In 1993 Rich and Reida were riding their motorcycle through the National Park and were discussing some of the motorcycling events that they had participated in. The subject of the smiles and joy of children's faces when they saw the motorcycles came up. Reida suggested that we do a Vacation Bible school in Cleveland using motorcycle friends and friends from church. We did!
Then that fall while attending Western Reserve Grace Brethren Church a Christmas gift box program was started for about 34 children in Cleveland Heights. More of the same the next year and the organizer of the Christmas Gift Program moved to North Carolina and the program was going to be ended. Rich and Reida asked if they could continue the program and the Pastor gave his blessing. The name was changed to the "Treasure Box" Christmas Gift Program. As Rich and Reida became more involved the name of Village Grace was picked (From working in Slavic Village and seeking God's Grace) and a 501c3 was applied for.
Village Grace Mission Center continued out of Rich and Reida's garage for the next 6 years. But as the ministry got more involved with the people of Slavic Village the need for a new building increased. A building at the corner of East 65th and Lansing Avenue was found and a rental agreement was worked out for two combined storefronts. The ministry flourished and programs were expanded and many new outreach programs were instituted. It was a time of trial and error. Some of the programs worked and some had to be scrapped. People now were being led to the Lord and the neighbors wanted a Praise and Worship Service. The city of Cleveland would not grant the occupancy permit for assembly for many reasons, zoning and parking heading the list. So Rich and Reida started to look for an existing church or building that would satisfy zoning rules.
After about a year a building 1 1/4 miles away was located and purchased in June of 1995. Village Grace Mission Center was now located on Independence Road in the City of Cleveland. Again it was trial and error instituting new programs and evangelizing in a new neighborhood. Things clicked and we were now busier than ever! Praise God! Lives have been impacted and changed with the help of various churches and organizations.
The "Treasure Box" program has generated over one million dollars in necessity items and school supplies for the children of Slavic Village. Praise and Worship services, Emergency food bank, Furniture, Books, Bibles, Basketball, Movie night, Game night, Computer donations, Homework help...... and the list goes on. Village Grace is making a difference.