COMPASSION INTERNATIONAL MAKES GENEROUS GIFT THROUGH GRACE

As you may have heard, GRACE was selected as the Compassion International local ministry highlight for last week’s Rock & Worship Roadshow, a variety tour that features the nation’s top contemporary Christian artists. The event strives to provide spiritual renewal and spread awareness on the global impact of child sponsorship. The crowd that nearly filled the American Airlines Center was asked to make a cash donation to fund the next concert location. The heart behind the appeal was to support future events in the same way the previous host city funded the Dallas performance. Compassion International pledged the first $2,000 to be given to GRACE programs. The night itself was an incredible experience for GRACE staff, board members and GRACE Transitional Housing clients. The generous gift to support children in our local community is a testament to Compassion International, who essentially pioneered child sponsorship in the 1950’s after witnessing the

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DRIVE INTO THE NIGHT SPONSORSHIP OFFERS GLOWING RECOGNITION

Each year dozens of teams tee off under the glistening navy sky to feel like a kid again and bring critical funds to support children’s programs at GRACE. Participating in Drive Into the Night is not only a memorable way to spend a Friday night, it’s the ideal venue to increase business exposure, treat your staff with a night out and invest in a cause that makes a lasting impact on children and their families. This year’s event will take place on Friday, April 22 at the Grapevine Golf Course. Teams will be treated with a classic bar-b-que dinner and craft ale from Grapevine Craft Brewery. Players can also go head to head in our Putting, Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive contests. There are also some unique raffle and auction prizes up our polo sleeves that are sure to impress. Drive Into the Night raises funds for seasonal programs

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GRACE ANNOUNCES THE 2016 GRACE GALA CHAIRS

GRACE is privileged to announce Ashley and Andy Cunningham as the 2016 GRACE Gala Chairs. The Gala Chairs play an instrumental role in the oversight of GRACE’s single most important fund raising event of the year to ensure all the moving parts function seamlessly for a memorable and purposeful event. This year’s gala will take place on October 22, 2016 at the Irving Convention Center. Andy received his Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Texas A&M University, and currently serves as Vice President of Business Development for Coastal Plains, a diversified old field services company. Also a graduate of Texas A&M University, Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Community Health and a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of North Texas. As a former teacher and child life specialist, her specialization in children with special needs led her to partner with Camp Jon

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GRACE RECEPTIONIST GOES ABOVE THE CALL

“This is just the ‘CliffsNotes’ version—I really encourage you to read the WHOLE book!” This was GRACE Intake Coordinator Vicki Yarnell’s earnest plea after sharing quotes reflecting GRACE Core Values. The “book” she recommended reading in its entirety was the Bible, and the “quotes” were scriptures. Like a doctor refers to the Gray’s Anatomy, Vicki’s second nature is to turn to the Bible in all situations– including her role as lead receptionist. Vicki has been nominated for the 2016 Receptionist Award for Fort Worth’s Admin Awards on behalf of GRACE for her warmth, professionalism and effervesces inside and outside the workforce. Oftentimes, clients may understandably feel a sense of vulnerability asking for help in an unfamiliar environment. Her cheerfulness and genuine concern leave a lasting impression on those in distress, reflecting each of the GRACE core values in the highest regard. Not only does she direct incoming calls throughout the agency,

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GIVE A SWEET GIFT TO YOUR HONEY THAT GIVES BACK TO GRACE

For the month of February Dr. Sue’s Chocolates in downtown Grapevine will be offering $2 chocolate bars designed specifically for GRACE. All of the month’s proceeds will be donated to support GRACE programs. This would be an excellent choice for those last-minute gifts to your loved one, or chance to stock up on employee gifts for the following week! Those curious about the name will be delighted to know that Dr. Sue is actually a doctor who has made spreading the health benefits of all-natural dark chocolate her calling. These decadent confections can be purchased today until 8 p.m. and during the weekend (hours and location here).

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SHARE YOUR HEART WITH LOCAL SENIORS

Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day weekend. As you cherish your loved ones, consider one more way your heart can expand. Participating in the Friends & Family program, which provides assistance and companionship to displaced or immobile seniors, is a much-needed avenue to extend your heart to someone in need of love. The Friends & Family senior program was established after realizing the great gap of services for our local seniors. A closer look at our senior’s fixed income revealed that after covering medications and basic bills, very little was left over for food, gas and health equipment. Moreover, many local seniors faced isolation from any family members and lacked the ability to even leave their homes for simple errands.Our services expanded from commodities to transportation and of course, the priceless gift of friendship. Fortunately, our wonderful community has risen to the occasion to meet the physical and emotional needs of

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FOOD PANTRY UPDATE

One of the reasons the Food Pantry resonates with so many is the tangible way it meets the needs of others in such a bright, friendly environment. It’s the attention to detail and warm smiles from our wonderful GRACE volunteers that make the Pantry a welcoming refuge, and the generosity of people like you who provide sustenance to those in need. The team at the Food Pantry puts together a regular shopping list for those who wish to meet the need in real-time. There is a continual need for cooking oil and toiletries, including wipes and diapers. For a complete listing of the Food Pantry Needs, go here. An updated list is always available on the GRACE home page. Hosting a collection drive is an excellent way to meet a feasible need. Regular volunteer shifts are also available. Contact Volunteer Manager Lara Hohweiler or get more details on our webpage

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WELCOME TERESA

We are privileged to welcome a new member to the GRACE Family. As the Director of Finance & Operations, Teresa Williamson currently oversees all financial and logistical operations at GRACE. The breadth of Teresa’s non-profit experience is unparalleled. As the Director of Finance for Child Care Associates in Fort Worth, she managed multiple grants for youth care with a collective worth of $70M. Of her many hallmark achievements, she was also responsible for streamlining many processes through unprecedented automated systems, which led to additional revenue stream to assist families and children. Her prior fiscal management experience in the legal sector and rehabilitation industry give her a broad scope and unique understanding of the community we serve. Teresa holds great pride in her financial office. “Stewardship is closest to my heart because so very many people have given generously,” says Teresa, “Now it is my responsibility to ensure those funds are used as intended.”

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MARCELA MELENDEZ NOMINATED FOR CASE MANAGER OF THE YEAR

GRACE is proud of Client Services Manager Marcela Melendez for her recent nomination as the Case Manager of the Year for the Tarrant County Homeless Coalition symposium. As the main entry point for Client Services at GRACE, Marcy has touched the lives of over 5,000 individuals on a yearly basis.  Marcy has the unique combination of being analytical and compassionate, which helps her find creative solutions for those in crisis. Marcy leads her team of social workers with the enthusiasm and moral courage needed for a personal approach with clients. As a servant leader, she is the model for excellence and regularly goes beyond the call to meet the specific needs of others, whether it’s interpreting for family members or collaborating with city officials. Last year when we lost GRACE client Isabella, a single mother of four, Marcy sat in the hospital with Isabella’s children and become a natural liaison

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FOOD PANTRY HOLDS CEREMONY FOR ALBERTSONS

This week GRACE hosted a special ceremony to acknowledge the Albertsons’ fierce dedication to meet the needs of those at-risk for hunger. The Colleyville Albertsons received the GRACE Outstanding Community Partner Award for going far and above the call to provide meals to families on a local level. Since 2013, the store has given over 55,000 pounds of food through the GRACE Food Pantry, which serves over 7,660 at-risk family members on average each year. 2016 is projected to be an unprecedented year of giving through their Souper Bowl of Caring, going on now through Super Bowl Sunday. The campaign offers pre-filled bags of food to purchase on behalf of families in need at GRACE. According to the Tarrant Area Food Bank, which helps to facilitate the Souper Bowl of Caring program, the local store has given enough food to provide over 32,000 meals since the campaign began. “It’s exceptionally

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