In a recent conversation with a board member, I mentioned that GraceWorks is a champion for the underdog. This comment caught his attention, and he confessed he had always thought of us as just a ministry, not a champion or an organization that goes to battle on behalf of those we serve.
It is in our “GraceWorks DNA” to help the person who has the odds stacked up against them but yet is still struggling to overcome those odds. This underdog is often on the outskirts of society, or in some cases, even ostracized like the leper or the woman at the well. The very foundation of GraceWorks was based on caring Christians asking themselves, “What is our obligation to those who are struggling amidst a backdrop of a community where others are prospering?”
This question is still appropriate today. Can you imagine being a member of a community where everyone but you and your children are making plans to fully celebrate the coming holidays?!?! A Bible scholar recently told me when a community is living under God’s economy, “that community is not okay until everyone in it is okay.” That is why the outreach events GraceWorks hosts for our neighbors during this season are especially important and extremely significant.
Without your championing of the coming events we cannot reach out to the underdogs amongst us and empower them with the hope that they are part of this community and not forgotten. So when you participate in our Turkey Trot, whether as a runner or as a volunteer, you are being a champion for the underdog. The dollars you raise then go to our programs to lift up those who have fallen.
If you raise your hand to provide and deliver Thanksgiving and or Christmas food boxes, you are being a champion who brings joy to those who might otherwise be filled with dread over their inability to participate in the national tradition of celebrating the holidays with family around a table laden with food.
And let’s not forget The Manger, our shopping extravaganza for low-income families. As GraceWorks champions, you rally around these underdogs with generosity, good will and cheer, to invite them to step into the joy of the celebration of God coming down to be with us. Through The Manger we get to remind those who are struggling that the underdog of Nazareth emerged victorious and it is in Him that they can put their ultimate hope.
And last but not least, we acknowledge the champions who choose us as their place to give a high impact financial gift at the end of the calendar year. Your generosity lifts the underdog to a place of dignity.
I am really grateful for who you are and for the way you join us to tangibly serve and love the marginalized in our ever growing and ever changing community. You are a true champion who offers a hand up to those in need! Your help to the underdogs in our community makes all of us whole.
Thank you for all you do for GraceWorks. Whether you battle for those we serve through your volunteer service, your prayers, your financial gifts or your advocacy — you are our hero! I pray that you and yours have a Thanksgiving holiday filled with all the things you are most grateful for.
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO