Saved By Grace Thanksgiving

Lee Whiteside, a volunteer for Saved By Grace, shared his story of overcoming addiction and changing the course of his life Saturday during a Thanksgiving event.

The Thanksgiving holiday is all about gathering around a table to share a wonderful meal with family and friends.

A local nonprofit that serves the area’s homeless made sure this weekend that its clients did not miss out on this beloved experience.

It’s become a tradition for the nonprofit Saved By Grace to host a Thanksgiving dinner ahead of the annual holiday for homeless individuals and families in Glynn County. The event is also an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of Saved By Grace’s founding in November 2016.

Maria Gamble and Donna Howard, co-founders, partnered with Rhema Community Church on Saturday to host a Thanksgiving meal followed by videos showcasing their work over the past five years.

“We are, as of this past week, five years old,” Howard said. “We started off in our cars.”

The nonprofit’s work began with Gamble and Howard, along with Honey Sparre, who works today as director of homeless ministries for FaithWorks, driving around the county on weeknights and weekends to bring supplies like food, sleeping bags and clothes to people sleeping on the streets.

Saved By Grace has gone through numerous developments since then, establishing its nonprofit status, moving into new office spaces and eventually opening a 14-bed shelter for men who are transitioning out of homelessness.

“We couldn’t do any of this without the support that we get from Rhema Community Church and the community in general,” Howard said. “We are so very blessed to have every single client that we have walk through our doors.”

Saved By Grace’s services today include walk-in showers and laundry facilities, food distribution and case management. The nonprofit has also partnered with Safe Harbor and Coastal Georgia Area Community Action Authority to offer a rehousing program to local homeless individuals.

Safe Harbor staff come to Saved By Grace’s office every Wednesday to interview individuals eligible to move into public housing.

Saved By Grace also distributes sleeping bags, tents, lights and other needed items to people who live on the street.

Gamble and Howard do this work with the support of a team of volunteers who were also celebrated at the Thanksgiving dinner.

“We do what we do because we love you guys and so do they,” Howard said.

To learn more about Saved By Grace, visit

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