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Have A Blessed Easter

We pray you and your loved ones feel the nearness of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the coming days.

GRACE Main Office, Client Services, Community Clinic and Food Pantry will be closed tomorrow, April 19, in observance of Good Friday.

GRACE Volunteers Are EGG-cellent

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 from our community.  So, of course, any chance we get to celebrate our treasured volunteers we get super EGG-cited!

We channeled our inner Easter Bunny spirit animal this week, and handed out goody-filled Easter eggs to our EGG-ceptional volunteers.  Most eggs were filled with sweet candy treats while a few select, EGGS-clusive eggs were filled with prize-winning gold coins!  The lucky golden coin recipients were given gift cards.  Plus, all throughout the week our various GRACE sights celebrated with pizza parties, donuts, brownies and many other treats to show their appreciation.

Here at GRACE, we are in awe and humbled by the outpouring of countless hours, hard work, resources, and love from the EGGS-traordinary people who serve.  We are fully aware that we owe everything to our gracious volunteers and donors – our family – who donate their valuable, EGGS-tracurricular time.  Approximately 52,665 volunteer hours were worked in 2018, which means if each volunteer combined their hours of service, someone would be serving at GRACE 24 hours a day for over six years!

Pictured left to right: Client Services Intern Elizabeth Monaco, Client Services Intern Emily Hilker, Bilingual Caseworker Wyatt Ince, Intake Coordinator Vicki Yarnell, and Bilingual Caseworker Herman Vargas

Volunteers at GRACE are un-EGGS-pendable, serving in all sorts of capacities­ – from the members of the Board of Directors taking on GRACE’s most critical challenges to corporate groups completing building projects from the GRACE Project Wish List.  At every site, volunteers are integral to the day-to-day operations of GRACE.  Whether it is sorting items at Donation Station, assisting clinical staff at the Community Clinic, or helping out with admin work at GRACE Main, their work is EGGS-tensive and GRACE could not help as many people as we do without them.

Speaking of our EGGS-travagantly generous volunteers and Easter, we must mention the wonderful folks from Good Shepherd Catholic Community, who for many years have delivered Easter baskets to GRACE Client Services and several other of their outreach partners.  Our clients look forward to these and begin asking about them each year as we near Easter.  This year they brought an EGGS-aggerative amount as usual — over 150 Easter baskets for us to hand out to our clients!  In total, Good Shepherd collected over 300 baskets in this year’s drive!  And we are not talking about baskets with a few pieces of candy but an assortment of fun themed baskets chock full of toys, candy and treats!

An entire room of Easter baskets that make up just a portion of the over 300 baskets collected by the parishioners at Good Shepherd Catholic Community this year!

Collecting the Easter baskets by Good Shepherd is a church-wide EGGS-hibition of love.  Mission and Outreach Coordinator, Kathy Guarino, does much of the behind-the-scenes work by getting word about the collection out to parishioners via newsletters, flyers and bulletins.  Collection crews are at each of the masses one weekend to accept the baskets.  The following week Good Shepherd volunteers count the baskets, provide EGGS-quisite adornment, toys and candy, and then deliver the baskets to GRACE Client Services.  Parishioners Darline Laughlin and Linda Slocum have been involved with the effort and distribution for five years, and are typically the cheery faces we see when the dozens and dozens of baskets are brought to GRACE.

Pictured left to right: Good Shepherd parishioners Karen Buchanan, Darline Laughlin and Linda Slocum

GRACE would not be able to operate without the support of local church congregations with a kindred desire to share God’s love with those in need. We are tremendously blessed to have the family at Good Shepherd Catholic Community who are wholly invested in EGGS-tending grace to others.  We cannot EGGS-press our thanks enough to all of our partners – volunteers and organizations alike!

If you are interested in volunteering with GRACE for the first time we encourage you to attend an hour-long orientation to find ways to get involved. Orientation dates and other information can be found on our website.  The informational session is facilitated by our Development and Volunteer Coordinator, Sarah Armand, 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.  If there is a cause you care deeply about, we’re here to help facilitate a way to serve.

Lara Hohweiler, GRACE Director of Community Engagement

Volunteer for FÜDTRUKY: A festival of FÜD ( good •food), TÜNs ( rockin’ • tunes) and BRÜs (beer)

 

Nicole and Mike Tesoriero of Southlake Style are excited to invite you out to their upcoming second annual FÜDTRUKY (food-TRUCK-ee) coming to The Marq in Southlake’s Aria Amphitheater on Saturday, May 11.

Last year the event raised $10,000 for GRACE, enough to supply 3,500 meals for our Feed Our Kids Program which provides lunches for children who do not have access to the free or reduced lunch program when school is not in session.

For 2019 Southlake Style has set the bar even higher with the goal of raising $15,000 through the festival – enough to provide more than 5,000 nutritious lunches to area children who might otherwise go without while school is out for the summer.

These lofty do-gooder goals are not possible to reach without the lending of many helping hands. There are many volunteer opportunities available. Click here to sign up for a variety of our very important volunteer shifts! Here’s what you’ll see happening at the festival as you volunteer or attend…

FÜD( good •food)

We’re talking food galore! Southlake Style has selected the best of the best in the local food truck scene to come out and be a part of FÜDTRUKY. The roster includes Holy Frijole, Big Kat BurgersJack’s Chowhound, Just EncasedAunt Shirley’s Food Truck, Chiave’s Italian Street Food Truck, and Pokey O’s.

TÜNs ( rockin’ • tunes)

Are you ready to rock? With an entire afternoon and night’s worth of music this year, the tunes at FÜDTRUKY are sure to be a highlight. Check out this band schedule…

11:30 – 1 p.m. Devin Leigh 

1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Doug Kent

2:45 – 3:15 p.m. School Of Rock 

3:30 – 5 p.m. Dan Quinn

5:30 – 7 p.m. Live 80

7:30 – 9 p.m. Blaze Of Glory

BRÜs (beer)

The beer at FÜDTRUKY will be crafted by local Shannon Brewing Company. What makes their beer so great? Shannon said it best…

Shannon Brewing Company produces an award-winning portfolio of all-natural beer. The brewery crafts all of its beer the way it was done centuries ago — with FIRE using pure Texas spring water, whole grain, whole flower hops and a whole lotta love. The brewery engineered a one-of-a-kind brewhouse, allowing it to heat its mash (grain + water) and wort (sweet liquid extracted from the mash) with fire, giving its beer a caramelized malt profile.

Read more about what makes Shannon Brewing Company’s beer so great here.

KidZone

FÜDTRUKY is bringing their “A game” for the kiddos as well with an expanded KidZone!  Families can look forward to lawn games like Connect Four and Giant Jenga as well as free balloon twisting from noon to 4 p.m. and face painting from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.  If your little ones are fascinated with the food trucks, they can play in the food truck playhouses – a huge hit from last year’s event.  It’s all possible thanks to Southlake Style’s KidZone sponsors: Hays Financial StrategiesLittle Sunshine Playhouse and Moviehouse & Eatery. There will be no shortage of family-friendly activities.

Bring your four-legged family member

Even your pup can join the entire family for all the fun! This year, FÜDTRUKY will offer a Pets Plaza. Located right next to our KidZone, this area will feature several freebies your pup won’t want to miss out on. Guests will receive a food sample, sales flyer, treats, Kong tennis balls and more. Also, because everyone needs to stay hydrated, the area will also feature a pet fountain.  Grab your furry friend and a leash so no family member is left out of this eventful day.

Purchase your tickets here!

Blessing Homes, Blessing Futures

 

 

We feel blessed to welcome another woman and her child into our family. Alexus and her three year old daughter, Madison, moved into their new home this past Monday, April 15. Alexus is a very driven and motivated young lady. We are so eager to welcome her into the GRACE family and assist her with achieving her goals. She is young, energetic and ready to go full speed ahead with going back to school and earning more income. She’s ready for guidance and to regain her independence.

Evident joy fills the home as GRACE CEO Shonda Schaefer gives her heartwarming pep talk and welcome to our eager recipient, Alexus.

This bright woman has worked as a preschool teacher the past four years, and is eager to march into her future with optimism and tenacity.  She has her sights set on becoming a paralegal. Alexus has also long had an interest in becoming a police officer as another career path option.  Luckily for her, four of Grapevine Police Department’s finest were in attendance at the Home Blessing and offered her the opportunity to visit them for a first-hand look at what they do.

As always, we are utterly grateful to the folks from White’s Chapel United Methodist Church for their ever-present passion and commitment to our Transitional Housing Program and clients. They always go above and beyond in transforming our apartment units into inviting and personable sanctuaries for our clients. Alexus’ new home was even decorated by the talent and eye of White’s Chapel volunteers who just so happen to be professional interior designers.

Transitional Housing Home Blessings are some of the most tremendously touching moments here at GRACE. To be in the midst of such lovingkindness poured out from nearly 30 individuals in this case, holding hands, heads bowed in prayer, there is no denying the presence of the Spirit in that place. Welcome home, Alexus!

 

Connecting Families To Hope

“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”

1 John 3:18

“Connection is what it is all about,” GRACE Chief Program Officer, Stacy Pacholick, explains.  The focus of GRACE is connecting people in need to services and resources to help.  Connections between GRACE and other organizations, volunteers, and churches make this support possible.  We are incredibly appreciative for our relationships with partnering churches and organizations who share a heart for helping others as we do.

A couple of weeks ago, 121 Community Church Grapevine Local Mission Minister, Bryan Bundick, called us to discuss a situation involving a family new to the church congregation.  A single mother who recently moved to our area from out-of-state was in great need.  The mother had worked hard to prepare for her family’s relocation –  securing a job, finding a church home, and settling her children into a new community – however, she suddenly faced the risk of losing everything.

In sincere compassion and desire to help, the church reached out to GRACE.  We welcomed the young mother in for an interview and learned she was struggling with a situation in which she was asked to leave her home.  Leaving the new home would threaten all that she had painstakingly worked towards in laying down roots for her family.  The family’s circumstances required outside assistance, otherwise they would have no choice in parting from their home.

GRACE was able to connect the family with the necessary resources allowing them to stay in the community by settling into a place they could truly call home.  She and her children no longer face the fear and uncertainty of uprooting once again from a place they love and feel safe.  This most basic need is a treasure so easily taken for granted, yet when families and individuals are confronted with losing their residence, their home, the outlook can seem hopeless.

The story of this family is a prime example of how our community partnerships connect those in need with those who are able and want to help.  It is our connections that ultimately assist families in overcoming the barriers that keep them from meeting their most essential needs.  This is just one example of how combined assistance through GRACE and 121 Community Church came together, allowing a hardworking single mother to establish her children a home they can afford and feel good about.

What’s more, the family is now connected to other much-needed services including food, clothing, and other vital resources.  “Thank you, 121 Community Church,” says Stacy Pacholick, “for your commitment to this family and to your trust in knowing that GRACE is here for people that find themselves in a difficult situation.”

Out Of The Ashes We Rise

 

Late in the evening on April 11, 2018, GRACE suffered one of the most devastating crises in its long history — a fire that destroyed our Community Clinic and closed the Food Pantry.  Today marks one year since that frightful morning we faced trudging the uncertain and difficult road of recovery.  Thanks to first responders from Grapevine Police Department and Grapevine Fire Department, the fire was kept confined.  The support from the community was inspiring.  So many – too many to name – stepped up.  Hundreds of volunteers, donors and supporters came together to restore GRACE.

A note from our CEO, Shonda Schaefer:

One year ago today seems like a lifetime ago. In the months prior to this devastating fire, GRACE was really struggling. We had increases in need and decreased funding – non-profit nightmare! So, to show up in the middle of the night and see our building destroyed just about broke me. We are a team, but as the CEO, I felt the weight heavier that night than ever before. That night I prayed to God that I would be given the strength and courage to walk this team through the difficult days ahead. I prayed that He would make me strong enough to follow His will – whatever that may be.

Once again, God provided! We remained faithful to our mission, and each day chose to do the next right thing. The result is that awareness of the GRACE Mission was renewed by the visibility of this difficult event. The community came forward and invested in us and our programs. I hope never to have to deal with this type of event again, but in hindsight, it made us stronger – in all ways.

Personally, I will be forever grateful for being surrounded by the hardest working staff one could ask for. The generosity that this community poured into our agency gave me the encouragement to stay the course.

Thank God, my team, and this community for these past 12 months!

We continue to feel blessed that no one was hurt in the devastating fire. After that night, GRACE staff worked around the clock to restore normal services to our clients in need.  The morning after the fire we were able to see many of our patients thanks to the generosity of our partners at First Baptist Grapevine for allowing us use their space.

Our media partners at KLTY began a live broadcast as droves of incredible volunteers – including several off-duty firefighters who helped put out the fire – showed up to clear the wreckage.  We received many generous offers of help with temporary spaces to restore operation as soon as possible, as well as many gifts in way of food, gift cards and financial donations from individuals, businesses and church partners.

Through the generosity of our volunteer doctors and nurses, all of our patients were rescheduled and received the medical attention they needed. Our Food Pantry operated at our Main Office as an emergency location, providing food to clients who needed it so very much.  This process was at times heartbreaking and we felt a deep sense of loss, but we were able to continue serving, hardly missing a beat.

The City of Grapevine graciously allowed us to use a vacated space.  Volunteers prepared the temporary space that was used for several months as we faced the task of rebuilding our Community Clinic and Food Pantry home.  The Clinic reopened and began seeing patients at this location.  We restocked the shelves and our Food Pantry quickly was up and running.

We have come so far since that fateful time.  In the process of rebuilding, we faced challenges of shortages of equipment and crucial medication supplies that were destroyed in the fire.  Our Food Pantry was limited due to storage constraints and inability to store perishable items. But still we pressed on as our community lifted us up out of the ashes.

What a difference a year can make!  We will never be able to fully express the level of gratitude that we have towards our GRACE Family.  Our deepest thanks to all who helped during our deepest time of need and continue to support our mission.  As a faith based organization that believes in the power of prayer, we ask that you continue to pray for the families we serve and wisdom and strength as our staff seek how to best serve those among us in need.

As always, we are only able to do what we do here at GRACE because of you.  If you would like to make a donation please click here.

Attention GRACE Donors – Stock-Up On Aisle… All Of Them!

 

Our GRACE Food Pantry inventory is low on many items, and we can use your help!  Pantry Manager Rusty Thigpen informs we are out-of-stock or low on almost everything.  Fortunately, he is grateful that each Pantry Volunteer Shift brings items to contribute, however, with our client count well over 30 families per day, a lot is going out with not much coming in currently.

The good news is that we have plenty of green beans and corn, but we are dipping into our reserves on almost all other items.  Your generous giving over the holiday months kept us going, and now we are calling on the help of our GRACE Family yet again!

If you can help, groceries can be delivered to the GRACE Food Pantry, 837 East Walnut Street, Grapevine, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Special delivery times can be arranged by calling Rusty at 817-305-4676 or Pantry Assistant Manager Keith Hills at 817-305-4677. Download the latest shopping list for our Food Pantry here.

 

Run Don’t Walk To Classic Chevrolet 5K De Mayo

 

Join us for the 2nd Annual 5K De Mayo Social Run sponsored by Classic Chevrolet benefiting GRACE and other local charities. Your registration fee will be matched 100% by owners Tom and Susan Durant. This beautiful trail is adjacent to Big Bear Creek and winds into Parr Park Sprayground.

DATE and LOCATION:

Saturday, May 4, 2019
Parr Park trail to Church at the Cross                               

RACE DAY DETAILS:  

  • 7:45 Registration and Packet Pick up
  • 8:45 Group picture
  • 8:50 Camp Gladiator Warm-up
  • 9:00 Social Run / Walk Begins

PARKING:
Church at the Cross
3000 William D. Tate
Grapevine, TX 76051

REGISTRATION:
The cost is $35 and all proceeds will be matched 100% by Tom and Susan Durant and donated to local charities.

For more details and to register click here.

Drive Into The Night Glows With Success

This year’s generous Title Sponsor, Lemoine Wright of Wright Construction Co., Inc., pictured with GRACE CEO Shonda Schaefer.

 

Our twilight tee-off event was magical!  The night began with Board Member Sean Shope of First Financial who was gracious to do our invocation as CEO Shonda Schaefer gave the 100 plus players a good luck send-off following a delicious dinner.

Over 100 people signed their teams up for our nighttime golf event and enjoyed not only putting contests and golfing in the dark, but also fantastic raffle prizes, food & drinks, making for an unforgettable night.

The combined efforts of all who attend, contribute and volunteer raise funds for seasonal programs such as Christmas Cottage, one of GRACE’s hallmark initiatives that allow struggling families to select Christmas gifts for their children while maintaining the parents’ dignity in a unique, store-like setting. Last year the program made the holidays bright for over 2,700 family members.

Funds from Drive Into The Night also supports our Feed Our Kids Program.  In the summer months, Feed Our Kids serves at-risk youth with free meals to offset the cost and avoid the risk of children going without a meal while school is not in session.

TITLE SPONSOR: The Lemoine Wright Family and Wright Construction Co., Inc.

WOODS SPONSOR: Holman Enterprises

IRONS SPONSORS: Charles Schwab, Lisa Harrington, and Pegasus Logistics Group

PUTTER SPONSORS: Aviall, A Boeing Company; Parity Consultants; The Paul Bischler Family; Summit Electric Supply

TEE BOX SPONSORS: Audrey, Ella & Lora Simpkins; CBD Concrete & Excavation; Ray’s Rascals; Shafer Dental

Special Thanks:
  • Grapevine Golf Course
  • Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau

    Jan Smith Luers and her husband, Dennis Luers, pictured above.  Jan conceived the idea for this tremendous event over ten years ago!
  • 91 Design
  • Esparza’s Restaurante Mexicano
  • Tommy’s Tamales
  • Tiff’s Treats
  • Grapevine Golf Cars
  • Wise Guys Pizzeria
  • Chick-Fil-A Grapevine Mills
  • Alford Media
  • AT&T Byron Nelson
  • Renfro Foods
  • Frost Bank
  • Senator Jane Nelson

Prizes and bragging rights for first place on the Pecan Course went to Summer Electric Supply (their fourth year to win) and on the Mockingbird Course, Paul Bischler Team One.  Five Star Subaru of Grapevine and Lisa H. Harrington, LLC, claimed second place prizes for the Pecan and Mockingbird Courses, respectively.  Team Hohweiler took third for on Pecan Course, and Grapevine Police Department for third place on the Mockingbird Course.

Other lucky raffle prize winners took home four tournament tickets to the AT&T Byron Nelson,  the Charles Schwab Challenge (formerly The Colonial), a Mrs. Renfro’s food gift basket, a golf gear goody basket donated by Senator Jane Nelson, custom GRACE Yeti Can Coolers, and choice bottles of distilled spirits.

We cannot say thank you enough to our sponsors, teams and volunteers!

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