The past weeks in central Texas have been challenging for many, and for ARCO Alumnus Greg Beard and his Grace of Giving team, they have been able to weather a number of challenges - pun intended! "Our goal," explains Greg, "is to source food and personal items (e.g., toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo) each month and deliver to partners in Texas but near the Texas/Mexico border. They then move as much as they can across the border to meet needs there. Our partners also help people in their local areas. We don&rsquo;t really care where the food goes as long as the people that get it have a genuine need. Our ultimate purpose is to allow our partners to share the Gospel as they meet needs. But to emphasize, the only qualification for getting food from Grace of Giving is to need it." Every penny we get goes to buy and deliver food. - Greg Beard A Petroleum Engineer early in his career, Greg transitioned to natural gas marketing/commercialization for most of his tenure. He worked in Midland, Dallas, Plano, Tulsa, Los Angeles, London, Jakarta, and Dubai. "In late 2003, I was spending a great deal of time in prayer asking God what He wanted me to do &ldquo;post-ARCO&rdquo;," shares Greg. "I remember reading in a book to &ldquo; take your passion and use it to glorify God and serve the Kingdom.&rdquo; My passion was feeding people, so I bought 1000# of rice, made a couple of contacts in Del Rio and Fabens (near El Paso) through friends at church, and set off to meet them! The ministry has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and now that I am fully retired, it is my primary occupation and joy!" This year, Greg and his wife Dara are celebrating their 18th year in operation. "Our priorities are to purchase food and to fund operating costs to deliver the food," said Greg. "The officers of Grace of Giving and those that assist us accept no compensation for our services. Despite the madness of 2020, our organization missed only one month of deliveries to our ministry partners. We made eleven &ldquo;western&rdquo; trips (a western trip goes to Del Rio, Van Horn, and Fabens, with bi-monthly forays into El Paso, principally for pinto beans and toilet paper) and four trips (beginning in September) to our new partners at First Baptist Church in Brownsville. This month, with the severe cold and power outages, our team faced difficulties getting a food shipment on the road. Thankfully, my colleague, Gary Waller, was able to leave Clifton with a load of food for Del Rio, Van Horn, and Fabens. My wife and I will be taking a load of food the first week of March to Brownsville, where we have partnered with First Baptist Church to meet needs in that area." We also have some specific recipients &ndash; two children&rsquo;s homes in Mexico, a home for young, unwed mothers in Acuna and several ministries that feed hungry children in their area. Despite the challenges in 2020, we delivered almost 91,000 pounds of food. - Greg Beard "The need is greater now along the border, but paradoxically, our partners are finding it increasingly difficult to get food across the border on a regular basis. Border transit in both directions is difficult now with the COVID restrictions, so we actually expect to see our deliveries increase when border transits become easier. In the meantime, we move as much as we can and continue to look for new opportunities to establish partnerships along the border." The last thing I want to emphasize is we have no overhead for staff or warehouse space, so every penny we get goes to buy food and provide for the means to deliver it. We buy all the food we deliver (regrettably, donated food is often out of date and unusable) and take only things we would serve on our own table. I am a very good customer of Sam&rsquo;s Walmart, and HEB! Our 2020 deliveries covered about 17,000 miles. - Greg Beard In 2020, the Grace of Giving team delivered almost 91,000 pounds on these trips, consisting of: &bull; ~19,000# of pinto beans &bull; ~28,000# of rice &bull; ~44,000# of sugar, flour, canned goods, personal items, and toilet paper "We don&rsquo;t quite compete with the folks that drive 18 wheelers, but we meet these niche needs very well. We are also able to use our equipment efficiently. We are blessed by the generous support of many, and we pray simply that we would continue to be faithful servants in 2021," said Greg. To learn more, or to support Grace of Giving, contact Greg.