Updated March 16, 2020

Dear Gilda’s Club Community, 

Like many community stakeholders, we have been closely monitoring the ever-changing news and data related to the COVID-19 virus.  As we all know, this continues to evolve by the hour.   

While we have been implementing rigorous sanitization of our space and appropriate social distancing, including the temporary suspension of all onsite and offsite program offerings through Sunday, April 5, it has become apparent that we must do more to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and members.

To do our part to further protect our members, volunteers, staff and community at large, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids has made the difficult decision to shift all in-person support to virtual support with staff available over the phone and by email. To that end, we are restricting clubhouse visits. Effective Tuesday, March 17 we are suspending member, volunteer, and community visits to our clubhouse. Our goal is, of course, to return to regular programming both in and out of the clubhouse as soon as it is safe to do so.

Gilda’s Club is here to support you regardless of our ability to do so in person. In these unprecedented times, we’re adapting the support that Gilda’s Club is known for to new arenas. Our staff is dedicated to innovating and shifting the in-person support to virtual support as quickly as possible. More details regarding the variety of services we will provide (such as live-streamed or posted on our website) will start to roll out the week of March 23.

We will be doing a series of outreach and wellness calls to our community members. We welcome our members in the community to reach out to us via phone (616.453.8300) or email (info@gildasclubgr.org). We also encourage you to monitor our website and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for additional community updates and content.

Gilda’s Club’s top priority is to ensure the emotional and physical health and safety of our cancer and grief members, team, volunteers, guests and broader community – with or without facing COVID-19!  

Grief and cancer never take a break, and we are committed to looking at how best to serve our members, including those who might be seeking our support for the first time. All of us recognize the amount of anxiety this change is causing, and we want to do all we can to support you in this time of uncertainty. We also know social distancing and self-quarantine can be isolating and bring their own weight and wake of emotions. As we seek to evolve our program offerings, we remain “In this together” with you and our community. We thank you for your patience and support as we navigate this unique situation. 

Given the quickly changing nature of this health threat, we will continue to monitor daily and make additional changes as needed.   

Wendy J. Wigger, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids President