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Last month we had the great privilege of welcoming Deanna and her five-year-old daughter, Lauren to their new home though GRACE’s Transitional Housing program.

Seeing the look on a mother or father’s face the moment he or she has entered a safe, stable home, surrounded by a loving community is impossible to describe or quantify.

The gratitude and overwhelming emotions experienced often renders the parents speechless. Once they have a moment to collect themselves, women like Deanna hug their children a little tighter and share their heartfelt desire to be worthy of the community’s blessing.

This particular home was remodeled by members of Compass Christian Church, and no detail was overlooked to provide warmth and comfort as Deanna and her daughter forge a new future for their family.

Deanna’s story has just started to unfold, but she has overcome many hardships. Her humble spirit and determination have made her a great asset to the program, and plans to embark on her new job next week!

The two are settling beautifully, and she was able to enroll her daughter in school and daycare, thanks to the support of GRACE donors.

The day each individual or family moves 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.

It’s God’s provision through His people that ensures women like Deanna thrive in a safe, stable environment to become the best woman and mother she can possibly be. For that, our own gratitude is difficult to quantify.

On behalf of Deanna, Lauren, and the other families that you equip through GRACE programs, thank you.

View the apartment home remodel below.

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TWO WAYS TO ADD A SMILE TO YOUR CART

On your first visit to AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), you are prompted to select a charitable organization from our list of eligible organizations. You can change your selection at any time.

To change your charitable organization:

  1. Sign in to smile.amazon.com on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
  2. From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
  3. Select a new charitable organization to support.

For more information about the AmazonSmile program, go to http://smile.amazon.com/about.

AmazonSmile is a simple, automatic way to support GRACE with things you already purchase online. By selecting GRACE’s AmazonSmile page, a portion of everything you purchase (.5%) funds our programs at no cost to you.

Follow the link here to find our AmazonSmile page, and have the option of adding it to your toolbar for quick access. AmazonSmile is an effortless way to designate funds for things you already buy for the Holidays and throughout the year.

Families who are crunched for time can also purchase groceries, toiletries, and household goods via Amazon Pantry, and have the goods delivered directly to the GRACE Food Pantry! Be sure update the shipping address:

GRACE Food Pantry

837 E. Walnut Street

Grapevine, TX 76051.

Your contribution will arrive anonymously unless you choose the “gift card” option that appears at checkout. We would love to send a thank you, so be sure to include your contact information on the guest panel.

You can find the latest Food Pantry Needs list on our GRACE homepage. Download the list here.

RUSTY RECEIVES ESTEEMED ‘SERVICE ABOVE SELF’ AWARD

Food Pantry Manager, Rusty Thigpen, was named this year’s recipient of the “Ken Diehm Service Above Self Award”.

This tremendous honor follows the altruistic legacy of the late Dr. Ken Diehm, Grapevine Rotary member and First United Methodist Church Pastor, who passed away in 2011 of acute leukemia.

The client-choice pantry approach to maintain the dignity of each family member was Rusty’s vision when he began with GRACE seventeen years ago.

His relational approach with clients, volunteers, donors and staff align with GRACE’s core values and continue to shape the unique platform at the GRACE Food Pantry.

Rusty collaborates with the community to secure, sort and display food and other essentials for an average of 400 families each month. He also coordinates volunteers, food drive, and food basket distributions to nearly 500 families for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas.

Rusty consistently adds new volunteers and finds ways to utilize a wide variety of talents among groups and individuals wanting to serve at GRACE. His integrity has also earned the loyalty of his volunteers, many of whom have worked alongside him his entire tenure at GRACE.

Rusty is a man of great character and is respected throughout Grapevine and its surrounding communities.  It is hard to go anywhere with Rusty where someone doesn’t know him. As the coordinator for over 150 donations each month, Rusty is often the face of GRACE, personally thanking organizations and individuals for making sure no families in the community experience hunger.

We admire Rusty for his kindness, vigor, and humor, and could think of no one better to the worthy task of restoring dignity, worth and hope to families facing hardship.

FEATURE HIGHLIGHT: THE HARTNETT GROUP

It would come as no surprise that the kings of dining, The Hartnett Group, would be this year’s Dinner Feature Sponsor for the GRACE Gala.

The Hartnett Group is the genius behind your favorite local restaurants, including Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Flips Patio Grill, Mi Dia, and Winewood Grill. The Hartnett family has seemed to master every cuisine imaginable, from a decadent brunch, prime ‘cote de boeuf’ bone-in ribeye, to juicy hamburgers and authentic Latin American fare.

As longtime supporters of GRACE, The Hartnett Group’s investment as the Dinner Feature Sponsor raises funds to ensure that no family in our community go without food, shelter, clothing, and medical care.

Mi Dia, ranked among D Magazine’s coveted Top 50, has expanded from Grapevine to Flower Mound and Plano. Second to its authentic ingredients and true namesake “from scratch” approach, Mi Dia is the best place to enjoy a margarita aside the patio firepot.

When Winewood premiered its now-famous brunch menu among nearly two hundred of the area’s finest food connoisseurs, The Harnett Group seized the opportunity to launch an awareness campaign event for GRACE’s annual Holiday Food Drive to families in need.

Flips Patio Grill is a household name for Grapevine residents, and also offers live music, a revolving tap, and plenty of screens for sports enthusiasts. But let’s not forget the real reason we like to pay Flips a visit: fresh beef lined with those wonderful gooey cheeses.

Much of The Hartnett Group’s success in the local market and beyond is their investment in local families who experience the hardship of a recent job loss, unexpected illness or unforeseen repairs that jeopardize their ability to feed their families.

Heartfelt thanks to the Hartnett family for their loyal partnership and compassion in the community.

The 2017 GRACE Gala will take place on Saturday, October 14 at the Hyatt Regency DFW. As GRACE’s largest fund raising event of the year, the event revenue provides foundational support to further the GRACE mission. 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.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

When we asked the community to help us provide supplies to at-risk children, we were overwhelmed by backpacks filled with school supplies!

TriNet Lessens Load

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TriNet, a Human Resources Benefits company, have made it their annual mission to ensure our backpack inventory lightens the load for every family in need each school year.

This year the company filled 125 new backpacks with supplies for high school and elementary students.

Indian Princesses

The Indian Princess Ojibway Tribe of Southlake of the Yo-He-Way Nation collaborated their hard work with a reprise of ice cream. The club hosted a collection site at Braums, and supplemented our Back to School drive for families in need.

Indian Princess enables daughters to spend quality time with their dads through social events, such as the Sweetheart Dance, annual Christmas Party, sporting events, Pinewood Derby, Fishing Hole Day and benevolence projects.

Janning Foundation furthers GRACE programs

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Our hearts our filled by the generosity the Janning family. The Janning Family Foundation was established to foster planned giving from generation to generation.

Grantors Elizabeth and Jason Jennings explained that Jason’s father established the fund so that his children and grandchildren can embark on a journey to give to local causes that matter most to them.

This year GRACE was awarded $15,000 to fund GRACE programs for local families.

Tate Family Dentistry launches “Socks n’ Skivvies” campaign

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We can’t stop smiling at the impressive donation collected by the staff and patients of Tate  Family Dentistry.

The local business encouraged support through their active social media channel and reminded patients to bring donations before their appointment.

To those who participated in collection drives, assembled bags and volunteered hours at the Back to School Fair, your investment is appreciated. You have alleviated the burden for so many families and given a fresh start to hundreds of children.

Did you know

Studies reveal that the cost for school supplies and activities for students has risen up to 85% over the past ten years. A modest estimate for each elementary age child is $100 in supply expenses and up to $1,000 for a high school student when you weigh in supplies, gym clothes, field trip fees, musical instruments and other costs throughout the year.

GRACE GROCERY GIVEAWAY DELIVERS

Our volunteers never cease to amaze us. Each Friday in the summer, volunteers invested over 275 hours to provide families with over $27,000 worth of fresh produce and kitchen essentials to families in need.

Since its pilot launch in 2015, the program has directly dispensed an estimated $89,000 worth of goods to families living in neighborhoods most vulnerable to food security.

The tables are set up like a farmer’s market, stocked with impressive items such as yams, cabbage, walnuts, cranberries and oranges. The structure is intentional in developing a positive relationship with the recipients, so families can select foods that meet their dietary needs and meal preferences.

This summer the Mobile Food Pantry program as able to deliver food to 432 households, so families enjoy food at the weekend at their peak of freshness.

Families would not be able to walk away with healthy grocery items if it weren’t for a dedicated team of volunteers to power the project and of course, our incredible donors who steward their resources to the community.

SCHEDULED GIVING IS OPEN FOR NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY

This year North Texans don’t have to wait until North Texas Giving Day (September 14) to amplify their gift by over $2.5 million dollars.

For the first time ever, donors can schedule gifts before North Texas Giving Day! Scheduled giving is open now through September 13 at midnight!

Throughout the year a pool of funds are raised as an incentive for the North Texas community to invest in causes they care about most. The collected funds are then redistributed to organizations based on participation of their donors with online gifts.

Giving on North Texas Giving Day is a timely way to make your dollar go a little further. As with all donations made to GRACE, every dollar is maximized to bring food, clothing, shelter and medical care to local families in the midst of hardship.

Miss the scheduled giving? You can still make donations on the actual North Texas Giving Day here!

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook by tagging #GRACEGrapevine and #NTXGivingDay @NorthTexasGivingDay.

2017 PRESIDENT’S AWARD GOES TO LARA HOHWEILER

Last week, the GRACE Leadership team and Board of Directors set out to recognize one staff member to receive the agency’s highest honor for her fierce work ethic, leadership, and excellence in mission.

GRACE Volunteer Manager, Lara Hohweiler, has worked with GRACE in various capacities for nearly five years, first with our resale operations and currently as part of the Development department.

Her role to manage volunteers extends far beyond scheduling and delegating. Lara builds genuine relationships with civic clubs, church congregations, individuals and businesses, because her passion for the community is sincere and infectious.

To put it simply– you can’t go anywhere with Lara without someone from the community coming to steal a hug from her!

Lara manages multiple speaking engagements throughout the agency, maintaining community engagement initiatives and serving in multiple volunteer capacities with the Grapevine Women’s Division and other memberships.

In addition to her regular duties, Lara has taken responsibility of interim event management with vendors and guests, proving that she truly can shine anywhere you put her!

She knows every corner of all GRACE facilities and collaborates with individuals, churches and Boy Scout troops to execute projects to beautify and utilize GRACE sites.

GRACE is blessed to have Lara as an ambassador for the mission because she works diligently behind the scenes to make sure every project, speaking engagement or volunteer shift is carried out in a manner worthy of the families GRACE serves.

Congratulations, Lara!

GRAPEVINE POLICE RESPOND TO FAMILIES IN NEED

The Grapevine Police Department (GPD) is dedicated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure every Grapevine resident is safe.

With families seeking refuge in our community in the aftermath of the storms, the GPD went above and beyond to ensure our newest neighbors had all their essential needs met through GRACE programs.

They put out a call for nonperishable foods, socks, diapers, and hygiene items, and the community responded with abundance.

Within 24 hours, the overflowing boxes of donations couldn’t be contained in one trip, and multiple trips are planned as the donations continue to come in from officers and community residents.

“In times like this, we know that families want to make meaningful, material donations to give to another family,” said police Meeting Manager Amanda McNew. “As long as the community has a need, we will continue to be an outlet for their generosity.”

There are currently five Grapevine officers on the ground in Houston. Officers and their spouses have taken a personal interest in the cause at home to replenish the GRACE Food Pantry.

Demands in this region are expected to increase in the short and long term as evacuees relocate to our area to escape further damage. Thanks to the generosity of our selfless first responders and our neighbors, families who have arrived and will be arriving will be met with tools to become whole again.

We could not be more proud of our officers in blue, and thankful for their service both here and our neighbors in Houston.

Please to continue to pray for the police officers and families affected by the storms.

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