By Felice Apolinsky, LCSW
Program Director, Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee
One of the things I appreciate most about Gilda’s Club is how intentional we are in creating program offerings that serve our members, how and when they need to be served. Yes, from a planning perspective it might be nice to lay out an entire year’s worth of workshops and classes and lectures in one fell swoop, but when we plan month by month – and sometimes even week by week – we assure we are meeting the ever-changing needs of each and every person who walks through our red door.
I’ve been thinking about this approach a lot lately, especially as more and more people ask about our plans for expanding the program offerings at our new Williamson County location. While I can’t – and never will be able to – share some grand master plan with them, I am always happy to share these three things:
1. In our first 90 days, 308 visits were made to our new location in the Provision CARES Proton Therapy Center in Franklin. With each week that passes, we are seeing more new faces and more repeat visitors.
2. When we opened our new red door in May, we began by offering one weekly yoga class and two one-time events – an art workshop and a friendship-building “coffee talk.” As of this month, we are offering yoga twice each week (once in the morning and once in the evening), guided relaxation each week, and more than a dozen nutrition and mind-body workshops, small groups, and family activities each month.
3. We will continue to assess the needs of our members – both new and existing – to expand in ways that make sense. This process will never stop. We are already working toward introducing a Cancer Support Group, Family / Friends Support Groups, Grief Groups, and several diagnosis-specific groups, because we have identified needs for each of these. (If you or someone you know could benefit from such a group, I invite you to reach out.)
So…we are well on our way! We’re growing. We’re evolving. And we, too, are excited to see what’s next for our Gilda’s Club Williamson County location.