Remember that popular prayer of Jabez from 1 Chronicle 4:10 where he asks God to enlarge his territory? Well, some faithful prayer warrior must have prayed that prayer for GraceWorks because we have had a record number of Neighbors come seeking service.
God’s increase in our territory has not been in space or land but in giving us more responsibility in caring for the needs of people. We are blessed to be trusted with the stewardship of providing both tangible and intangible hope to Neighbors in our community.
The waiting room in Neighbor Services has been filled to capacity, as has the Food Pantry and the conference room for Manger sign up. We saw 923 Neighbors in the month of October alone! 238 of those Neighbors were at GraceWorks for the first time. And the Manger is already up to 75% full!
We recently looked at the requests for assistance we received in the previous quarter (June through September), and learned we received 1,958 requests for help. This is almost double last year’s requests in the same time frame! In October, we had a record-breaking day when we saw 90 Neighbors in one day!
We continue to serve in Fairview as well and are hosting bimonthly Mobile Food Pantries there. Through the generous hospitality of Westview United Methodist Church, we now have a space to offer rent and utility assistance once a week. We are grateful to have a place to visit with and serve Neighbors in this part of the county.
While meeting the needs of our Neighbors had our hearts humming in its sweet spot (for after all, this is why GraceWorks exists), it did not come without challenges. We were stretched in all areas of our resources – money, people and space.
Consequently, we are calling our community to help us serve our Neighbors. Many have answered already. HCA’s Lean 6 Sigma Team came out to view our Food Pantry space and help us figure out how we can redesign the layout to accommodate more Neighbors to not only serve food to more people per day, but also provide a better experience for our both the Food Pantry volunteers and our Neighbors.
We need more volunteers in every capacity. This December 3rd we will host another GraceWorkers’ orientation to recruit more Neighbors to vet and serve their Neighbors in need in both Franklin and Fairview locations. We need processing volunteers, food pantry volunteers, Mobile Food Pantry volunteers and other types as well.
As we head into this heavy season of serving, your prayer and financial support are even more important. I know there will be many worthy ministries asking for your year-end assistance. My hope is that even now you are planning to include GraceWorks in your year-end giving. You can give today here.
As always, I am grateful for you and all you do for GraceWorks. And whoever of you prayed that prayer of Jabez over us, God is surely answering it in this season of our work.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Your partner in serving our Neighbors
Valencia A. Breckenridge, CEO
P.s. Can you believe that GraceWorks turns 25 next year!!!! Be sure to check our website throughout the year to learn of the many ways we will be celebrating!