To Everything There is a Season
Open Hand was founded in 2002 as a ministry of New City Fellowship focused on cross-cultural community development. It was incorporated as the non-profit, “Open Hand of Fredericksburg” in 2004. Since its founding, Open Hand has served hundreds of young people and their families in the Fredericksburg area. However, the Open Hand Board of Directors has determined that the time has come for the organization to cease operations.
Over the years, Open Hand trained, employed, and placed over 350 youth ages 14-22 in for-profit and non-profit organizations and businesses through its Gaining Respect and Determination (GRAD) Program. Open Hand taught life skills to another 250 youth through its Providing Education and Readiness for Living Successfully (PEARLS) Program. Most of the young people enrolled in these programs were considered “at-risk” due to their economic and/or family situation.
Many others have been deeply impacted through Open Hand including family members, job supervisors, mentors, teachers, volunteers, and the Open Hand staff who ran its programs.
After many months of prayer and discussion, the Open Hand Board of Directors voted unanimously in September 2023 to begin the process for formally dissolving the organization on or about December 31, 2023. It had become apparent to the Board that the high staff turnover and the recurring challenge of finding a long-term GRAD Program Director was simply not sustainable. The Board also sensed that Open Hand had fulfilled the purpose God established for it and, like every other human organization or government, the time for its end had come.
Still, this news brings sadness because Open Hand touched many lives over the years and its loss will be felt in the community. At the same time there is joy and gratitude for how God used Open Hand for His glory over its 21-year history.
The Board thanks New City’s Session, Open Hand’s donors, staff, mentors, volunteers, teachers, guest speakers, employers, the congregation of New City, and all those who have previously served on the Board of Directors. We believe God will raise up others to serve the Fredericksburg community in similar ways as there remains a need for a gospel-centered ministry to at-risk youth in our area. Open Hand’s Board is grateful that so many were so faithful for the time the Lord gave us to serve these young people over two decades. Thank you all!