Thank You, Duff O’Dell, for ALL you do for GRACE. We miss you already!

[Editor’s Note: This article was intended to bid a fond farewell to Duff O’Dell, who is rolling off our Board after term-limiting at 9 years. She was asked to provide a few thoughts on her time at GRACE that could be woven into an article recognizing her leadership. Her “few thoughts”, though, are so profound and speak directly to the mission and values of GRACE.  We prefer, then, to run her entire post with very little editing.]

As I retire from my position on the GRACE Board of Directors, the thing I’m most proud of—or feel I’ve accomplished—is the spotlight I’ve brought on our programs at GRACE to the entire Board.

I really feel we have done a great job in educating our Board members on what we really do at GRACE in terms of ALL our programs.

Having our GRACE staff members and department heads speak at our Board meetings has been enlightening and enriching in terms of making our Board members more effective as they increase their knowledge and understanding of how GRACE works, and how our programs truly serve our community. It’s also been a wonderful development opportunity for our team members.

GRACE has allowed me to give back and for that I’m eternally grateful.

I hope I have been a positive and productive Board member, but I’ve really gotten SO much more than I’ve received. [Husband] Patrick and I have been donors to GRACE for years but GRACE has allowed me to give my personal time and develop such meaningful relationships through the Friends & Family program.

[Note: The Friends & Family program matches volunteers with local seniors who are alone in their homes. It offers a friendly face to those whose interactions with others has lessened. It also provides a set of wary eyes and ears for GRACE caseworkers to provide assistance when it is needed.]

The clients I have been partnered with over the years have fulfilled a need in me to care for someone like I cared for my own Grandmother and Mother when they were alive. That is a personal gift to me beyond measure and I’ll always be grateful to GRACE for giving me that opportunity.

I always encourage my friends and people I have contact with to become involved with GRACE either becoming a volunteer or with a donation. We offer so many diverse programs that serve those in need in our community—there is truly something for everyone.

I love the fact that our donated dollars really go to our clients and not an organization with a large overhead or high administrative costs.

Our Board members serve the community in so many other ways and yet they believe in the mission at GRACE and want to give their time, talent, and treasure to an organization that truly makes a difference.

All of us work hard to make sure we are truly responsible stewards of God’s gifts through our donors. When you join the GRACE family you’re hooked for life!

Even though my time on the Board is ending, I will ALWAYS be part of the GRACE family and will continue to serve in other ways. Thank you GRACE for making me be a better person.

[In her time at GRACE, Duff headed the Program Committee as vice president and chair. She held committee seats on the Executive Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, the Development Committee, the Nomination Committee, and the Branding Committee. Her task force was instrumental in forming and promoting the GRACE Speaker’s Bureau.

She was our vital connection to the Grapevine City Council, and to the Grapevine Chamber Women’s Division. She served as the representative of Good Shepherd Catholic Community, one of GRACE’s staunchest and longtime church partners.

Thank you Miss Duff for making GRACE a better agency.]