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Annual Back to School Fair A Success!

As the long summer nights wind down and the schools start opening their doors, most parents are experiencing a bitter-sweet combination of emotions.

For a child, the possibilities are endless when the school year begins. From discovering who the teacher will be to what friends are in their class, the days leading up to it are full of anticipation. It is also, however, a tough time for parents who are doing all they can to make sure their families’ needs are met on a regular basis. Buying school supplies, backpacks, and back to school clothing is a difficult and costly expense to a family who is already struggling. That is where GRACE steps in.

With the support of the community through donations and volunteer hours, GRACE is able to assist with back to school clothes (including new underwear and socks), school supplies and backpacks. The look of excitement on the children’s faces as they receive these items is always matched by the look of thankfulness and relief in the eyes of their parents.

Each year, GRACE partners with GCISD at the annual Back to School Fair. This year, the fair took place on an especially warm Saturday, August 6th. Over 1,000 children from GCISD were enrolled for the fair last May as school was coming to a close. All of the participating families qualified for free and reduced lunch, which is the criteria to receive most services at the fair. For the families who also qualify for free and reduced lunch but did not register in time, GRACE steps in and fills in the gaps.

All children at the fair are also eligible to receive packets of school clothing. GRACE employees and volunteers worked to move clothing for the children to the fair (located this year at 121 Church) to avoid families having to make another trip to GRACE for clothing. This year, 562 children received clothing at the fair alone. In addition, another 300 or more will be served directly from GRACE. GRACE served 72 children at the fair with backpacks, supplies and an additional 150 children so far who did not attend the fair. Those numbers are growing every day as the new school year approaches. GRACE continues to serve families on a daily basis, and in years past, has continued to provide back-to-school assistance through the month of September.

“GRACE is able to support the GCISD fair but there are many families who either did not register for the fair, are new families (either through relocation or with their oldest children just beginning to attend school), are from other school districts, etc.” explained Eliza Marentes, GRACE Client Service Program Manager. “We could not do it without the support of this community. Many organizations and individuals donated the filled backpacks, supplies, and the hard work in relocating GRACE clothing and supplies to 121 Church and serving the families in attendance.”

Among these organizations and individuals were Methodist Southlake Medical Center as well as Pegasus Logistics, whose employees both came together and collected hundreds of supply-filled backpacks. Tory Garcia from GE Aviation Materials was also excited to add even more prepped backpacks to the pile! Marvin Runyon and Ann Arey from Southlake not only brought school supplies, but they also went back out to get missing supplies that made some of our “almost complete” backpacks complete!

Those mentioned are only a few of our wonderful contributors, and several more are in the works.

Because of the generosity and organization of all our volunteers and donors, hundreds of parents no longer have to worry about scrambling to provide the adequate resources for their children to succeed in school. On top of that, there will be hundreds of kids walking around proudly with their new backpack, and that alone makes it worth it.

If you or someone you know is still in need of school supplies, clothing or any other service, please reach out to or call 817.305.4630.


Celebrating Our 2022 Transitional Housing Graduates!

This week, six women crossed the stage to receive their certificate of completion for the GRACE Transitional Housing program and it was nothing short of excellence. Hosted at the Vine Arts & Events Center in Grapevine once again, the Transitional Housing graduation was one for the books.

These amazing women have been embarking on a life-altering journey for two years, and with the support of our wonderful community, they can achieve their goals of becoming self-sufficient.

Every supporter, volunteer, and graduate was warmly welcomed by GRACE’s Chief Executive Officer, Shonda Schaefer, to another successful year of the Transitional Housing graduation. She noted that every graduate on stage had put in countless hours of hard work to pursue a new and improved life for themselves and their families.

Rev. Sterling Smith, Pastor of White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, offered the invocation, while GRACE Board President, Traci Bernard, touched on great achievements that the graduates in the past and present have accomplished.

One of GRACE’s long-time board members and supporters, Duff O’Dell, was the keynote speaker for this year’s graduation. She gave an emotional but powerful speech on behalf of the graduates. She made sure to give praise to every staff and volunteer who supported the graduates along the way.

The purpose and importance of GRACE Transitional Housing were also honored throughout the occasion. The two-year, rigidly planned curriculum emphasizes enhancing life skills, education, employment prospects, as well as physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. Families can overcome the cycle of homelessness and poverty thanks to the program’s case management and training services.

Staff members from GRACE collaborate with neighboring volunteers to offer a loving environment, attend to client needs, and give hope back to families in distress.

Clients are urged to save money through a “rent account” that is refunded to the client upon graduation to assist them in securing their next residence. Each client is allowed to take any furniture, clothes, or other material objects offered by GRACE to aid in their “new start”.

GRACE Transitional Housing (TH) offers accommodation for families experiencing homelessness as well as extensive case management geared toward self-sufficiency. For homeless women, children, and families striving for self-sufficiency, TH offers long-term support and case management.

The TH program provides the clients the understanding and support they need to recover and obtain the abilities they need to succeed.

For a minimum of six months and a maximum of two years, clients get access to TH. Weekly case management meetings are held, and case managers offer assistance with day-to-day activities.

TH case plans are created specifically for each person or family, and every approach is to ensure the client’s long-term stability. Clients must acquire a job or enroll in a trade or professional school to complete the program and graduate.

The GRACE Transitional Housing program has an 80 percent success rate, which is significantly higher than the 50 percent national average for similar programs.

GRACE extends sincere congratulations to all of its Transitional Housing graduates and provides support and confidence to everyone still enrolled in the program. GRACE Transitional Housing genuinely transforms lives and instills optimism for happier futures.

For more information about GRACE Transitional Housing, contact Martisha Smith at 817-305-4641.


A Classic Sponsor: Gala 2022

We would like to acknowledge Classic Chevrolet Fleet & Commercial, our cherished partnership and presenting sponsor, as we prepare for the upcoming GRACE Gala.

For 14 years, Classic has been the presenting sponsor of the GRACE Gala. Their efforts to promote charity and community involvement have become a motivating factor for many individuals and organizations in the community.

The Classic Charity Golf Tournament was held the last year, with the proceeds going to local charities like GRACE. The success of this competition allowed Classic Chevrolet to donate $47,000 to GRACE in support of our programs.

Beyond being contented members of the dealership team, Classic Chevrolet’s employees have taken on tasks that go far beyond that. They have made an effort to contribute back to the community, by hosting annual luncheons, runs, and other events to help raise money for nonprofits and their efforts.

GRACE has been blessed to partner with Classic Chevrolet as they offer support and resources to the folks right here in our community.

Thank you to General Sales Manager, Brad Roblyer, and the rest of the outstanding team at Classic Chevrolet Fleet & Commercial for putting individuals and the community first. We appreciate everything you do.

We are a little over two months away from the 2022 GRACE Gala, and we can’t wait to see you there. For more information about sponsorships, please reach out to GRACE’s Chief Development Officer, Mark Woolverton at

Kicking Off the 2022 Gala Auction at Crush It! Virtual Sporting Lounge

You are cordially invited to help us kickoff to Gala season at our GRACE Gala Gifting Party. The Gifting Party helps to spread the word around the community about the GRACE Gala and the auction, all of which are fun for everyone who participates.

We are incredibly thrilled to be hosting this well-liked event again this year, making it even bigger and better than before, and what better way to do so than to hold it at Crush It! Sports Lounge right here in Grapevine.

Basha Ramsey, GRACE’s Special Events Manager, predicts that this year’s Gifting Party will be a successful night. “While we continue to work on the Gala, the GRACE Gala committee and especially the Auction Subcommittee, have done an excellent job preparing for the returning Gifting Party and I can guarantee that this will be an outstanding time. We are so excited.”

On Wednesday, August 31st, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, Crush It! Virtual Sports Lounge in Grapevine will host the GRACE Gala Gifting Party. Entry to this special event requires a donation of a gift item with a minimum retail value of $100, which will be offered at the Gala’s auction to raise money for GRACE programs.

Some examples of donations include, but are not limited to:

  • Any kind of tickets – concerts, sporting events, races – the sky is the limit.
  • Autographed memorabilia.
  • A vacation home you would allow to be auctioned off for a week/weekend stay.
  • Airlines miles.
  • Gift certificates to restaurants, movies, hotels, home or health services, or retail stores.
  • Cash Donations.

This event is graciously hosted by our 2022 Gala Co-Chairs Sheila and Jason Ridley, and the owners and operators of Crush It! Sports Lounge in Grapevine.

For more information on this year’s Gifting party, please reach out to Basha, at

The Queen’s Jubilee Open House Results

This summer, The British Emporium put on a tasteful celebration of The Queen’s remarkable 70 years of service for those who couldn’t quite make it to London. Guests were able to participate in a variety of activities, such as “A Taste of Britain”, ‘Meet a Brit’, and U.K Author book signings. To top off the festivities, The British Emporium offered raffle tickets to win the rare Barbie Signature Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Doll, fit with a luxurious gown, accessories and all.

All proceeds from the raffle were generously donated to GRACE, and it was a huge success! The funds raised by the limited edition collectors item will directly help clients involved in GRACE programs, and the winner could not have been more excited to accept the regal doll.

We are so grateful for The British Emporium’s support and belief in what we do at GRACE. Donations of every size and shape are always appreciated, and they allow us to continue reaching further into our communities.

If you are interested in raising funds for GRACE, please reach out to, and reference our current needs page on our website.

Ana Fores Tamayo: Published Author!

We have some of the most talented individuals in the GRACE community, ranging from future pilots to aspirational leaders in several nearby areas. They have all had an impact on others through their charisma, optimism, and talent, and we enjoy everything that they do.

Ana Fores Tomayo, a member of our GRACE staff, has released her debut novel, Peregrina.

The book is a collection of poems about Ana’s early life and what it was like to be an immigrant. The book takes the reader on a journey with a group of young ladies as they struggle through hardships as “pilgrims” looking for a better life.

Ana has always been passionate about writing, despite the fact that she only recently began to publish her poetry. Many of her poems have appeared in journals, magazines, and other publications. She has also sold a number of her poems along with her photos at art shows and in galleries to raise money for charitable organizations that benefit the community.

When asked what motivated her to write the book and what she hoped to achieve, Ana responded, “I started a non-profit to help asylum seekers with their legal papers, especially mothers with children. An outcome of that endeavor is this book. It served as a means for me to recollect my early years as a refugee, soothe my sense of displacement, and let go of the agony I felt while witnessing their divided society.”

Although Ana has granted the publisher the right to publish the book in Spain, she does have a special agreement with Amazon, so the book is also available there. Peregrina is presently only available in Spanish, however, Ana is working on translating the book into other languages.

Ana’s passion for composing poetry is unending, and she will always do it.

“I dream perhaps two or three of my narrative poems might be made into plays or music, but who knows?”

We at GRACE would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to Ana on her incredible achievement. Everybody needs a hero in trying times, and you are one of ours.

For more information on Peregrina, Ana would love to speak with you here at our offices