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THIS IS WHY WE SERVE

There are moments when all the resources, collaboration, dedication and prayer come into beautiful fruition as faith is restored to families who once felt all hope was lost.

Fifty guests treasured one such occasion at an intimate gathering last month to honor seven Transitional Housing graduates whose journey to independence inspired and moved us deeply.

Transitional Housing graduation is a rare opportunity to witness personal triumphs and celebrate the courage of women and men who, with the backing of the community, can reflect on all they have achieved while in the program.

This graduating class in particular endured various personal tragedies such as homelessness, job loss, addictions by their caregivers, physical abuse and lack of basic education. While came from different backgrounds with different stories a consistent theme remained: a drive to honor God with their lives and give their children a life they deserved.

Two years ago, stories of brokenness converged at GRACE that later blossomed into narratives of hope and inspiration. Clients often leaned on each other and the compassionate staff to pursue higher education, increase their earning potential and let profound emotional wounds heal.

In the coming weeks we’ll highlight the individuals who courageously shared their stories so eloquently in front of their peers, supporters, staff, volunteers and community leaders. Their brave vulnerability, maturity and sense of achievement is only a testimony to God’s work through His people.

On behalf of the GRACE Board, staff and volunteers who have forged deep relationships with these families, it is our continued prayer that God gives them inner strength as they use their newfound skills to serve others in need. Our deepest appreciation for this wonderful community for their steadfast support to families in need.

VIEW THE GRADUATION ALBUM HERE

About Transitional Housing

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.

GRACE COLLABORATES WITH GV FIRE DEPT

The Grapevine Fire Department staff hosted an awareness campaign in hopes to strengthen the GRACE partnership and further inform the staff about the broad scope of services available to families in crisis.

Client Services Manager Marcela Melendez presented to each shift over a period of two days.

After a tragedy such as a home fire occurs and the victims’ immediate needs are met, families often require continued care and long-term solutions that might come in the form of case management, job training or shelter referrals.

marcyPresenting all the services GRACE has to offer assures law enforcement, fire fighters and other first responders that they are relaying the correct information to families who can’t afford the time it takes to sift through red tape.

A simple code violation, for instance, might unearth housing instability that could be managed with financial coaching or utility assistance.

Each family situation is unique, and individualized care has proven to be the most effective, compassionate approach in guiding families toward self-sufficiency.

First responders are offered an after-hours hotline and direct access to GRACE staff in the event that a family needs holistic care.

We offer our utmost support to men and women in uniform, and feel privileged to collaborate with them in a unique way that allows better care for all of us.

A GIFT WITH HEART

The Bay View Club embraces a rich history as oldest culture club in Grapevine. The women’s literary club has continually met in member’s homes since its founding in 1908. The club has also remained invitation-only, and is limited to 24 decedents of early Tarrant County residents.

These women may come together to honor an important legacy, but they are just as committed to making the future brighter for families living in the cities they love.

Last month the ladies took a collection to purchase a defibrillator for the Community Clinic, which can deliver life-saving treatment to a patient in the midst of a cardiac arrest.

The prestigious club has embarked on many philanthropic endeavors for over a century. During World War I, meetings were suspended to work for the Red Cross making hospital garments.

During the Second World War, the women collected nylon hose to aid the war effort. The group has also granted scholarships to local students and projects to beautify Grapevine, including the ornate iron arch that still stands at the Historic Grapevine Cemetery.

As the only Community Clinic in the immediate area, GRACE is committed to providing holistic, preventative care that helps families overcome financial and physical hardship.

Thanks to partners like the Bay View Club, GRACE’s dream to provide specialized care is realized, including professional services from endocrinologists, audiologists, optometrists and other individualized care.

As GRACE Board member, club member and City Councilwoman Duff O’Dell remarked during the meeting, a gift for the heart couldn’t be more aptly given on behalf of the women who have been steadfast friends and mentors to so many in the community.

On behalf of the 800 patients who call GRACE Community Clinic their medical home, thank you for giving from the heart.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECEIVES ROTARY AWARD

GRACE Executive Director Shonda Schaefer received the huge honor of being this year’s Grapevine Rotary “Pro”, a distinguished award given to fellow Rotarians for their integrity, service and community engagement.

The Rotary Club will formally recognize Shonda at an awards luncheon immediately following their Golf for Grads tournament on Monday, March 20 at the Cowboys Golf Club.

Tournament and raffle proceeds have raised over $150,000 in scholarships to local future leaders. The 2016 “Pro” was City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Darlene Freed.

Shonda’s fierce dedication to serve the community as her vocation and with her personal time has earned her more awards over the thirteen years as Executive Director than we can recount. The proud Rotarian’s love for the mission of GRACE, her family, staff and the community is unmatched.

The Rotary Club, whose motto is, “service above self” is an accurate reflection of the character of its members. As the first service club organization, volunteering one’s time and talent is the hallmark of its existence.

Last year the Grapevine Rotary Club donated two new water barrels outfitted for the GRACE Community Gardens. The water reservoir catches rainwater from the roof to cut watering costs and aide the volunteer gardeners working during the hot summer months.

The members are also faithful Feed Our Kids participants, providing lunch for nearly 300 at-risk children last summer.

Congratulations to our friend and leader who embodies what makes this community so special. For full event details or to register for the Golf for Grads Tournament, click here.

The Grapevine Rotary meets every Wednesday at the noon at the Lancaster Theater.

About Shonda Schaefer 

Shonda began her tenure with GRACE as a volunteer when she was elected as a member of the agency’s Board of Directors in 2003. When the founder of GRACE made the decision to retire in 2006, Shonda was asked to step up from the role of a volunteer to the role of Executive Director. Shonda did so without hesitation. Over the course of thirteen years, Shonda has been an instrumental part of the community in many capacities.

At GRACE, Shonda’s primary responsibility is to keep the organization’s mission in line with the ever-increasing need of the community. Shonda is responsible for strategic planning, program design, fundraising, community relations, board development, staff supervision, volunteer management, and financial planning. Thanks to the leadership and direction of Shonda, thousands of lives have been touched in the community, and she exemplifies professionalism in her vocation and represents the best of a Rotarian.

Prior to joining GRACE, Shonda established a career in nonprofit leadership including positions with the YWCA, Captain Hope’s Kids, Contact Crisis Line and Children’s Cancer Fund. She is a certified Nonprofit Manager (CNM) and a graduate of Leadership Grapevine and Leadership Colleyville with over 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector.

Shonda is involved in numerous leadership roles in the community including Grapevine Chamber of Commerce (where she was named “The Godmother” of their membership event, Women’s Division of the Grapevine Chamber, Grapevine Rotary where she served as chair for the 2016 Golf Tournament and Fund Raising raffle), Grapevine Leadership Program Advisory Committee, GCISD Campus Excellence Committee, the Colleyville Chamber of Commerce, Southlake Mayor’s Advisory Board, and the Southlake Chamber of Commerce. She is a graduate of Leadership Irving, Leadership Grapevine and Leadership Colleyville, just to name a few.

Shonda is married to Paul and they have three children, Alex, TJ & Tori.  And who can forget their family pet pig, Bamm Bamm Schaefer.

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OUR NEW EVENT WEBSITE IS LIVE!

Not only did DriveintotheNight.com get a new look; now it’s easier than ever to register your team, player spot or sponsorship! Dinner is included, along with contests, specialty drinks and raffle prizes.

Download sponsorship options for a tailored plan that gives ample exposure to your civic group or business. Get creative with your team name on the scoreboard the night of the tournament. Don’t have your entire team together? That’s okay, simply put in a confirmation number you receive after purchase and fill in your guest names at a later date.

Whether you’re an avid golfer or play par to nine holes of putt-putt, this fan-favorite moonlight event generates one of GRACE’s largest event proceeds to help families in distress.

All event revenue sustains GRACE children’s programs like Christmas Cottage, which provides 2,700 family members with new, unwrapped Christmas toys. Feed Our Kids provides an average of 38,000 meals to at-risk children during the summer months.

Your participation in Drive into the Night through sponsorship or as a golfer, will help ensure that these programs reach as many children as possible.

REGISTER TO PLAY

DOWNLOAD MONETARY SPONSORSHIP BENEFITS

DOWNLOAD IN-KIND AUCTION BENEFITS

Please note: if you are purchasing a team on behalf of players other than yourself, please download this form and  submit your player spots  to Chelsea Rose.

COME GROW WITH THE COMMUNITY GARDEN

The mission of the GRACE Community Garden is to cultivate a healthy community by building collaborations and providing organically grown produce to those in need.

Most of the organically grown produce from the garden is donated to the GRACE Pantry.  If you would like to be on our garden e-mail list, please e-mail Alison Shumaker.

For volunteer opportunities or information on adopting a raised garden plot, please contact Lara Hohweiler.

2017 Planting/Tending Schedule

Mid Spring Planting, Saturday March 18  Major planting date.  Plant squash, melons, corn, tomatoes and peppers (transplants) and interplant borage, garlic, marigolds and nasturtiums to ward off pests. Fruit trees: give them manure top dressing, renewal of mulch, pulling grass that has encroached.  Stake raspberries and cage tomatoes and peppers. Weed and mulch crops planted on 2-6 as well as raspberries and strawberries. Mulch walkways.  9:00 am until completed.

Spring Tending and Planting, Saturday April 8 Plant cucumbers, and replant where needed.   Weed and mulch around our newly established tomatoes, squashes and peppers, as well as replenish mulch in our walkways. Seed marigolds where missing.  9:00 am until completed.

Late Spring Planting and Tending, Saturday May 13  Plant sweet potatoes, corn, tomatillos, Weed and mulch as needed. Turn compost piles to aerate, water them. 9:00 am until completed.

Early Summer Planting, Saturday, June 3  Plant tomatillos, succession tomatoes, cage them, plant succession watermelon, cucumber and cantaloupe. Turn compost piles to aerate, water the piles, add leaves.  Weed and mulch generally.  8:00 am until completed.

Tomato Pruning, Saturday July 22 Gather tomato fruits.  Prune back vines planted on 3-18 to promote second growth of new stems and blossoms for fall production. Weed and mulch generally. 8:00 am until completed.

Last Summer Tending, Saturday August 19   Plant winter squash. Weed and mulch generally; turn compost piles, water them. 8:00 am until completed.

Early Fall Tending, Saturday September 9 Remove spent crops, apply manure and/or finished compost. Replant where needed.  Weed and mulch fruit trees.  8:00 am until completed.

Late Fall Planting, Saturday October 7  Plant cabbage transplants. Turn compost bins, add leaves.  Weed and mulch generally. 9:00 am ‘until completed.

December: Bring bags of leaves to use as compost and mulch.

Volunteer opporunties take place each Thursday. Gather ripe produce, do spot weeding. Also, spent produce, leaves and other organic materials must be added to compost piles. Turn compost piles to aerate and water the piles. Spot water crops if needed. Please contact Becca Clarke, 817-454-0731 for details.

Ongoing Community Garden Needs:

  • Volunteer on scheduled work days – garden clean up/planting
  • Monetary donations (see below for information)
  • Donation of seeds and plants for planting days

Make a monetary donation. Please mention GRACE garden in memo.

COLLEYVILLE CHAMBER HONORS GRACE COMMUNITY

GRACE was honored to take part in nominating key leaders for the 41st Annual Colleyville Area Chamber of Commerce at their Awards Luncheon on February 2 at the Colleyville Center.

Winners

  • Community Star Award – Kay Allen
  • Corporation of the Year – Marketstreet
  • Outstanding Service Organization- GRACE

Here is a list of the following Nominees:

  • Citizen of the Year- Kay Allen
  • Corporation of the Year – Marketstreet
  • Outstanding Service Organization – GRACE
  • Youth of the Year – Will Mathison

Kay Allen is an outstanding Colleyville resident who gives selflessly of her time and resources in the community. As a member of the chamber and having served on several boards, Kay embodies volunteerism by serving alongside causes that strengthen their communities, including the Colleyville Rotary Club, Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation and GCISD, the latter of which earned her the PTA’s Friend of Children Award.

In addition to her generosity and time, Kay and Aspen Wealth Management are supporters of the annual GRACE Gala, which is the organization’s largest premier fundraising event. Kay is always willing to help spread the word of the GRACE mission to help meet the need of the community.

Not only is Market Street a top-notch Colleyville business, its leadership has made a commitment to create a benevolent culture that makes a positive impact beyond the walls of the store.

On a state level, volunteer is so vital to their operations that their staff members have donated more than 50,000 volunteer hours over the past decade, in addition to contributing $2M to worthy organizations each year.

Locally, the Colleyville Market Street supplements the GRACE Food Pantry on a regular basis by donating fresh breads, sweets, produce, and frozen meals five days a week. Thanks to their generosity, thousands of people in the community have been provided with food that they otherwise would have gone without.

Market Street readily contributes to various fundraising events, including the GRACE Gala, by providing high-dollar baskets of gourmet items and gift certificates for silent auctions.

In honor of their 100th year anniversary for United Supermarkets, Market Street gave funds to community organizations of their choice for their “100 Days of Giving” campaign. The Colleyville Market Street chose to donate their funds to GRACE to further the mission of helping those in the community who are in need.

The Colleyville Chamber of Commerce has been a steadfast volunteer group and welcomed part of the GRACE family. Volunteers give of their time in virtually every program, including resale operations, special events, seasonal campaigns and holiday drives. We are honored to be a checkpoint of compassion for families in the surrounding cities.

Congratulations to all the worthy winners and nominees!

WELCOME JAMÉ

We are excited to welcome one GRACE’s newest members, Jamé Scott, as Transitional Housing Manager.

Next week you won’t want to miss the post on this week’s phenomenal Transitional Housing Graduation ceremony, thanks in part to the fantastic Transitional Housing staff and the instant warmth Jamé brings to the program.

Jamé’s well-verse education is only part of what makes her such an ideal fit. She received her Masters of Business Administration at Strayer University, and later earned her Master of Social Work at the University of Memphis.

Originally from San Francisco, Jamé spent much of her adult career in Memphis, Tennessee as a Case Manager in various capacities, also serving as an interventionist and recruiter to foster families.

As a foster child herself who was raised by a loving family, Jamé’s passion grew for children in the foster system and adoptive parents. As part of the GRACE team, Jamé capitalizes on her knack for building structure and compassion for single mothers and fathers who are looking to her leadership for accountability, stability and a safe place to rebuild their futures.

“I can’t put into words how honored I feel to be a part of a team that is so generous and passionate about serving our community,” says Jamé. “Even in my short time here at GRACE I’ve seen a lot of transformation and I feel privileged to be a small part of those transformations.”

Jamé lives in Grapevine and is a member of Concord Church in Dallas. We are glad you are part of the GRACE family!

‘FAANT’ TAKES STEPS TO HELP FAMILIES IN NEED

Foot and Ankle of North Texas (FAANT) put their best foot forward last month by collecting a car load of perishable goods for the GRACE Food Pantry. All the food given will make their way to the tables of grateful families, who, despite financial burdens, no longer have to worry where their children’s next dinner will come from.

GRACE relies on groups and businesses to find creative ways to collect nonperishable goods and grocery essentials, so that no local family in need is turned away. Last month the Food Pantry gave an estimated $45,000 worth of food, which allows families to put that additional money in savings or pay their utility bills.

HOW THE RESOURCES ARE UTILIZED

Volunteer groups might be surprised to know that once the goods are received, programs within GRACE collaborate together to make sure each family gets as much nourishment as possible. For instance, the Community Gardens yield organic produce for the clients to take home, and the GRACE Community Clinic hosts hands-on nutrition classes that show families how to best prepare foods for diverse, healthy meal options.

If your group is interested in hosting a drive, know that your donations will go a long way to foster healthy, happy families in the community. Shoppers can download the Food Pantry Needs List with real-time needs, or talk to Special Events Manager Chelsea Rose for collection ideas and resources.

The Grapevine FAANT location leads North Texas in specialty podiatry services, such as limb recovery for diabetic patients, arthritic care, nerve care, surgery and pediatrics.

A heartfelt thanks to the staff at Food and Ankle of North Texas for getting us “one step closer” to serving families in our cities!

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