Alternative Gift Fair
In lieu of purchasing unneeded “stuff” for loved ones for the holiday, the Alternative Gift Fair gives Grace members the opportunity to make Christmas-season donations to designated charities in honor of their friends and family. MEWG sells Palestinian olive oil and handcrafts. Products from SERRV (Sales Exchange for Refugee Rehabilitation Vocation) and other groups are sold directly. The Alternative Gift Fair is held on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
The Koinonia Foundation August Angels program provides needy children in the Franconia area with new school supplies at the start of the school year. Grace members aid in the collection of back-to-school items.
Cameron Elementary School is a Fairfax County Public School with long-standing ties to Grace. Grace Youth provide gifts to families as a service project and know the satisfaction of making a difference in the life of a child. Mission Committee supports Cameron families by providing funds for gift cards for food.
CROP Table/CROP Walk. CROP is the name given to community, interfaith hunger education and fundraising events sponsored by Church World Service. On Sundays during the summer months Grace members bring their garden produce and baked goods for others to enjoy in exchange for a donation to CROP. The CROP Walk, sponsored by the Burke-Springfield Clergy Group, is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
ECHO (Ecumenical Community Helping Others)
ECHO is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose purpose is to help people in need in our community. Grace was one of the founding members in 1968 and is now one of 26 participating congregations. Volunteers receive and sort donations, assist clients, or pack food. Whatever your area of interest or expertise, there’s a job you can do at ECHO.
Parenting Education Partnership with Fairfax County
This program is a Fairfax County-based initiative focused on building basic family skills. Grace partners with the county and hosts this 12-week program on Thursday evenings. In conjunction with other neighborhood churches, community groups and individuals, Grace provides dinner for the participants. Volunteer facilitators are needed for each session. Training is provided for volunteers.
Every year, Grace prepares and delivers Thanksgiving food baskets and/or gift cards to needy families in the community. Families are assigned by ECHO or recommended by staff and members of the congregation. The preparation and delivery process requires volunteers to ensure this special holiday ministry is completed the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
Since 1990, the Grace Tutoring Program has helped over 300 children by developing a caring relationship between a student at Crestwood or Garfield Elementary and a church volunteer. Each volunteer is a special friend and a helper with homework for one hour on Monday evenings, from October through the end of May. The program is looking for tutors and substitute tutors for the upcoming school year.