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 meet for families in crisis!  Lisa and her friends were able to collect seven large bags filled with socks and underwear, along with other home items and children’s books.

gstroop.jpgSpeaking of children, we couldn’t resist sharing this adorable photo of Branford Elementary Brownies who gave us their undivided attention and servant hearts during their inside peak of the Food Pantry this week. These effervescent children remind us that we always have something to offer, and there’s always a reason to celebrate at GRACE!

If you’re looking to host a collection drive, start here.