GIG of McMinnville is a Branch in Oregon led by Susan Chambers. Susan is a GIG volunteer who has been helping others in the gluten-free community for years. Susan’s story is a great example of how GIG Branches impact the lives of individuals and families across the world. With your generosity, GIG is able to expand the reach of our GIG Branch program, offer even more resources, and provide continuous support to our gluten-free community. Read Susan’s touching outreach story below:
“Our local Branch waxes and wanes with numbers, but for almost 15 years now, we faithfully hold our monthly meetings because each year people find us as they are trying to figure out a new diagnosis.
We offer 4-6 guest speakers or videos per year and the other months we hold a sharing group. We were going to cancel our first Saturday November meeting this month because we hosted a special lecture this past Tuesday on Emergency Preparedness for people with special diets. I was available on November 5th so decided to take my knitting and see if anyone showed up. I’m so glad I did! Sharon (not her real name) showed up at our starting time and it was a blessing to be able to spend one-to-one time with her.
Sharon has been homeless for over two years when her sister died. She received a diagnosis of celiac disease about a year ago, had been trying to connect with family in California for the last 9 months, but was back in McMinnville, Oregon. After almost an hour of listening to her story, I was humbled. People have come to our group for years with their struggles. I ended the session with Sharon with information on how to access services in our community. Thankfully our local food bank and most of the meal programs have knowledgeable gluten intolerant folks who can help! I also invited her to our Branch’s 12th Annual Gluten Free Thanksgiving Potluck on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. We invite all the Oregon Branches to participate. It’s a time of fellowship, fun, and recipe sharing. We connect with folks we haven’t seen since last year and the blessings abound.
Tomorrow we will be joined by Sharon, who won’t be able to return to a ‘home’ after the meal. This Thanksgiving I’m humbled. But at the same time I’m energized to continue in Branch leadership. As soon as the Thanksgiving dishes are washed tomorrow, I’m going to suggest to our Branch a special project…a local Food Drive for our homeless Gluten Free Friend(s).
I suggest to get involved with a local Branch, and if there is not a local Branch (in your area) donate to GIG.”
Your donation to GIG will allow us to continue to support and expand the reach of the GIG Branches domestically and internationally. Please share this page with your family and friends via email and social media and help us to continue our outreach programs.