May, 2009Houston Endowment, a philanthropic foundation established by Jesse H. and Mary Gibbs Jones in 1937, has awarded a $100,000 grant to help Gracewood build another residence for single mothers and children.
The grant means the Children At Heart Foundation has almost fully funded a $275,000 challenge grant from the Leroy and Merle Weir Charitable Trust for construction of a second residence on the new Gracewood campus in the Spring Branch area of Northwest Houston.
Earlier important support included a $60,000 in-kind gift from HomeAid Houston, a $52,000 gift from an anonymous donor in honor of his mother, and the generosity of many individual donors.
“We are grateful to Houston Endowment for realizing the enormous impact that Gracewood’s ministry to single mothers and children can have on the quality of life in the Houston community,” said Debbie Rippstein, Gracewood Executive Director. “The impact of this grant will be felt for generations.”
Houston Endowment, one of the region’s largest and most respected funders, is a private philanthropic foundation that exists to improve the lives of people in the Greater Houston Area.
Gracewood is an 8-year-old residential ministry for single mothers and their children that provides assistance through residential group care, mentoring, financial planning, teaching, counseling and referral to community resources.
The original Gracewood campus is located on three acres on Wanda Lane in Southwest Houston. Extensive remodeling and new construction now underway will expand Wanda Lane’s ability to serve single mothers and families from four to eight. The HomeAid Houston project is being headed by Brothers Strong Remodeling.
Construction now underway on a 6,828-square-foot residence on Elmview Drive will allow space for five mothers and their children. The home is expected to open this summer. Also a HomeAid Houston project, construction is being led by McGuyer Homebuilders, Inc.
Under conditions associated with the Weir Trust challenge grant, the Houston Endowment funding is earmarked for construction of a second residence on the Elmview campus. Construction is expected to begin later this year.
Full funding of the Weir Trust grant means Children At Heart has successfully matched nearly $500,000 in challenge grants for Gracewood in 2009. Previously funded was a $220,000 matching grant from the Christ Is Our Salvation (CIOS) Foundation to meet additional operating expenses associated with Gracewood expansion.
Gracewood is part of the family of Children At Heart Ministries, based in Round Rock. Other ministries include Miracle Farm in Brenham and Texas Baptist Children’s Home and STARRY in Round Rock. Children At Heart Ministries is an agency of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.