No amount of cake, verbal thanks, or awards can ever fully express the gratitude that GRACE has for each of its volunteers, but we certainly had a fabulous time honoring them on Thursday the 24th. The Hilton DFW Lakes Texas Grande Ballroom was filled with excitement as GRACE volunteers gathered for a luncheon in appreciation of their hard work and dedication.
Simmons Bank was so very gracious to sponsor our event again this year. We are also humbly grateful to DFW Hilton Lakes Executive Conference Center for providing the Ballroom, a beautiful set-up, and a feast. The Hilton served a menu complete with seared Atlantic salmon, Caprese style chicken, torts, tarts, cheesecake and bourbon bread pudding, to name just a few of the delicious dishes featured on the extensive offering. Thank you to Hilton DFW Lakes General Manager and GRACE Board member, Steve Haley, for helping to make this possible.
GRACE treated attendees with cake pops from Jasmin Madison’s Jazzed Up Sweet Treats, and Bryan Kennedy’s Hollywood Photo Booth – which was a total hit. Plus, everyone loved this year’s t-shirts. Shout out to The T-Shirt Guys for the fantastic silk screen job.
In 2017, over 54,000 volunteers lent helping hands to the various GRACE sites, the equivalent of $1,362,024. Then last year, we had over 52,000 helpers step up to make possible $1,281,448 worth of volunteer service for 2018. Whether it was sorting items at Donation Station, assisting clinical staff at the Community Clinic, or helping out with admin work at GRACE Main, GRACE could not have helped as many people as it did last year without them.
Our volunteers serve in all capacities – from the members of the Board of Directors taking on GRACE’s most critical challenges to corporate groups completing building projects from the GRACE Project Wish List. At every site, volunteers are integral to our day-to-day operations. Since volunteers are such a part of our identity at GRACE, the site managers also highlight one volunteer each year who has exemplified a stellar attitude or excellent work ethic.
And the GRACE Volunteer Appreciation Awards go to: (drumroll, please)
Emergency Assistance: Judy Hund, 2017; Elizabeth Tessler, 2018
Donation Station: Berniece Wheeler, 2017; Doris Love, 2018
GRACEful Buys Euless: Donna Hardin 2017; Cheryl Bird, 2018
GRACEful Buys Grapevine: Sheri Godin, 2017; Sally Whitaker, 2018
Style and Grace: Karen Noris, 2017; Christy Scanlan, 2018
Development: Traci Bernard & Randy Robbins, 2018
Special Events: Ana Erwin & Jessica Cruz, 2017; Sheila Moyer, 2018
Volunteer Group: Pegasus Logistics, 2017; City of Grapevine Public Safety, 2018
Board Member: Bree Vopelak, 2017; Carita Weaver, 2018
Friends and Family: Marge Braudaway, 2017; Keisa Fruge’, 2018
Food Pantry: Al Cain, 2017; Terry and Linda Steele, 2018
Clothing: Sharon Fulton, 2017; Maureen Johnston, 2018
Clinic: Carol Hartvigsen, 2017; Mitzi Sadler, 2018
Transitional Housing: Jenny Foster, 2017; Tonia Casper and Compass Women’s Group, 2018
Seasonal Programs: Sabra Hook, 2017; Karla Turner, 2018
Volunteer of the Year: Paula and Rusty Pafford, 2017; Lynda and Robert Warner, 2018
A huge mention is deserved for our Special Events Manager, Melissa Maraki, for planning an outstanding Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, her first of this annual event for GRACE. Our program managers and other staff can never give enough accolades or tokens of appreciation to measure up to the tremendous difference GRACE volunteers make in their lives and the families we serve. Volunteers are the driving force behind GRACE – from Board Members to Boy Scout Troops to families from the community – and we are the lucky ones who truly HIT THE JACKPOT! Check out our Facebook photo album for the event here.
Prepare to have your socks knocked off with a brief overview of some 2017 and 2018 GRACE stats:
- In 2017 we had over 54,000 volunteer hours that equaled $1,362,024
- In 2018 we had over 52,000 volunteer hours that $1,281,448
- That is 106,000 hours valued at $2,643,472 worth of support from volunteers here today!
- GRACE Programs provided over 23,000 services last year to over 4,600 unduplicated individuals.
- GRACE Client Services staff and volunteers conducted 4,440 interviews to evaluate needs and requests for rental assistance, utility assistance, transportation vouchers, food, clothing, and other vital necessities.
- GRACE Clothing Room distributed 3,441 clothing packets to individuals in need in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
- GRACE Food Pantry provided food and fresh produce from our community gardens thru an average of 450 visits per month to the Pantry. In addition, close to 800 holiday food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas and monthly supplemental groceries for over 80 home-bound seniors were also distributed.
- GRACE Community Clinic provided 3,673 patient visits to local individuals in our community without access to basic healthcare. In addition, they achieved Gold status recognition for the second year in a row for the TARGET:BP Program from the AHA and AMA for their efforts in helping their patients decrease their hypertension rates!
- GRACE Transitional Housing provided safe housing and intensive case management last year for individuals and families who were experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence or a financial crisis. Volunteers and donors have played a major role in renovating the Nash units and getting them decorated and ready for new families and individuals as others graduate from the program.
- GRACE Friends & Family provided over 100 seniors with monthly commodities through the Pantry, resource referrals, and companionship through our volunteer match program.
- GRACE Seasonal Programs served children in need in our community with 31,525 summer and spring break lunches through Feed Our Kids, close to 1100 clothing packets to prepare children to go Back to School in August and Christmas gifts for 2,379 individuals through GRACE Christmas Cottage.
GRACE operations funded by:
- GRACE Gala, Drive-Into-the-Night, Dine-2-Donate, and our first ever Annual GRACE Poker Tournament
- Donation Station saw an average of 1 car every 4 minutes. We had the busiest day of the year with 401 Cars drive through in ONE day! All of this was done by dedicated staff AND 504 volunteers
- GRACEful Buys Grapevine and Euless stores sold over 28,000 pieces of furniture for a total of $523,713 in sales. With the help of 340 volunteers.
- Style & Grace supported the Grapevine Women’s Division with a beautiful Fashion Show and held it’s first after-hours private party.