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MOVING DAY A SUCCESS

If you love moving days, you must be popular with your friends. Moving is often a large undertaking, which makes it all the more amazing that 80 selfless volunteers were willing to roll up their sleeves when we had to move our items to a new storage facility.

For the past eight years, GRACE had been a recipient of a large storage facility at no cost to the agency, contingent if the property was to later be sold. Once the property owners informed us the space would be renovated to sell, we had less than six weeks to find a creative solution.

GRACE stores bicycles for Christmas Cottage and all other toys, furnishings and mattresses for Transitional Housing clients, Resale merchandise and event equipment throughout the year.

Thankfully, longtime supporter Susie Howell and the fine folks at Frost Bank graciously offered a storehouse for all our program needs.

Over a ten-day span, volunteers gladly wrapped valuables, loaded trailers and hauled hundreds of boxes to the new facility. We are overwhelmed by their hard work and deeply appreciative to each and every person who helped us relocate quickly and seamlessly!

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DONOR SPOTLIGHT: PEGASUS LOGISTICS GROUP

Since Pegasus Logistics Group made a visit to tour GRACE facilities last month, the Coppell team wasted no time employing their resources to meet real-time needs.

When we learned we had to move an overwhelming pile of merchandise and storage materials to a new facility, Pegasus offered help without hesitation. The team provided bulk packing materials to make the transition as easy as possible.

Company staff nominated a Community Service team, which communications needs to the corporate team. For the month of March, Pegasus Logistics Group is collecting new, unopened over-the-counter medications essential to every medicine cabinet, including Tylenol, multi-vitamins, Neosporin, eye drops and a dozen more.

Their donations will supplement the medications the GRACE Community Clinic has on hand to remedy every day ailments, but also small preventative measures, such as taking aspirin. The Community Clinic is home to at least 820 patients each year.

The team is also representing their work as Putter Sponsors for this year’s Drive into the Night, which takes place on Friday, April 21. All proceeds from this event further the GRACE mission and continue children’s seasonal programs, such as Feed Our Kids summer lunch initiative and Christmas Cottage toys for children.

When a company wants to give back in a way that will benefit local families and strengthen the bond they have with one another, GRACE is an ideal fit for volunteer opportunities, collection drives and monetary gifts.

Thanks to Pegasus Consulting & Logistics for their generosity and servant hearts.

GRACE FOOD PANTRY RECEIVES FORKLIFT

It never ceases to amaze us how God meets the specific needs of this agency. Just over a month ago, Executive Director Shonda Schaefer was seated next to Nancy Coplen, Stake Public Affairs Director of The Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day Saints and GRACE nominee for the Colleyville Chamber Leadership Award.

Nancy’s husband, Phil Coplen, Warehouse Manager of Bishops’ Storehouse, was retiring a forklift that retained all its function, and the two pondered if it could be used elsewhere.

Meanwhile, the Food Pantry had been in great need of another forklift to streamline processes and easily transport pallets of commodities to the storefront.

If the Food Pantry were to purchase a new forklift, it would have costed the agency up to $33,000.

Bishops’ Storehouse is a like-minded ministry to meet the needs of those in crisis. Food and supplies from the Bishops’ Storehouse is often sent to those affected by natural disasters, wars, or economic crises at a moment’s notice.

This week Nancy Coplen, Phil Coplen and Bishop Mark Glassman of the Colleyville Ward presented the repaired forklift to Food Pantry Manager, Rusty Thigpen.

Thanks to these giving individuals for always looking for ways to serve those in need.

ROOTED IN GRACE: STAFF RETREAT 2017

GRACE’s Annual Staff Retreat is a treasured day of fellowship, personal growth and reflection that revives our focus on our particular role in the GRACE mission. This year we reflected on the agency’s past, present and future.

What made this retreat particularly moving was the theme of being “rooted in GRACE”. Like a tree must be planted in rich soil to grow, we revisited our roots and heard about the seeds that began this agency from the founder and former Executive Director Tricia Wood.

Tricia embodies the kind of spirit a person of specific calling has, but as she explained, she didn’t always feel like that. Her transparency about GRACE’s humble beginnings, and her unlikely role to GRACE from a secretary position at Living Word Church is a testament to God’s ability to shape our talents into the pillars of His work.

A single mother who slept in her station wagon with her children is forever engraved in Tricia’s mind as one of many parents who did not know from where their next meal would come, or where their children would sleep that night.

After getting call after call from local families in crisis, a ministerial alliance decided one haven with a wide scope of services was the best way to address the growing needs of the community.

And after much prayer and labor, GRACE was founded three decades ago in 1987.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” –Isaiah 43:19

Tricia enlightened the staff about different facility locations and shared how God was faithful even in the darkest of seasons. We were tremendously blessed to hear Tricia’s heart on the GRACE mission and reminded of the legacy so many in the community carry to ensure no family stays hungry or poverty-stricken in our cities.

Speaking of women of legacy, the staff was blessed to have City Councilwoman and GRACE Board member Duff O’Dell as our guest and invocation speaker. Duff has been an integral part of GRACE’s growth, and we were greatly encouraged by her.

Next we looked to our leaders, Executive Director Shonda Schaefer and Director of Development Mark Woolverton to hear about GRACE’s present and new plans for the future.

The staff took the opportunity to ask questions and gain a richer perspective on each aspect of operations at different sites.

The remaining part of the day was focused on the individual, and what unique talents each person lent to their department.  Staffers proudly wore buttons with their personality type, and enjoyed creative ways to recognize their strengths and encourage others in the process.

The GRACE staff took part in a historical scavenger hunt, which completed a unique timeline chronicling GRACE milestones and noteworthy transitions throughout the years.

The day ended by planting an apple tree near the GRACE Community Garden and Food Pantry, as a symbol of bearing good fruit and providing for families in need.

We know your gifts to GRACE are more than “things”, and our work at this agency is more than a “job.” May God continue to guide this agency through His people as we look to take care of those who are struggling.

RETREATGIF

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” -John 15

CLINIC CORNER

The GRACE Community Clinic was packed with guests last month during their Cholesterol Symposium for patients and community leaders, with 38 in total attendance.

Dr. Richard Navarro, a faithful GRACE volunteer physician and Board Certified Audiologist, is also medically trained in holistic healthcare.

The presentation informed the clients about the different types of cholesterol, what your cholesterol score means for your organ function and overall health, and why it’s important to make preventative care a priority.

As the medical home to over 800 patients in the area, GRACE Community Clinic places great emphasis on preventative care, which starts with education and an action care plan.

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.

A special thanks to Dr. Navarro, volunteer Alma Ramirez who translated the discussion in Spanish, and the Grapevine Chamber guests who joined us.

“God has truly blessed our clinic and continues to guide us every day in the care and services that we provide for our clients. We could not do anything without our wonderful community support and the awesome volunteers that provide their time on a daily basis.” -Shirley Roberts, GRACE Nurse Manager

CULTIVATE GROWTH AT THE COMMUNITY GARDEN

The GRACE Community Garden is hosting their mid spring planting day next weekend on March 18. The team will prepare for the fall harvest with squash and melons and plant corn and peppers.

The major planting project will also tend to the fruit trees and stake strawberries and raspberries. The workday begins at 9:00 a.m. until complete, usually by noon.

Volunteering at the Community Garden is a healthy and rewarding way to provide wholesome nourishment for families in need. Volunteers are needed to assist in clean up, preparation, planting and tilling to ensure another fruitful season.

A special thanks to GRACE volunteers Texas Master Gardener Caryn Hutchinson, Becca Clarke and Alison Shumaker for their tireless efforts to ensure that each season is a fruitful one at the Community Garden.

Please RSVP to the March 18 work day by emailing Becca Clarke.

If you’re not able to attend this workday but have a heart for the purpose of the Community Garden, prayerfully consider providing in one or all of these areas:

Ongoing Community Garden Needs:

  • Volunteer on scheduled work days – garden clean up/planting
  • Make a monetary donation (Please mention GRACE garden in memo.)
  • Donation of seeds and plants for planting days

 

GRACE ANNOUNCES THE 2017 GRACE GALA EMCEES

We have the opportunity to welcome back Emmy-award winning journalist and NBC 5 Co-Anchor Kris Gutierrez to emcee the GRACE Gala alongside his wife and fellow NBC 5 Correspondent Krystle Gutierrez.

Krystle covers your early morning commute each weekday starting at dawn, and Kris welcomes the five o’clock hour news on KXAS.  The charismatic couple has over 20 collective years of journalistic experience that has spanned from the wild fires in California, tornadoes in Joplin to athletics at Kyle field.

With a degree in Agricultural Journalism and a spot on the Telly Award-winning pregame show, “Aggie Game Day Live,” it’s not hard to guess Krystle’s Alma Mater. Kris is a Horned Frog through and through, with a Broadcast Journalism degree from Texas Christian University, where he played collegiate soccer and was later inducted in the Lewisville High School Hall of Fame.

The vigor and enthusiasm of the master of ceremonies often define the energy of the room and ensure the evening runs seamlessly and with strong merit.  GRACE is honored to partner with such well-respected professionals who have a genuine desire to employ their talents for such a purposeful cause.  We are thrilled to have NBC 5 as a media partner for the GRACE Gala, and can’t wait to unveil what we have in store for you on October 14, 2017!

As GRACE’s largest fund raising event of the year, the funds raised support the GRACE mission to provide relief to families struggling from paycheck to paycheck or after a recent job loss or other major life event.  Sponsorships range from $2,000 to $20,000. Individual tickets are $325, and a table of ten is $3,000. Auction item sponsorships are also available. Contact Chelsea Rose for tailored sponsorship options.

WHITE’S CHAPEL UMC WELCOMES A FAMILY TO THEIR NEW HOME

Starting over with a new residence, community or career might be the best decision for your family’s well being or safety, but it’s not always easy. In fact, it might be the most difficult decision you’ll ever have to carry out.

That’s why congregants at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church answer the calling to make sure women and men entering GRACE Transitional Housing program are strengthened and encouraged from the moment they enter their new home.

The teamwork is an incredible thing to witness: one masters the essentials–plumbing, painting, and fixtures. Others have an eye for design to make the space open, inviting and beautiful. Despite their different gifts, their ultimate desire for families exceeds far beyond drapes and sofas.

The freshly-painted rooms are more than an apartment, and their home with GRACE is more than four walls.

On the counter was a new, hardbound bible, along with a bible story book for children. There was also a daily devotional book, an encouraging card for the new tenants, and a plate of warm cookies.

FaithWorks Mission and Outreach Pastor, Rev. Dara Austin spoke on behalf of the group, who welcomed the new single mother of two, and assured her she could always find a home among God’s people.

The GRACE family encouraged the client, and asked if we could pray a blessing of her new journey. Dara prayed on behalf of everyone in the room, and the client was visibly overwhelmed with gratitude.

Clients appreciate the material assistance provided through GRACE donors, from the services GRACE provides to the physical items they use. But when taken as a whole, support and encouragement restores hope to those enduring the pang of personal hardship.

Thank you for treating these women and men with the utmost dignity and kindness. Please continue to pray for our Transitional Housing clients as they pave new paths to pursue old dreams.

GRACE Transitional Housing provides long-term assistance and case management for homeless women, children and families working toward becoming self-sufficient.

The program provides a safe, nurturing environment that allows the client the capacity to recover and develop the skills needed to succeed. The program is available to the families for a minimum of six months and maximum of two years. If you would like to host a service project or collect goods for Transitional Housing, contact Jamé Scott

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 “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

-Acts 2

FEED OUR KIDS SPRING BREAK VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Feed Our Kids Spring Break is now a seasonal fixture after its pilot success the last two years. Volunteers are needed to provide food each weekday from March 13-17.

Anytime school is out of session, children whose families rely on free or reduced lunches are at greater risk for food insecurity. Parents of at-risk children often work long, stringent hourly shifts that prevent them from providing continual care while school is out.

Serving through Feed Our Kids is a tangible, hands-on way to serve local families. Many groups opt to incorporate activities for the children as well, though not required.

The site serves an average of 50 children each weekday from March 13-17. To volunteer over Spring Break or reserve summer shifts, contact Seasonal Programs Coordinator Lori Stevens today.

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