GRACE Celebrated 25 Years Thursday, April 26
GRACE celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a special event Thursday, April 26 at its Community Health Clinic in Grapevine. After a brief ceremony with special speakers including Tom Hund of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, attendees enjoyed a reception and tours of the GRACE clinic, food pantry and community gardens.
Along with many community leaders, State Representative Vicki Truitt attended with special recognition for the agency. Proclamations were sent and read by representatives from the cities of Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake as well as the Texas State Senator Jane Nelson’s and U.S. Congressman Kenny Marchant’s offices.
Photo above: Texas State Representative Vicki Truitt, GRACE Founding Executive Director Tricia Wood, Executive Director Shonda Schaefer
Photo credit: Skipping Stone Studio
The Silver Lining
by GRACE Executive Director Shonda Schaefer
Many of us are always searching for that silver lining to every cloud. GRACE celebrates its Silver Anniversary this year and has served as the silver lining for many of our neighbors during the past 25 years.
We began as a network of churches helping people who were experiencing a crisis in their lives in Grapevine when the population was only 16,000. It was a humble beginning that grew to our organization now covering the three cities of Grapevine, Colleyville and Southlake and surrounding communities in Northeast Tarrant County, a population of more than 110,000.
My respect and relationship with the founding executive director for GRACE, Tricia Wood, gave us stability and consistency in our leadership which, in turn, strengthened our agency. Reflecting on that strength and forethought of our founders inspires me to continue leading GRACE into a future of great possibilities.
With our mission grounded in faith, GRACE continues to help our neighbors with programming leading to self sufficiency. We have a community health clinic, a client choice food pantry, transitional housing, financial assistance and training that leads to our clients becoming self sufficient once again. Because our community believes in our mission, our methods, and has faith in our work, we are supported through financial gifts as well as thousands of hours of volunteer work. Nearly 2,500 volunteers donate their time to GRACE each year which is very gratifying for me to know so many of us are great stewards of our communities.
As we all know, the economic turmoil has been difficult over the past 7 years which made those years hard for many and even worse on those who suffer from domestic violence and isolation or those who cannot even afford the basic necessities of food or clothing – many of whom are our neighbors. We had to work harder to maintain our expected level of service to these people who really need us. Even though we worked harder, our donors saw we needed help and found a way to sustain us through these economic trials. It’s uplifting to know that our agency serves as a role model to the other social agencies around us. I think we have a few more years before we can think of economic recovery, so GRACE continues to work hard and smart in helping as many people as possible. We want to be that silver lining for our clients.
We will continue looking to our community leaders to help us help our neighbors. Please seek all opportunities to celebrate each other this year as we have all come together through GRACE to help our neighbors in their time of need. GRACE is not only a silver lining, but also a shining star for Texas.