Food Pantry Manager, Rusty Thigpen, was named this year’s recipient of the “Ken Diehm Service Above Self Award”.
This tremendous honor follows the altruistic legacy of the late Dr. Ken Diehm, Grapevine Rotary member and First United Methodist Church Pastor, who passed away in 2011 of acute leukemia.
The client-choice pantry approach to maintain the dignity of each family member was Rusty’s vision when he began with GRACE seventeen years ago.
His relational approach with clients, volunteers, donors and staff align with GRACE’s core values and continue to shape the unique platform at the GRACE Food Pantry.
Rusty collaborates with the community to secure, sort and display food and other essentials for an average of 400 families each month. He also coordinates volunteers, food drive, and food basket distributions to nearly 500 families for Thanksgiving and again for Christmas.
Rusty consistently adds new volunteers and finds ways to utilize a wide variety of talents among groups and individuals wanting to serve at GRACE. His integrity has also earned the loyalty of his volunteers, many of whom have worked alongside him his entire tenure at GRACE.
Rusty is a man of great character and is respected throughout Grapevine and its surrounding communities. It is hard to go anywhere with Rusty where someone doesn’t know him. As the coordinator for over 150 donations each month, Rusty is often the face of GRACE, personally thanking organizations and individuals for making sure no families in the community experience hunger.
We admire Rusty for his kindness, vigor, and humor, and could think of no one better to the worthy task of restoring dignity, worth and hope to families facing hardship.