On January 9th of 2005 The Greene County Ministerial Association formed a steering committee to come up with a more effective way of handling our churches funds that are designated to meet emergency needs. They recognized a need for one central organization that could provide communication between churches and agencies in the county in order to avoid duplication of services. They also recognized the need to discern genuine needs in order to reach more people in crisis situations.
With the help of local agencies, the Steering Committee began to compile information on all the many resources currently available in the county. A needs assessment was finalized and was very much in line with information given to us by local agencies. It became clear that a consolidation of many services as well as our monies would benefit the entire county. We began talks of forming a faith-based organization supported by churches, community and businesses that would address financial assistance as well as volunteer services for families in need.
On March 31, 2005 The Steering Committee decided on the name of GR.A.C.E. for this new organization standing for Greene Alliance of Church and Community Efforts. Our Vision is “Guided by God, we will provide an opportunity for every church, business, and community organization in Greene County to work together as one body to offer hope to residents in need.” Our Mission is “To work together to coordinate programs to identify, assist, and empower residents in need.” Our purpose is “To empower individuals and families to move towards independence and a more self-sufficient life by offering a hand up not just a hand out.” Our Core Values are “Communication, Teamwork, Effectiveness, Efficiency, Integrity and Commitment.”
How does GR.A.C.E. work? Churches, community groups, businesses and individuals become members by financially supporting this organization. They also have the opportunity to use their gifts and talents through one of our outreach programs. GR.A.C.E. serves as a reference for churches as they receive calls requesting financial assistance. This takes the burden of discerning genuine needs off of our churches or other community groups. GR.A.C.E. has a screening process to determine an emergency for those seeking financial assistance. We appeal to the community in a monthly Community Connection column in The Greene County Record informing the community of needs that families in our community have. We work closely with churches, local agencies, and others in helping families through our Volunteer Program. We support the idea of working together to establish one Food Bank supported by all local churches, schools, community organizations, and businesses. By working together we hope to be able to meet the needs of many more families in our community and avoid duplication of services.