HOW AUCTION DONATIONS FURTHER THE GRACE MISSION

If you receive our regular GRACE E-news, you likely catch a lot of buzz about our upcoming Gala Gifting Party on May 25. This party launches the Gala season and provides unique goods and services to make our auction a memorable success. The superb food selection and bottomless champagne make for a great night out, but the mission behind the soirée is a crucial element in serving the community. When a family or business owner makes a meaningful in-kind gift of a unique experience such as box seats, a vacation home stay or airline miles, these donations can be sold as a luxurious Gala Auction packages that generate the “every day funds” required to operate our programs. The proceeds from these gifts allow us to give hope to thousands of families and individuals overcoming hardship throughout the year. GRACE strives to utilize each resource to its fullest, so that children

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LIVING LEADERSHIP

“You don’t teach Leadership.  You have to live it.  You have to experience it.  You have to share it.  You have to show it.  And you have to provide opportunities for people to display it.” When you have the pleasure of working with a member of the GRACE Family of staff members, you realize very quickly that excellence is the rule, not the exception. Most of us here have heard our Executive Director, Shonda Schaefer, say, “I want you to leave here better than when you got here!” She is fiercely dedicated to developing leaders that will cultivate well-rounded individuals and enrich the community we love. Ample investment is offered to each staff member with the same expectation GRACE has with its clients: to challenge yourself in a way that reveals your best attributes to flourish personally and professionally. Several of our team members were recognized for their passion for leadership and

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TAX PREP PROGRAM LEADS UNPRECEDENTED TRIUMPHS FOR FAMILIES SEEKING SELF-SUFFICIENCY

Thanks to the resources of volunteers and community supporters, GRACE was able to equip 287 qualifying families with tax assistance, financial coaching and nearly $400,000 in tax returns back to local families. There was an unprecedented 53% spike in client participation as compared to last year, broadening its significant impact on families in their journey toward self-sufficiency and financial independence. Each family received an impressive average of $2,000 in Earned Income Credit (EIC), which translates into rent, utilities and family savings. This service is designed for law-abiding residents struggling with a fixed income whose refund would likely been left undiscovered or given a fraction of the return with a costly tax service. 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. The

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JOIN US FOR THE 2016 GALA GIFTING PARTY

You’re invited to help us celebrate the upcoming Gala with live music, hors d’oeuvres and bottomless champagne during our annual Gala Gifting Party, Wednesday, May 25. Entry to this exclusive party is an item donation valued at a minimum of $100, which is auctioned at the Gala to fund GRACE programs. This event is graciously hosted by Gala Auction Chairs Anna Sheehan, Melissa Pritchett on behalf of the Auction Committee, and sponsored by our friends at Brio Tuscan Grille. 100% of all Gala proceeds advance the mission of GRACE by providing program funding throughout the year. In-kind donations of goods and services not only highlight local businesses with attendants, our Gala Auction generations a large portion of event revenue.   Some examples of in-kind donations include, but are not limited to: Any kind of tickets – concerts, sporting events, races – the sky is the limit. Autographed memorabilia. A vacation

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A DIVINE APPOINTMENT

When Shane Mara manned the last volunteer shift at the Grapevine Job Fair in April, he never could have planned on a divine appointment that would change the course of one woman’s life in a profound way. Weeks earlier Shane and his fellow Leadership Grapevine peers took a tour of the GRACE site and learned about GRACE programs, including our Transitional Housing program for predominantly single parent families fleeing domestic abuse or other crises. Shane was impressed with the types of services that GRACE offered, but like so many things that we come across from week to week, it had admittedly been a vague recall, until he met *Millie. Shane was conducting mock interviews, and as the day neared an end he found himself lost in conversation with Millie, a job fair prospect who was noticeably articulate and carried a poised demeanor. Shane saw that she would have no problem getting

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SCOUTS PLANT BUTTERFLY GARDEN FOR TRANSITIONAL HOUSING CLIENTS

We couldn’t be more proud of Eagle Scout Logan and his coordinated effort to produce a serene butterfly garden for our Transitional Housing clients! This little oasis is not only a spa for blue jays, and a sweet shop for hummingbirds and a refuge for our fluttering friends, it is a quiet retreat for our clients to regain their focus, talk to God and enjoy nature. Logan and his group planned every detail from the plant variants that would attract the most butterflies to the type of supplies needed. The team tended to the soil, weeding, mulching and partitioning the grounds. Logan single-handedly raised funds for the project, which totaled just over $600. Logan solicited the help of his project leader along with a few fellow scouts and spent the entire day perfecting this once unappreciated plot to make it a harmonious space for all creatures in need of peace

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A SANDWICH WITH HEART

It’s easy to lose sight of just how incredible our local franchises and businesses are. Two restaurants in particular have risen to the occasion to meet the needs of thousands of at-risk youth this summer. When a stream of cars is up ahead around lunchtime, there must be a Chick-fil-a nearby. Although the fast food revolutionaries are certainly not in wont for customers, the Grapevine Mills location has faithfully given meals for four years. The franchise will give GRACE 1,000 chicken sandwiches as needed throughout the summer during Feed Our Kids. A heartfelt thanks to Clint Cowden and his team for their generosity! For the second year in a row, both Euless and Southlake Which Wich locations are “spreading the love” with a donation of 1,200 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the summer months. Project PB&J is a Which Wich initiative that allows restaurants to serve in a way that reflects their local

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ALL STATE HOSTS SERVICE DAY

If you dropped off items at Donation Station this month, chances are your donations were in “good hands”. Over the course of April nearly 100 All State employees rolled up their sleeves to sort goods at Donation Station, manage stock at the Food Pantry and assist operations at our resale sites. The offices spanned the metroplex from Operations to Branding, Claims and Causality, but the mission was the same: prepare the food, clothing and assorted items for families who come to GRACE after a recent job loss, illness or other emergency. Behind-the-scenes volunteerism is instrumental to providing quality care and material assistance to families facing hardship, and we are extremely grateful for corporate partners and local businesses who make it their business to serve families in need. If your company hosts a service day or is looking for a way to get involved in the community, GRACE has some great

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UNEXPECTED GIFT BRINGS UNEXPECTED BLESSINGS

It’s not unusual to receive surprise gifts around the holidays, but Eileen Fritsche never expected to find what was waiting on her doorstep as she walked outside to unplug her Christmas lights. A simple note was attached to large jar of change and bills that read, “Merry Christmas. Keep it or pay it forward.” Eileen looked around to see if anyone was watching, but all was quiet. Eileen looked at the jar thoughtfully as months went by as she pondered how to use the mystery amount. To Eileen and her sister JoAnn’s surprise, the jar contained nearly $200 in bills and coins. They had always given item donations to GRACE, so the sisters decided the best way to pay it forward was to help families facing hardship throughout the year. Not only is this a reflection of the generous citizens of our community, Eileen’s gift is a prime example of giving the

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