puts additional strain on struggling families–and the joy of Christmas morning with new, wrapped gifts for their children.

Everyone enjoys a picnic lunch or new Christmas presents, but preserving family cohesiveness and dignity restores relationships, strengthens spirits and displays God’s extravagant love.

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There’s still time to give a personal and meaningful donation. We promise to be faithful stewards of your gifts, and direct them to families who need it the most.

Every Family Has a Story

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Every family has a story.

Yesterday we introduced you to the Schraders, a Grapevine family of five who faced a year of intense hardship due to job loss and a life-altering illness.

GRACE secured their immediate needs with fresh produce, warm meals and kitchen staples from the Food Pantry. The Community Clinic provided free basic healthcare for the family, and the children were given clothing, tennis shoes, and winter coats.

Although GRACE had alleviated some material burdens, a deeper look at the family’s finances revealed mounting medical bills that threatened their ability to pay rent and utilities.

GRACE collaborated with the Schraders to find long-term solutions, including employment assistance and financial education, ultimately helping them get out of debt.

Thanks to last year’s support of “24 Hours of GRACE” a story that began with despair and ended with hope.

Your donation today can change the story of a family whose outcome is yet to be determined.