In conjunction with local shelters, Brenda Walkers formed the nonprofit Graced Again this spring. The organization exists to provide individuals graduating from shelter programs with furnishings for their new home.
After dedicating the majority of her adult life to local shelters, Walkers discovered that many individuals were graduating the programs with nothing to their name.
“So many of us are graced with all that we need and a lot of what we want in our daily lives,” she said. “When we have the desire and resources to upgrade or replace our treasures, we also have the opportunity to grace someone else with what we’re discarding.”
For many years, Walker scrambled to provide individuals with furnishings. Graced Again allowed her to transform the project into a community effort, where individuals can donate items through the group’s Facebook page.
“Both the giver and the recipient receive blessings from these encounters,” she said. “Once given, twice graced is the heart of our motto.”
Walker began her work with the shelters when she was a guidance counselor at Country Heights Elementary School. She sponsored a service club called Club Pride for students that operated under the motto, “Pride in ourselves, pride in our community.”
“We did a lot of service projects for the local shelters through Club Pride,” she said. “I became very aware of the services the shelters provide and the impact community support can play in their success.”
Though they pride themselves in working with all the local shelters, their most recent efforts were in helping to furnish the newly constructed Nicky Hayden Apartments. It was during this time that Walker saw her efforts come full circle.
“The recipients are very grateful and appreciative that people care enough about them to give them furniture,” she said. “They are anxious to give back. Several of them help me collect items now. They were the ones helping individuals move into their new apartments.”
Those with items to donate to the cause can visit the Graced Again Facebook page or contact Walker directly at 270-316-7219.
“Some of these individuals have hit the bottom and used these programs to build themselves back up. They have personal goals and deserve a chance to start over,” she said. “I’m in awe of the recipients. They are so energized and that’s a blessing to behold.”