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GRACE Blog

Giving as we have received to help those in need

People All Over the World, Join Hands, Start A Love Train

 

Stan Pirzchalski and his son-in-law Kino pictured at their festive family home in Colleyville.

 

For over 18 years, a Colleyville man has invited people into his home to get a peek into his passion while simultaneously collecting toys to contribute to GRACE.  In 2000, Stan and Karen Pirzchalski hosted their inaugural Pirzchalsky Holiday Open House where children of all ages are invited to experience their MDAK Model Railroad in action!  But don’t be fooled by the fact this railroad is miniature as this tiny world of his is nothing short of tremendous in detail, action and fun.

Stan and Karen Pirzchalski married in 1987, and it was not long after Stan explained his plan to build a model railroad in their home.  To his delight, Karen was not only on board with the idea, but thrilled as she had wanted her own model railroad her whole life.  Her parents always gave her dolls to play with as a child, but now the time had come to fulfill a lifelong dream for them both.

What began as a 4′ by 8′ project quickly escalated to building an additional 2,000 square feet of space to their home solely dedicated to the MDAK Model Railroad.  The railroad name is derived from the manner in which Stan addressed his letters to his sweetheart — “My Darling Angel Karen.”

Over the past almost 19 years, the Pirzchalski home has greeted over 2,800 individuals from all over the world.  Stan knows this thanks to his guest book.  From folks with The National Model Railroad Association to neighborhood children, anyone and everyone is an invited and welcomed guest in their home.  The only price for admission is guests are asked to please bring a child’s toy to donate to the GRACE Christmas Cottage, but there is absolutely no obligation.

 

Sadly, Karen passed away in 2007 following a 22 year battle with breast cancer.  In the Spirit of the Christmas Season, Stan and his family continued to proudly hold the Annual Holiday Open House benefitting GRACE.  Each Christmas he encourages children of all ages to come and walk the perimeter of his miniature train world, and be on the lookout for monkeys, cats, dogs and many other animals and people.  The sounds of cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, even thunder, fill the room along with the chugging trains.  There are animated figures of painters, kids playing, men chopping wood, and animals of all sorts to be found.

So come on out this year as the Pirzchalskis keep the Spirit of Christmas, Karen, and railroad enthusiasts alive at their 19th Annual Holiday Open House.  The details can be found in the flyer below.  Again, there is no obligation, but the donation of unwrapped childrens’ toy are greatly appreciated.

We are profoundly grateful for the Pirzchalski family and all those who have contributed over the years.  These are the type of folks that we here are GRACE are so very humbled to call our family!

 

 

Compass Church: Their True North is Selfless Love

Phillip Kemp, Associate Pastor from Compass Missions, made a special delivery to GRACE this week with the final check from their Uncharted Initiative.  GRACE received $50,000 from Compass to complete the $150,000 total pledge to Rooted, our Capital Campaign.

This generosity was inspired by their Uncharted 50 campaign, celebrating 50 years of ministry by the Compass Church family.  The movement encourages members with three noble charges: go beyond borders to navigate thousands of unreached people across the globe, beyond their walls to prepare for new ministry opportunities, and beyond themselves by serving the local community.

Compass has been a huge supporter of GRACE since 1995, giving well over $350,000 to GRACE programs. Not only have they been so instrumental with monetary gifts, they have also gifted their time and talents. Volunteers have donated over 1,000 service hours to many projects throughout the year.  It is no wonder Compass Missions took home GRACE’s 2017 Angel of the Year Award.

Compass Christian Church has been a faithful, integral partner to GRACE. Each year members of Compass organize GRACE’s largest annual food drive during the holiday season. Last season, when members of the Compass Church family were charged with the annual Thanksgiving shopping list that would provide food for their neighbors struggling over the holidays, they went above the call and tripled expectations.

The congregation collected 15,000 pounds of Thanksgiving turkeys and holiday trimmings needed to complete a warm holiday meal with loved ones for GRACE in 2017.   Sharing their blessings has allowed hundreds of families to gather around a table and thank the Lord for providing extra blessings this season.

This year, the community wide Thanksgiving drive brought in 22,900 pounds of food, $10,955 in cash for turkeys, and now, their final gift of $50,000 wraps up the $150,000 pledge for our Rooted Campaign!  While we thought it was hard to outdo the love they have shown to families these many years, the congregation has gone above and beyond in generosity and service for local families.

This defining season at Compass spurred discipleship groups organically into action at GRACE, including providing for families who face particular hardship this time of year.  For the families and individuals who made it a priority to stand in the gap for families who might have otherwise had a sparse holiday, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Thank you, Compass, for all that you do to make our community and our world a better place!

About Compass Christian Church:

Compass Christian Church is a dynamic and growing church that offers practical, Bible-based teachings that apply to everyday life. With campuses in Colleyville, Roanoke, North Richland Hills, North Fort Worth, Texas, and online, the church has an active membership of more than 4,000. Founded in 1966, Compass has a primary mission of Navigating People to God by living out four core values: Navigate, Engage, Serve and Worship.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas at GRACE Christmas Cottage

Our volunteers are hard at work preparing and decorating for another hilariously generous and festively fun year at the Christmas Cottage.  This year we are grateful for our sizable space located at 1250 William D. Tate in Grapevine between JoAnne’s Fabrics and Crafts and PetCo.

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.

Celebrate the holidays with GRACE, and help us collect toys for families in need at GRACE’s Christmas Cottage Open House on Tuesday, December 11, at the 2018 Christmas Cottage, 1250 William D. Tate in Grapevine.  This is an ideal holiday event for your family, church, civic group or business to attend. Children (as well as children at heart!) are encouraged to dress up in their festive Whoville best, in keeping with this year’s Grinch theme.

Holiday goodies will be served for the children at 4:00 p.m., with wine and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts to children and families in need. Click here for a comprehensive list of toy ideas for all age groups.

For those who haven’t experienced the magic of Christmas Cottage in the community, Christmas Cottage is a GRACE program that alleviates the financial burden of Christmas gifts during their season of hardship.

Each qualified family is given a hypothetical “budget” that allows the parents to “purchase” donated toys, home goods and appliances in a private, store-like setting.

This unique approach allows families to budget their resources and select unique presents while preserving the family’s dignity. Over 2,700 individuals and families are served each holiday season.

Providing warmth and comfort this season not only allows families facing hardship to uphold cherished traditions; Christmas Cottage is designed to continue a legacy of giving and instill new traditions for your family, community group or business.

Whether you attend every year or this is your first time to participate, Christmas Cottage Open House is the perfect opportunity for your small group, civic group, family, or business to enjoy feel the magic of generosity this Christmas!

Help Us Welcome Dr. Kelley G. Kellogg to GRACE

We are thrilled to announce that our GRACE Clinic is welcoming a new doctor to the team!  Say hello to Dr. Kelley G. Kellogg of Baylor Scott and White Southlake Family Medicine.  She possesses a huge desire to give back to our community, and is very much looking forward to serving others in our area.  Dr. Kellogg specializes in diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol and preventive health in her private practice.  She has a true servant’s heart to serve, and will fit in perfectly at our clinic.

Dr. Kellogg was born and raised in the Fort Worth/Arlington area.  After completing her medical school degree at the University of North Texas, she did residency training in Internal Medicine at the University of Utah.  Her family loved the climate and recreation, so they decided to stay there for an additional 4 years.  After the birth of their first child, she felt called to be closer to family, and moved back to the North Texas area.  This has given her the opportunity to practice as a hospital-based physician in small rural communities for 10 years  and the last 6 years as an outpatient practice in Southlake.

She is recently remarried and the mom of 6 (three biological and three bonus children), ages 7, 9, 12, 12, 12, and 15!  They are an active family that loves to spend time outdoors hiking, at the lake water skiing, on the slopes snow skiing, underwater scuba diving or just out in the yard gardening.

Another passion of Dr. Kellogg’s is mission work.  Her favorite opportunity so far has been annual medical mission trips to Patzun Guatemala.  While there, she serves individuals in rural communities living in the direst of circumstances , providing basic medical care and supporting a private school.  This year will mark her sixth trip to the area.  She is certain that her experience at Grace will soon top her list, and is grateful to participate in our wonderful ministry.

Dr. Kellogg understands and sees the need in our community, and is very excited to be able to partner with the GRACE Community Clinic.  She will be providing a clinic monthly on Friday afternoons.  Her first clinic at GRACE is this afternoon.  Please join us in giving her a warm GRACE welcome!

Our Donation Needs Right Now

Wanting to get involved with all the generous giving this holiday season but not sure where to start?  GRACE has plenty of volunteer opportunities to welcome you, and we are always thrilled with your donations.  We can use all the elves we can get!

Ways to get involved:

Host a toy collection within your group

  • Gift card drive
  • New toy drive
  • Set up a tree display and have members adopt ornament with toy items

Volunteer

  • Assist clients, price items and help with maintenance of the Christmas Cottage. Spanish-speaking volunteers are always needed. Please email Lori at lstevens@gracegrapevine.org or call (817) 992-4690.
  • Bake cookies for families (we need twelve dozen daily!)
  • Clean, unpack and sort Christmas Cottage after closing

Pick up toys

  • Prepare Christmas Cottage by organizing, stocking or decorating Cottage

 Pray

  • Continue to pray for families that are facing hardship this season, and that God allows us to meet their most pressing needs

Supplies needed to decorate The Cottage

  • Rolls of white and bright blue bulletin board paper
  • Staple guns and staples
  • Blue duct tape / Gorilla Tape
  • Packaging tape
  • Batteries of all sizes
  • Cases of water
  • Overhead projectors
  • 55 gallon trash bags with and without drawstrings
  • Box cutters
  • Glitter / Paint

The 2018 Grace Christmas Cottage is located at 1250 William D Tate; Grapevine, TX. 76051 in the Grapevine Town Center between PetCo and Joann Fabrics.Christmas Cottage Logo

You may have heard that we recently moved into our new facility on Walnut Street where we will now office and serve, and are soon to relocate The Pantry, Clinic and Clothing Room.  This being the case, we still have a huge undertaking with completing the move.  We ask monetary donations in lieu of food while we relocate The Pantry.  We are very much in need of winter clothing – coats (particularly boys coats), gloves, hats, etc. at our Clothing Room.  Please keep us in mind, and check back as we update our needs throughout the holiday season.

We certainly could not help so many individuals and families without the generous support and love from you and our community.  You make all the difference!

For additional questions about involvement, please contact Lara at lhohweiler@gracegrapevine.org.

 

 

Through Your Generous Support, Another GRACE Family Was Welcomed Home

While you were busy donating during Giving Tuesday, you made this happen — another GRACE family was welcomed into their beautiful home!

The day each individual or family move into the program, GRACE Staff, Board Members, and volunteers gather to earnestly pray for them. They are reminded that the program is difficult work and that everyone present and represented is here to encourage, lift and embolden them on their journey.

From the moment they walk through their new home, congregations like Whites Chapel Church, United Methodist Church, and Compass Christian Church artfully decorate and pray over the space to ensure the women are strengthened and renewed.

The hospitality extends far beyond home décor, as the families are personally invited to join them in their church home, or encouraged to attend the place of worship that most aligns with their families’ values.

It’s God’s provision through His people that ensures women like these to thrive in a safe, stable environment to become the best woman and mother they can possibly be.

Thank you for sharing God’s love with displaced families, working moms and dads, and children entering the Transitional Housing program.

Looking to give back? Here are some ideas from the Transitional Housing wishlist:

  • HE Laundry detergent
  • Foam poster boards, magazines and scrapbooking materials for vision boards
  • Adopting a group meal at a restaurant that is able to host a support group of 10-15 people
  • Vocational coaches who are willing to relay applicable life skills such as etiquette, budgeting, and a specific trade.

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.  Donations thankfully accepted here.

Serving and Giving Thanks

Last week, volunteers gathered around the GRACE Food Pantry so hundreds of families could gather around their table over a warm holiday meal.

During holiday distribution, families (and some volunteers who drove on behalf of clients who were unable to drive or lacked transportation) are able to drive through the GRACE Food Pantry and be greeted by friendly volunteers, who load their vehicles with the holiday food basket just in time for the Thursday feast.

Last year 600 turkey dinners and sides were given to families struggling to make ends meet.  This Thanksgiving, we were able to feed over 800 clients!

Last week and every week at GRACE, the kindness of the volunteers and gratefulness of the clients seem to echo the sentiment we cherish most this time of year: “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.”

A special thanks to the following volunteer groups that made Thanksgiving distribution possible:

  • Methodist Southlake Hospital

  • Kubota

  • Johnson & Johnson

  • AMPT/Young Professionals

  • Baylor Scott & White

  • St. Laurence Men’s Group

  • Hilton DFW Lakes

  • Gayle Gaines and friends

  • National Charity League Southlake

  • Young Mens ServiceLeague Southlake

  • Compass Christian Church

Come On Out to GRACE’s Christmas Cottage 2018 Open House

Celebrate the holidays with GRACE, and help us collect toys for families in need at GRACE’s Christmas Cottage Open House on Tuesday, December 11, at the 2018 Christmas Cottage, 1250 William D. Tate in Grapevine.  This is an ideal holiday event for your family, church, civic group or business to attend. Children (as well as children at heart!) are encouraged to dress up in their festive Whoville best, in keeping with this year’s Grinch theme.

Holiday goodies will be served for the children at 4:00 p.m., with wine and hors d’oeuvres at 5:30 p.m. Guests are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts to children and families in need. Click here for a comprehensive list of toy ideas for all age groups.

For those who haven’t experienced the magic of Christmas Cottage in the community, Christmas Cottage is a GRACE program that alleviates the financial burden of Christmas gifts during their season of hardship.

Each qualified family is given a hypothetical “budget” that allows the parents to “purchase” donated toys, home goods and appliances in a private, store-like setting.

This unique approach allows families to budget their resources and select unique presents while preserving the family’s dignity. Over 2,700 individuals and families are served each holiday season.

Providing warmth and comfort this season not only allows families facing hardship to uphold cherished traditions; Christmas Cottage is designed to continue a legacy of giving and instill new traditions for your family, community group or business.

Whether you attend every year or this is your first time to participate, Christmas Cottage Open House is the perfect opportunity for your small group, civic group, family, or business to enjoy feel the magic of generosity this Christmas!

GRACE is Joining In On the “Giving Tuesday” Movement

Entering its seventh year, Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.  Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, Giving Tuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

 

 

Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—Giving Tuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch Giving Tuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.

Background

The Big Ideas Behind Giving Tuesday —

Giving Tuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.As a global movement, Giving Tuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.

Giving Tuesday 2017 by the numbers 

  • 150+ countries
  • 100+ community coalitions
  • 21.7 billion social media impressions
  • $300+ million raised online
  • $120.40 mean online gift
  • 2.5 million online gifts

Want to be a part of Giving Tuesday?  You can start by clicking this link:  https://www.givebigdfw.org/organizations/grapevine-relief-and-community-exchange-grace

 

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