Grace Bridge’s humble beginnings, rooted in Celina, started with a church fellowship group of men who would donate Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets to families in need.

That kickstart in 2011 blossomed into what has now become a multipart nonprofit service organization that provides weekly food distributions, clothing, eye care and far more. Based in Frisco, Grace Bridge has resale stores in Celina, Plano and Frisco.

Next month, Grace Bridge + The Master Cares – Africa Building Hope Gala will welcome this year’s special guest speaker, former President George W. Bush.

The Master Cares – Africa is a Ugandan ministry that aims help its residents build and develop their homes through the organization’s five initiatives, which include education, medical care, vocational training, water wells and spiritual development.

The Building Hope Gala is held each fall as an end-of-year fundraiser for the two ministries. The event will be from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Omni Frisco Hotel at The Star. It is a sponsorship-based event to which individual tickets are not sold. Six table host sponsorship levels are available.

Although the gala has been Grace Bridge’s main annual fundraising event since 2013, the nonprofit only recently began bringing in notable speakers such as last year’s guest, Laura Bush.

“We’ve been really blessed to have people who believe in us to make both of them available to us, so it’s just been an unbelievable response so far,” President/CEO Carter Morris said.

In addition to the former POTUS, attendees will hear from Morris, co-founder Charles Loper Jr. and founding board member Scott Turner, who will also host the program. Native North Texan and former NFL player Turner was recently appointed by President Donald Trump as executive director of the new White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council.

Morris said the purpose of the gala, which raises over 80 percent of the organization’s annual budget, is two-fold.

“It’s to celebrate what we’ve seen God do already and to invite people to come along on the journey with us,” he said. “We’re eight years young, and we’ve been able to experience some pretty incredible things, and we think this is going to be another one of those. It’s going to be a launching pad for 2020 for us.”

To find out more information about hosting a table or volunteering, contact Duffy Johnson at or call 214-425-9423.