A young single mother of two was short $233 of making her rent despite having a job that normally covered her needs.
She had cerebral palsy, and medical bills had eaten her savings.
The year was 1995, and she discovered a brand-new nonprofit, GraceWorks Ministries, that provided the financial help she needed, as well as the emotional support to keep going.
The woman was one of the first neighbors served by GraceWorks. For 25 years, GraceWorks has helped struggling Williamson County families have food to eat, roofs over their heads, utilities running and so much more.
GraceWorks is celebrating its quarter-century of service and thanking its thousands of supporters with four special events in 2020.
Opening in July 1995, GraceWorks was begun by area faith leaders, government officials and concerned residents to help alleviate the poverty existing in Williamson County. The nonprofit started in three buildings and offered food, clothing and rent/utility assistance.
The ensuing growth in need and programming demonstrated dramatically that such a nonprofit was needed. GraceWorks helped 1294 people that first year. In this past fiscal year, GraceWorks served 10,333 unduplicated people through 20+ services in family support, instructional programs, seasonal needs and hunger prevention.
Celebrations begin Feb. 13 at Westhaven Residents’ Club with a thank you breakfast for churches supporting GraceWorks through the years.
Other events this year include GraceWorks’ annual fundraising dinner highlighting the past 25 years. The dinner will be April 23 at Embassy Suites in Cool Springs.
A May 3 fashion show at the Franklin Grove mansion, formally the O’More school, will feature clothing from the GraceWorks Thrift Store modeled by local celebrities.
The 25th birthday celebrations will end with a parking lot party Oct. 3 at GraceWorks. The event will offer music, food, tours and other fun.