As we look forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day, I can’t think of a better time to write about the importance of relationships. GraceWorks is nothing without the relationships we have with individuals, churches, businesses and other service organizations in our community. As a community resource center, we are very dependent on these partnerships to help us offer the comprehensive, and often complicated, services our Neighbors need.
One such partner is the United Way of Williamson County Foundation, now called The Greater Nashville United Way Foundation. This Foundations’ dollars come from community giving! Their allotted financial support, along with funding from other valued partners, helps us offer rent and utility assistance for our Neighbors, as well as temporary shelter options for the homeless. United Way dollars also fund a portion of the food in our food pantry.
Speaking of food, another important relationship is the one we have with Second Harvest Food Bank, a major provider of both non-USDA and USDA food in our food pantry. With the recent growth in food requests, we have become increasingly dependent upon this partnership. We are also grateful to One Generation Away, our literal Neighbor (housed right next door to us), for all their food support. Add in the donations from our local grocery stores, big box stores, specialty stores, restaurants, churches, civic groups, neighborhood groups, and plain ol’ folks like you and me, and together we make sure there is food on our food pantry shelves for our Neighbors.
There are also smaller and newer ministries that join us in serving our Neighbors, like Franklin Community Development (FCD) started by Pastor Kevin Riggs, which helps put roofs over the heads of previously homeless Neighbors, who are now struggling to find housing.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the ministries, organizations, services and groups, we partner with. We have countless relationships that expand, complement, and enrich the ministry and mission of GraceWorks, and we pray we do the same for them.
The specific relationships mentioned in this letter came together to rally their services and provisions around a GraceWorks Neighbor we assisted in finding a safe, stable and healthy home for herself and her children. For her protection, let’s call her Mary. She is a young single mom, with a grade-school aged child and a young infant. After she determined her living arrangement was problematic and unsafe, Mary decided to take her children and launch out on her own, and she needed help to do so.
Because of these important partnerships, we were able to offer her food, temporary shelter and, soon after, assist her with finding permanent housing. She even had an opportunity to go to the Manger to shop for Christmas gifts for her children. All of these organizations came together to serve Mary and help her change her life.
You are also part of the help that Mary, and others like her, receive from GraceWorks. We all come together to help each Neighbor who comes seeking assisting. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate and treasure the relationship we have with you. Your partnership changes my life and the lives of those we serve. Thank you again for all you do to support our mission and our work.
Yours in Christ,
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO
P.S. As a friend of GraceWorks, we hope you will join us for at least one of our 25th Anniversary events! Please check out all we are planning at graceworks25th.com so you can mark your calendar.