Blog

Meet the Forces Behind our Clothing Closet

Some call it “the clothing closet.” Some call it the “GRACE Boutique.” But to everyone who visits, shops, or volunteers there, it’s about so much more than the clothes.

Over the past few years, we’ve been lucky enough to have some of the most amazing volunteers pour their hearts into creating what has become one of the crown jewels of our volunteer programs - the GRACE Boutique. Set up to resemble a small retail shop, our guests come through and “shop” for what they need, from winter coats to work boots to summer dresses. Everything is clean, sorted by season and style, and presented in a way that emphasizes our core value of respect. And none of it would be possible without our Jean, Jan, Nancy, and Lori.

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GRACE Serves Half A Million Meals!



On Monday, March 25, we’re celebrating the half millionth meal served in Cafè 131. “Considering that many of these meals were served before we had a kitchen, it’s an incredible milestone,” said Travis Middleton, Director of Community Engagement. We couldn’t have done it without Chef Marty Slevin, our dedicated kitchen crew, volunteers, and meal groups,“ he added.

Monday’s half millionth meal celebration is open to the public. Dinner will be served at 5:30pm by St. Augustine's Catholic Church and will feature Chef Marty’s special meatloaf made from grass-fed beef provided by Florida Fresh Meat Company.

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300 Challenge kicks off during The Amazing Give



A few months ago we announced housing our 600
th person. Reaching this milestone has given our team confidence and inspired us to do something truly amazing we aim to double our impact by housing another 300 people by the end of 2019. This is quite an ambitious goal so we have an equally ambitious fundraising goal to match!

We’re looking for 300 people to raise $300.

The 300 Challenge kicks off during The Amazing Give (March 20-21) and will continue until we reach our goal. Will you accept the $300 challenge?



Here’s how you can help:

  • Become a fundraising champion. The Amazing Give makes it easy to fundraise on our behalf. In just a few clicks, you can launch your own donation page by clicking the “Fundraise” button on our Amazing Give page.

  • Get social. Use social media, text, or traditional email to share your donation page link. Peer-to-peer fundraising is powerful because it allows us to reach new donors and even the smallest donation add up! 

  • Call on your colleagues. Not sure if you can raise $300 on your own? See if your company will accept the challenge! Check with your team about creating a donation page in your company's name. Better yet, challenge another local company to see who can raise more!

  • Attend our Kick-off Party. Join us on Friday, March 15th at Cypress & Grove from 5-7pm for help setting up your giving page and enjoy music from The Jazz Bandits, food trucks, and locally brewed beer, kombucha, and seltzer on tap!





 

 

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Q&A with GRACE Marketplace Case Management Director Jennifer Moises

Jennifer Moises, Case Management Director for GRACE Marketplace, on her passion for hands-on work with the homeless:

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At GRACE, Thomas Found Respite — and a New Hope

Despite the stereotypes, few are homeless by choice; only 7% of Americans living on the streets are chronically homeless. The fact is the majority of those without homes have experienced a catastrophic life event, such as a layoff or the end of a relationship, and now simply have nowhere else to go.

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Amy & Phillip Receive Their New Keys

Homelessness often happens unexpectedly and without fault. Significant life events, such as sudden unemployment, family disputes, or losing loved ones, can lead to someone not being able to pay their bills and being forced out on the streets.

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Ali Repairs His Life & Gives Back

Ali is an unassuming maintenance man at GRACE Marketplace. Five days a week, he goes around the homeless facility fixing leaky faucets, assembling new furniture, painting outdoor benches, and doing a variety of much-needed odd jobs.

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Q&A with GRACE Marketplace Director Jon DeCarmine

Jon DeCarmine, the Director at GRACE Marketplace, on why it's his goal to end homelessness in our community:

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Lowering the homeless population by 38%: Numbers show GRACE's true impact on Gainesville

When assisting the homeless, the focus is often more on output than an outcome. Numbers of meals, numbers of beds, and pounds of food donated can outweigh the real purpose of the generosity — to change people’s lives.

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Knife Skills to Life Skills — A Career Readiness Program in Culinary Arts

Through hands-on culinary training and skill development that translate into catering and supermarket work, GRACE’s program is empowering people to transform their lives.

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WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Lauren Poe
Mayor, Gainesville, FL
"They're doing remarkable work and changing the lives of hundreds and hundreds of people."
Dr. Bernie Machen
President Emeritus, UF
"GRACE's early success represents a truly remarkable launch of a much-needed community resource."

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