By Harriet Schiftan, MSW, MAJCS
President and CEO
I’m hearing lots of post-pandemic predictions that we will take many of our newly adopted habits and newly learned skills with us into our “next normal”. We may like having a couple of weekly meetups via Zoom, rather than driving across town to attend a nighttime meeting (Can you even imagine?). We may be more selective about the number of activities we pile into each day, having spent a year leaning into a slower, more peaceful way of life. It’s called “going back better” – meaning we take the best of the pandemic year and integrate into our next normal.
We are actively planning for our next normal at Gilda’s Club. And I can confidently tell you: HUGS ARE IN OUR FUTURE! We may bump elbows or do the “faces turned askew” masks-on hug for a while, but HUGS ARE IN OUR FUTURE! We loved them before, and we will love them again.
Thanks to a generous technology grant from the Frist Foundation, our next normal will allow members to decide if you want to attend your support group, healthy lifestyle program, networking group, or educational program in-person or virtually. We’re already busy testing out the tech required to create the best interactive, hybrid experience possible – allowing those at home and those in the clubhouse to be together. We’re embracing the idea of going back better, and we’re grateful for the support of the Frist Foundation to help make it possible. We plan to have this new technology up and running by summer.
We are also sending big congratulatory hugs to our 2020 Red Door Bash Co-Chairs Victoria Marger and Rae Hirsch, and the entire RDB Committee! Earlier this month, NFocus Magazine, a leading source of information on Middle Tennessee’s philanthropic, social, and business communities, celebrated the 2020 Virtual Red Door Bash in its “Best of 2020” awards. Our event won #1 Best Virtual Event and #1 Best Reimagined Event. And our virtual cancer support program was voted #2 Best Nonprofit Online Programming!
We are tremendously proud of our volunteers and professionals, whose commitment, creativity, and hard work earned Gilda’s Club these awards. The Red Door Bash recognition accomplishes a goal set three years ago to increase our visibility in Middle Tennessee and raise awareness about our cancer support program. The Red Door Bash enables us to educate hundreds of people in one night about the impact our unique, evidence-based cancer support program makes in the lives of our members, as told by members and honorees. Extra big hugs to our Program and Member Relations teams for the well-deserved recognition for excellence in virtual cancer support! It always comes back to our members.
We’re filled with joy that vaccines are here and, as soon as our team is vaccinated and back in our clubhouse, we look forward to our next normal and sharing a warm hug with you.