GIFTS FROM THE YOUNG AT HEART

Perhaps the official gift-giving season is over, but we are delighted to report that the spirit of giving continues on at GRACE! The community just completed 55 documented collection drives since the holiday season began in November, collecting coats, toiletries, canned goods, socks, and—of course—toys! The hardship local families face know no day or season, so we are incredibly grateful that the community meets the needs throughout the year. Here’s an idea that reminds us gathering essentials doesn’t always require a big production or campaign—take a cue from Lisa Washington, a BNSF employee who used her birthday party to collect donations in lieu of gifts. Regardless of age, we all hope to share another birthday celebration year after year, and what better than to know you are giving something that will outlast an ordinary gift? If every family utilized one birthday party to collect goods, imagine the needs we would

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GROUP EASES LOAD FOR HOMELESS POPULATION

As the weather gets colder here in North Texas, the plight of those experiencing homelessness becomes even greater. Many of us are concerned about this issue but a local chapter (Texas Laureate Iota Phi) of Beta Sigma Phi, a service sorority, took action to help ease some of the burdens this group of individuals and families experience. Members of the sorority stopped by GRACE and donated backpacks full of helpful items for the homeless.  They explained to Marcela Melendez, Client Service Program Manager, that they felt compelled to collect, purchase and even make the items that are included in the well-constructed backpacks. Each backpack contains a handmade blanket, gloves, socks, food, hygiene items, and even a gift card to a local fast food restaurant.  Marcela Melendez commented on how appreciative GRACE is to be able to distribute these to homeless men and women who are extremely vulnerable especially as temperatures

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TACKLE HUNGER WITH SOUPER BOWL OF CARING

Souper Bowl of Caring is vowing to “Change the Game” in local communities across North Texas during the weeks leading up to Super Bowl. We are thankful to have such committed partnerships with local businesses, including Albertons in Colleyville, which has made it their game plan to ensure local families receive nourishment throughout the year. Through Souper Bowl Sunday, Albertsons gives customers the opportunity to purchase pre-filled bags on behalf of families at risk for hunger. Each filled bag costs $8, and contains protein and nutrient-rich staples such as tuna, soup and vegetables. Souper Bowl of Caring was established to address the startling amount of families living in chronic poverty, which equates to 1 in 7 Americans. More startling still is that 16 million of those Americans are children, some living within miles of our doorsteps. But businesses like Albertsons are making an impact in the local community. Last year

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INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING? THINGS TO CONSIDER

Volunteer service can be a rewarding, teachable and memorable for the givers as well as the recipients. That’s why GRACE works to connect people with tangible service opportunities that highlight their own unique abilities to an extent that best suits their lifestyle. Bi-monthly volunteer orientations are offered year round to newly-interested volunteers and volunteer veterans who are returning from a few years off. The one-hour orientation gives a quick glimpse of our services and collaborates with you or your group for the best approach to serve those in need. In the meantime, here are some helpful questions to consider when it comes to volunteering: What am I most passionate about? We all have varying experiences that give us a special heart or burden for a distinct cause or service.  If you find satisfaction making great strides behind the scenes, you might enjoy volunteer service at Donation Station or one of our three

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HAVE YOU MADE YOUR RESERVATION?

It’s the final days of Restaurant Week, but we’ve got you covered! The official end date of 360 West magazine’s Winter Restaurant Week ends on January 17, but our local friends are presenting an encore menu for those looking for a night out that gives back! Restaurants participating in Winter Restaurant Week will give up to $7 per plate to one of three charities selected by the restaurant. Diners can enjoy crafted, three-course prix fixe dinners with a starting price point of $29. The campaign has met great success since its launch date on January 11. Here’s the spread of local eateries supporting GRACE that will cater to those impromptu nights on the town.  The restaurants with extended dates are denoted with an *. Be sure to call in advance to make your reservation! Snap a pic of your night out and tag #WinterRW and #GRACEGrapevine. Mac’s on Main Price

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DONATION STATION UPDATE

Times of tragedy always remind us of the grace our community extends to those in need, and their gifts give us the confidence to promise families material blessings while they overcome hardship. In just one business day on December 31, Donation Station accepted 327 year-end donations on behalf of families in need! If all the cars lined from end to end it the cars would stretch 1 MILE (if you question whether that’s very long, have you run a mile lately?) The day’s totals accounted for more than a third of items for the entire month! HOW YOUR ITEM DONATIONS ARE USED Our Donation Station facility houses items such as clothing, housewares, linens, toys and books given by the community to provide assistance to those in the midst of job loss, illness or other emergency. Your item donations give hope when families wonder how they’ll be able to afford back-to-school

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DIRECTOR OF RESALE RECEIVES MVP

Saving the best for last, the Fourth Quarter MVP Award goes to the Director of Resale David Mowers for exceptional customer service, outstanding attitude, innovative thinking and excellence in mission. David and his family joined GRACE over a year ago from Nebraska, where David served as the chief development officer for Grand Island Christian School. Prior to his education background, David has a decade of extensive resale experience from the Salvation Army. As a leadership position that manages three resale operations and over half of the GRACE staff, it often requires ample flexibility to ever-changing needs and quick discernment.  The launch of the new store location, which opened this October, required extensive strategic planning and preparation that shows when you walk through it’s doors. David has shown an innate ability to multi-task with peace and faith. He places great importance on staff cohesiveness, and leads with innovative ideas, encouragement and

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COMMUNITY PROVIDES COMFORT TO FIRE VICTIMS

“Did you have a good night’s sleep?” That was the rhetorical question Grapevine Chamber President RaDonna Hessel posed to fellow community residents as a plea to fund a need on GRACE’s behalf. A large blaze consumed much of a Euless apartment complex last month, and another fire took the home of a Friends & Family senior and her grandson. The two fires displaced 35 GRACE Clients, who, among other losses, lost a bed of their own. While GRACE is able to respond to immediate needs with food, clothing and household items, Texas law requires that all mattresses be new. In Hessel’s appeal to the community, she writes, “I just can’t imagine going through the holiday season or the New Year without a bed! …If you had a good night’s sleep, or at least a mattress to sleep on, [please] consider donating either the full $150 for a mattress or just

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NEW LIFE,NEW BEGINNINGS

After celebrating the birth of our Savior and the promise of a new year, what better than to announce the birth of a special little boy and exciting new paths for our Transitional Housing clients? The world welcomed Kyle on New Year’s Eve morning, with a healthy weight of 7 pounds and 10 ounces. Kyle’s mother, who is currently in our Transitional Housing program, would have had much more to carry if not for the love and support of this community through GRACE. Crystal, another Transitional Housing client,  is beaming in the above photo because her mom and two young sons threw her a surprise celebration. It hadn’t been an easy road, but Crystal just received her GED and is enrolling in a Dental Assistant program. It can be easy for those of us who have lived in an affluent culture to miss the tremendous courage it takes to advance your

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