ARC Community Collaborations: Gilda’s Club Fundraiser!

What an amazing success! Thank you to the wonderful community who helped us raise well over our $1000 goal for the Gilda’s Club of South Jersey!

On August 28th, we had a VIRTUAL FUNDRAISER for the Gilda’s Club of South Jersey. It was a long journey to get there! We had an original plan of a live, in-person event at the gorgeous Bellview Winery in Landisville, NJ, on March 28th. These plans were promptly finished off by COVID-related concerns, as have so many other events. We re-scheduled the live event for June 2020- “when things have settled down”….Ok, when you have finished your raucous laughter, you can continue reading….Yes, I’ll wait!

When it was becoming heart-sinkingly clear than nothing was going to be settled down- or even approximating normal by June, we decided to pivot completely. We would attempt something completely outside our usual comfort zone- a Virtual Fundraiser. The original fundraiser was set to include wine tastings, food trucks, live presentations, a bake sale, and a raffle. With a virtual event, we would have to pare a lot of these back… or change them entirely!

However, we still had a huge outpouring from local businesses who had donated items to our gift basket raffle. Maybe an online raffle instead, converting people’s tickets into raffle tickets, a live stream where we could still talk about Gilda’s Club, and showcase some of the prizes…could still be a success?

But first- what is Gilda’s Club, anyway?!

Gildas club fundraiser arc seminars

The Gilda’s Club of South Jersey is a community based organisation in Atlantic County, New Jersey. The mission of the Gilda’s Club is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. Gilda’s Club provides a free, comprehensive program of psychosocial support to adults, teens and children impacted by cancer.

The Gilda’s Club of South Jersey wants to reach as many people who need their help as possible! Part of this is extending the reach of the Club further into South New Jersey.

And this is where we came in!

ARC Seminars is run by therapists, and we know ALL TOO WELL the lack of community and health awareness resources. It’s been part of our mission from day 1 to help our communities wherever possible, with the skills and education that we also bring to clinicians!

When we added Cancer Care: A Collaborative Approach, a short live/online course about the therapy and care approaches for people with cancer, to our directory at the beginning of 2020, we knew that we wanted to give back to the Cancer Care community. Raising money was important. These organisations run on such a tight budget, that raising money is key- but we also wanted to raise awareness. We’ve such a great, varied network of healthcare clinicians in our network, on social media and in our mailing list. Why not bring their attention to the efforts and the services provided by the Gilda’s Club, in order to maybe help them point people who would benefit in their direction?

The virtual Gilda’s Club fundraiser!

On August 28th, we threw our virtual fundraiser! Ruth, Allison and myself hosted a live stream, showcasing as much of the event as we could! We discussed Gilda’s Club and its mission, busted some commonly held myths about Cancer Rehab, talked about the programs that our main sponsor, Inspira, have running for cancer rehab in the community. We were able to display the baskets for the raffle and held an online raffle to raise the funds. A busy night!

Overall, the Gilda’s Club fundraiser- despite all the chopping and changing- was a great success. We raised $1383 from the raffle alone, and had almost 100 supporters- which blew us away. Gilda’s Club was incredibly grateful for the effort, and we were ale to achieve both our monetary AND our awareness goal!

So what next for ARC’s community collaborations?

We have big plans for our future commun collabs! We will be working with the Brain Injury Association of America in the coming year to draw awareness to their cause- and hope also to be working with the American Heart Organisation, and National Lymphedema Network over the course of 2021! Stay tuned for more ARC community based events, and keep the love and support flowing ??

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