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2017 BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR A SUCCESS

This year’s GCISD Connect Back to School Fair was a great success!

GRACE has provided backpacks and school supplies to 251 children, and are preparing for an influx of families that turn to GRACE in the coming months after a financial crisis.

GRACE was able to collaborate with 962 children who were given Back to School clothing and resources for additional assistance.

Watch this brief video that highlights this incredible community as we serve alongside each other to support families in need!

Watch the highlight below

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SEASONED WITH GRACE

When women from the Islamic Center found out what their friends at First Presbyterian Grapevine (FPCGV) were doing at GRACE, they were stirred to address the needs of local youth side by side.

Both groups joined forces (and ingredients) to make an estimated 300 meals of spaghetti and garlic bread for children over the course of two days at the Grapevine Outreach Center, GRACE’s busiest meal site.

The two groups have formed a unique friendship and a kindred desire to serve their neighbors in need. It was especially important to the women to bring their children and engage in relationship-building activities with their peers.

GRACE’s ultimate goal as a faith-based organization is to share God’s love by extending compassion, kindness, and gentleness to clients and volunteers alike. The love of Christ compels us to be a haven where all families can serve and be served, and that every program (or piece of garlic bread) is seasoned with grace.

The members of FPCG consistency embody the heart of GRACE, finding creative ways to meet the needs of their neighbors by hosting baby showers for single mothers, a Reverse Hunger Food Truck that collects canned goods for grocery store shoppers, and abundant congregational food collections that fill the sanctuary.

The FPCG family has invested $100,000 and 1,000 collective volunteer hours to ensure programs like Feed Our Kids continue to meet the needs of at-risk children year after year.

We are grateful for families who come together to show kindness to our neighbors in need!

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Feed Our Kids is a GRACE summer lunch program that beckons members of the community to provide meals in neighborhoods where children are most vulnerable to food insecurity.

“Be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” -Ephesians 5:1

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to seek justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:9

THE TAPESTRY OF SERVICE

“We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone… and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.” S. Day O’Connor

Every Wednesday Sheri Jones invests her time and energy into making the Food Pantry functional, beautiful and welcoming.

When she goes home, she still thinks of others. Months in the making was a red, white and blue quilt, crafted with love from Sheri to give her to friend, and Food Pantry Manager, Rusty Thigpen.

This generous gesture is a testament to the remarkable volunteers who work alongside us at GRACE, and the mutual affection and respect that is woven after years of working toward a common goal to nourish families in need.

Sheri has been making the Food Pantry a better place since the doors first opened at the Walnut property in 2006. Since then she has given nearly 1,200 documented hours (and we suspect a great deal more) to stocking, sorting and encouraging clients who seek a hand up at GRACE.

“Sheri has been here since the beginning, and it really means a lot to me that she would take the time to make this,” said Rusty. “Don’t make me get teary eyed!”

THE WEAVER
My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me,
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow,
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I, the underside.
Not till the loom in silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

If you are inspired to serve, GRACE has a place that fits your time and talents. Contact Volunteer Manager, Lara Hohweiler, for ideas and resources, or visit our volunteer page on GRACEGrapevine.org.

MAJOLIE’S STORY

The following is the first of three life stories told by three courageous Transitional Housing clients, and recent recipients of the Kathee Livengood Foundation Scholarship.

Majolie was born in Cameroon, West Africa. At age nine, she was adopted by a missionary family after her father passed away and mother went missing. Although Majolie had siblings, they were dispersed to other families within the village.

She grew up in a loving, mission-minded home in Oklahoma, with the conviction that God had a call in her life. Majolie later married a man she met on Christian Mingle and moved to Michigan, where her husband was from.

Majolie’s husband came from the belief that man rules over the woman, and every effort for her success was met with malice.

His constant harassment at her workplace made her lose her job. She wasn’t allowed access to their finances, and he followed her with his car when she left the house.

While they awaited the birth of their first child, her husband began to react with increasing hostility toward her and their unborn child.

“When I was pregnant he tortured me to the extent of grabbing me on the side of my belly and [holding] me by the neck,” said Majolie. “When I finally decided to leave him for the safety of my daughter, we become homeless. [We] went from shelter to shelter.”

Princess is now two years old and doesn’t have to know fear for her safety or her mother’s life. Your support and the support from the Kathee Livengood scholarship give Majolie the tools to resume college to become a Medical Laboratory Technician.

“My goal is to see my daughter grow healthy. I want to be an example for her and someone she will proud to call her mom.”

 

About the Kathee Livengood Scholarship

livengoodAfter our community lost prominent philanthropist Kathee Livengood to cancer in 2012, the Women’s Division of the Grapevine Chamber established a memorial fund in her honor to help deserving women seek new opportunities and increase their earning potential.

Livengood was the driving force behind many charitable causes, and her collective passion for others raised thousands of dollars for local children and families.

We are moved by Majolie’s courage and grateful for Kathee Livengood’s abundant life, which continues to inspire us to live as she lived.

WELCOME DONORS AT THE DONATION STATION DRIVE

You’ve probably driven past Donation Station, spotted it after breakfast at Old West Café, or even donated gently-used items through the Donation Station drive.

Donation Station houses all the items given by the community, such as clothing, housewares, linens, toys and books to provide assistance to those in the midst of hardship.

Your donation gives families hope when they wonder how they’ll be able to clothe their growing children, or manage their electric bill. Before any goods are placed on the resale shop shelves or in a client’s home, volunteers are needed to sort and process each item received.

To be the best stewards of our in-kind item donations, the staff and volunteers work hard to ensure every item given reaches its fullest potential.

Donation Station received 3,946 donations last month, which amounts to an estimated 120 cars a day. The multitudes of items we receive require stewardship, strategy, and elbow grease to ensure the products are directed where they will be most useful.

Summer volunteers are critically needed to greet donors, unload items and sort goods. This is an ideal volunteer opportunity for families, small groups, scout troops and a group of like-minded colleagues who have an afternoon, Saturday, or even a lunchbreak to lend a helping hand.

Inspired to serve?

Volunteers are needed to be the face of GRACE and greet those dropping off item donations. All interested will receive ample training, and get to work with some fantastic people.

Contact Volunteer Manager Lara Hohweiler for options and resources.

HELP FAMILIES PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AS A VITA VOLUNTEER

Help us meet a critical need for volunteers so families may receive an optimal tax return next season! Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is a free tax preparation program that is offered to qualifying families at GRACE sites.

If you share the same affection for spreadsheets and numbers as you do spiders and tightrope walking, take heart in knowing there are several volunteer types to choose from.

Tax Preparers, Intake Specialists and Interpreters help families with the process, and no volunteer is liable for errors. No prior qualification is required, and each volunteer receives ample training.

Last year volunteers helped families discover over $150,000 in Earned Income Credit and over $43,000 in Child Tax Credit. This effort supports GRACE’s mission to restore financial stability for families by helping them accrue a healthy savings account.

The achievement for each family creates a ripple effect that is far reaching, including the intangible support given during tax season for financial stewardship awareness, job coaching, and continued education resources to increase each family’s earning potential.

Want to be a part of what VITA is doing for families?

If you are passionate about helping families overcome hardship through financial education, VITA needs volunteers and financial coaches. Reach out to Lara Hohweiler to get plugged in.

SOUTHLAKE STYLE EVENT PROCEEDS BENEFIT TRANSITIONAL HOUSING PROGRAM

Southlake Style is teaming up with GRACE’s Transitional Housing program as the 2017 beneficiaries for their encore Empowered Women’s Luncheon.

A portion of ticket and event sales will provide support displaced women and men through GRACE’s Transitional Housing program.

Guests will hear keynote Merrilee Kick, President of BuzzBalls and Southern Champion, LLC and EY Entrepreneurial Winning Woman of 2016, titled “Flourishing in the Face of Failure”.

Merrilee Kick persevered with a dream to launch her own wine and spirits company while working long days as a school teacher in Plano. Since founding in 2009 the companies now generate $20M in revenue, inspiring to relentlessly pursue their passion.

This is an ideal event to get your friends together over the workweek to be empowered and know that your ticket proceeds equip Transitional Housing clients to thrive as well.

The luncheon will be catered by Scratch Kitchen and will take place Friday, October 13, at The Marq in Southlake. Tickets will be available soon.

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GRACE MOBILE FOOD PANTRY DELIVERS

GRACE’s Mobile Food Pantry program ensures perishable produce and bread donated at the end of the week are given at neighborhoods where residents are most vulnerable to food insecurity.

The program has worked seamlessly in conjunction with our Feed Our Kids program, and the experience has been richly rewarding for volunteers and receivers alike.

The tables are set up like a farmer’s market, stocked with delectable fruits and kitchen staples, such as watermelon, onions, corn and sweet potatoes.

In just 5 weeks, GRACE’s Mobile Food Pantry has been able to give bagged groceries to 996 family members to feed 216 households.

That means if you lined a watermelon from end to end for every individual who picked up bags of groceries, they would travel from Macs on Main all the way to Main Street Bakery!

There are exciting negotiations underway to explore the possibility of continuing GRACE Grocery Giveaway throughout the year. Please continue to pray for the families who receive the groceries, that they are nourished and provided for.

TAKE A SNEAK PEAK AT YOUR RAFFLE PRIZES

What’s better than staying at a lakeside retreat? One that’s less than a three-hour drive away!

This year’s six-bedroom Marina Manor is nestled in the bends of the Brazos River at Possum Kingdom Lake, just a few minutes from the cliffs.

The winner gets the use of a 2017 Classic Chevrolet suburban to unwind with up to 15 of their friends for three days, with access to fishing, hiking, kayaking—and those with the need for speed—jet skis.

You might want to throw on some shades for the next sneak peak:  an 18kt white gold sapphire and diamond pendant, hung on an eighteen inch white gold link chain. The coveted piece is part of Don Gregg Ruth’s special collection, and graciously donated by Southlake’s Grayson Allen Fine Jewelers.

2017 is the year for bonus prizes, meaning every entry has an even greater chance with an additional drawing for a bonus prize package!

100% of the raffle ticket proceeds provide food, clothing, shelter, medical attention and holistic support to thousands of family members each year through GRACE programs.

Thanks to Brook and DeWayne Smart, The Thompson Group at Classic Chevrolet and Grayson Allen Fine Jewelers, whose generosity makes the raffle proceeds possible.

PURCHASE RAFFLE TICKETS

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