It was enough to cause whiplash. In the very short time from the February meeting of the GRACE Board of Directors to the March meeting, the world was changed by COVID-19. And the GRACE Board of Directors were faced with a completely new landscape of service provision, staffing, and funding.
Led by Paul Bischler, the vice president of finance, treasurer, and chief sourcing officer for BNSF Railway, serving as its president, the GRACE Board took unprecedented steps to ensure the social service agency’s mission was served and its clients continued to receive services and assistance.
Keep in mind this occurred at the same time as many Board members were struggling within their own organizations to combat the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. Among the 24-person board are three hospital presidents, and representatives of three banking firms, two church partners, a school board, an energy company, a hotel conference center, the police department, and all others who were impacted by COVID-19.
Even with the Stock Market on a frightening roller coast, many Board members stepped forward with personal and corporate financial gifts. Once the impact on GRACE was projected, many Board members were first with contributions to fund GRACE caregivers and help hasten the recovery.
Frost Bank’s Susie Howell helped guide a substantial donation from the bank to the GRACE. Likewise, Vic De Vincenzo, with Atmos Energy directed a major gift to help fund the GRACE Food Pantry.
Others have encouraged members of their churches to make contributions. Still, others have made personal gifts and directed their companies to match their donations. Many are calling on members of the GRACE extended family and asking if there is anything GRCE can do to help.
Navigating through the uncharted waters of the coronavirus epidemic takes strength, know-how, and confidence, all strong qualities of GRACE Board members. The distant shore is not yet in sight, but know skilled and determined hands are firmly at the helm.