Grapevine nonprofits grappling with COVID-19 pandemic share stories ahead of May 5 Giving Day

A GRACE food pantry worker sets up a drive-thru where those in need can receive a week's worth of groceries. (Courtesy GRACE Grapevine; Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)
A GRACE food pantry worker sets up a drive-thru where those in need can receive a week's worth of groceries. (Courtesy GRACE Grapevine; Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

A GRACE food pantry worker sets up a drive-thru where those in need can receive a week's worth of groceries. (Courtesy GRACE Grapevine; Design by Ellen Jackson/Community Impact Newspaper)

North Texas Giving Day is coordinating an emergency fundraising day in step with the #GivingTuesdayNow campaign to be held May 5.

The campaign is calling for communities to donate to local nonprofit organizations grappling with financial woes and resource scarcity amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NTGD website contains over 3,000 organizations in need of fundraising. Here are how two Grapevine nonprofits in the throes of the pandemic are getting the word out about their respective operations.

GRACE Grapevine

GRACE Grapevine provides a host of services for local families, including emergency assistance, a community clinic, food pantry, housing and other various programs.

Mark Woolverton, the nonprofit's chief development officer, said GRACE has seen a spike in requests for aid in recent weeks.

"[In] the last two weeks, we've seen 510 new clients coming in," he said. "We're looking at about ... two-and-a-half times the [normal number of clients coming in for emergency assistance."

Due to Grapevine's large hotel and tourism industry, Woolverton said a large amount of the new clients are coming from the hospitality sector.

Leading up to North Texas Giving Tuesday, GRACE Grapevine will begin ramping up messaging to community members and frequent donors in the form of daily themed messages.

Woolverton said GRACE will begin putting out messaging May 4 about its involvement in the community, including information on GRACE's future amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We're gonna talk about what the future of GRACE might look like and kind of use the 'May the fourth be with you' [idea] as the force behind GRACE and how the community has been very much involved with with us and what that means to our clients," he said.

Woolverton said those interested in making donations to GRACE through the North Texas Giving Day website should search for GRACE's full name, Grapevine Relief and Community Exchange.

"We usually squeeze the tarnish off of every penny," he said. "Now, it's even [more] important that we use our limited resources as effectively as we possibly can."

House of Shine

Enhancing one's self-awareness is key for individual growth and self-discovery, House of Shine founder Claudia Beeny said, adding that she believes the mission of her nonprofit—to help students achieve and understand the importance of self-awareness—has become even more relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's such a flood of emotion that comes from everybody—every person is experiencing this [pandemic] in a different way," she said. "We give you ... the language and the words to not only understand but also talk about how the how the experience is impacting you.

Working primarily with women and children, House of Shine's finances have suffered as a consequence of the local stay-at-home orders that have shuttered school campuses.

"It's been a huge hit to our revenue," Beeny said. "We are in the process of building a physical location that will house our work. ... It'll be part-museum, part-place where we actually do all of our teaching, as well as our office space."

Beeny said she is working to get the word out about House of Shine's new physical space as part of North Texas Giving Tuesday.

"On May 5, we are broadcasting live from our new location, acquainting people not only with what we do as an organization, but also with what the what they can expect from the space once it opens," she said.

House of Shine has been able to maintain its curriculum with local school districts as students learn through virtual classes, Beeny said. The group has also begun producing interactive videos on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays aimed at helping families weather the shelter-in-place orders.

Ahead of the expected summer opening of House of Shine's physical location, Beeny said, North Texas Giving Tuesday will serve as a means of exposure.

"[We're] new to Grapevine. ... This is great for us because Grapevine [needs] to get to know us, and this is a perfect opportunity," she said.

By Gavin Pugh
Gavin has reported for Community Impact Newspaper since June 2017. His beat has included Dallas Area Rapid Transit, public and higher education, school and municipal governments and more. He now serves as the editor of the Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake edition.


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