It’s not unusual to receive surprise gifts around the holidays, but Eileen Fritsche never expected to find what was waiting on her doorstep as she walked outside to unplug her Christmas lights. A simple note was attached to large jar of change and bills that read, “Merry Christmas. Keep it or pay it forward.” Eileen looked around to see if anyone was watching, but all was quiet.

Eileen looked at the jar thoughtfully as months went by as she pondered how to use the mystery amount. To Eileen and her sister JoAnn’s surprise, the jar contained nearly $200 in bills and coins. They had always given item donations to GRACE, so the sisters decided the best way to pay it forward was to help families facing hardship throughout the year.

Not only is this a reflection of the generous citizens of our community, Eileen’s gift is a prime example of giving the resource we have been blessed with to bless the lives of others.

Thanks to women like Eileen and JoAnn who give their resources, GRACE can remain a centralized refuge for families in the midst of adversity can turn to for support.