Our son was diagnosed with celiac disease when he was barely six years old. We were lost but learning and determined to do all that he needed. We looked for all available resources and over time found that "GIG" was even more helpful than celiac-specific organizations for us. When we visited them at a large Expo for GF food and services, we learned that they wanted to start a support group chapter for children/families in our area. I spoke with a friend who also attended and we knew we wanted this for our boys.
We've been volunteers for them now for over five years and the organization is evolving and always trying to deliver the most to their constituents for no cost to them, or as little as possible. It's a good feeling to give back to the organization! Our chapter had to cancel meetings and we're trying to find our way in 2020, but we're an active group and honestly, full of the nicest families you will ever meet and generous speakers who take their own time to help our community.
Also, non-profits always need to be conscious of the bottom line. Years ago, GIG cut out membership dues, stopped charging for adult newsletters by going electronic, and they try to keep mailed magazines for children free as much as possible. Sponsors are wonderful for supporting these and other programs, so THANK YOU to the sponsors for that!
And, I can't say this emphatically but tactfully enough - Thank you to Gluten Intolerance Group and GFCO for the high standards you maintain! Thank you for sticking with science and results and not slick marketing or those who wanted in on "a fad" years ago.
I'll label my role as "Volunteer" because I'm proud of that, but I'm also a client served and a donor! :)
When I first started my journey to health in 2001, I quickly realized I was a “medical misfit.” The healthcare professionals I consulted couldn't pinpoint the cause of ill-health.
Gold-standard testing for celiac disease was negative. My research efforts unearthed a similar, but little-known condition called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS); many of the same symptoms, but no intestinal damage.
At the time, The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) was the only national support organization that recognized NCGS. Not only did they offer information about the condition, they gladly welcomed and supported those dealing with it. As someone with NCGS, having that support was critical to my health and wellbeing.
Leading a support group enables me to help people locally. Being a GIG branch allows our group to reach beyond the four walls of our meeting room, beyond our town, beyond Wisconsin. This association enables our group to help people nationally and globally - something that would be hard to do on our own. GIG has an infrastructure for support groups and leaders that is second to none.
Gluten Intolerance Group of East Central WI Branch Manager
When I first found out I had to be gluten free I was stunned. What was gluten and where was it found. GIG helped me through the hurdles of beginning a gluten free life which has led to a healthier life.
Gluten Intolerance Group of North America has been helpful to me as a member of the general public. I am fortunate to be able to tell my friends who are confused as to whether they are gluten intolerant or if something else is making them ill. I refer them to the GIG web site for information and how to get in touch with people who are suffering from Celiac Disease or other auto immune diseases caused by gluten intolerance. Their web site is fantastic!
GIG has provided me with helpful tips and information for family and friends who have needed to know more about Gluten Intolerance. Much appreciate to all at GIG
GIG connects people within the celiac and gluten intolerant community to each other and to the best information and research on how to start and live a gluten free lifestyle. This organization makes an overwhelming life change feel do-able and helps people find normalcy in their lives once again. It is done through local support groups, a national magazine, and specific programs identifying and certifying manufacturers and restaurants that are safe for the gluten free community. Lastly, they build awareness through the Chef to Plate campaign, through their publication and advocacy across the world with their support groups which enables individuals to find a healthier lifestyle.
GIG does an excellent job of supporting those with gluten intolerance by making information readily available to assist in living a gluten free lifestyle. They also keep up to date on the latest research in the field and summarize that information for those who subscribe to the quarterly newsletter. They have also organized a group to certify gluten free products and another one to list restaurants that understand the gluten free diet and offer safe GF meals to customers.
Three years ago when I was diagnosed with celiac disease, I was told by my dr. it is "a rare disease." Withiin a couple of months, the nearest chapter of GIG (90 miles away) found me due to an order for their restaurant guide. GIG will always be viewed as a lifeline to me - one that keeps newly diagnosed from drowning in the sea of information and that keeps the rest of us afloat and thriving.
Review from Guidestar
When I wanted to start a gluten free support group in the Black Hills of SD, GLuten Intolerance Group gave me the support I needed and the suggestions and encouragement to form a strong and helpful group that raises awareness of the needs of the gluten free community and helps those who are just starting on the path to health via the gluten free diet. It wouldn't have happened without the Gluten Intolerance Group. They also put on fantastic educational conferences every year. I always learn alot that I can then tell my local support group about.
When I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I had so many questions. It was confusing to try to figure out what I could and could not eat. The Gluten Intolerance Group was extremely helpful in guiding me through the steps I needed to take to live the new lifestyle that I needed to live. They are an invaluable resource to the 1 in 120 people in this country who have Celiac Disease.
Review from Guidestar
Review for: Channon Quinn Director of Industry Programs Gluten Intolerance Group firstname.lastname@example.org (253) 218-2957 When I read the news: Seattle's PCC now Gluten-Free Food Service Accredited, first in the nation. I asked, "How can my Bellingham Community Food Cooperative be next?" I immediately contacted GIG to investigate how it was done. I received a quick reply from Channon Quinn who answered my questions and, best of all, said: "I’ve attached the slideshow for GFFS for you to look over. If you have the contact for the grocery store you are recommending, I’d be happy to reach out to them." I followed up by forwarding her information attached to my request to the Coop to investigate this new service. At last contact, that is what they are doing. Thank you GIG, and Channon, for bringing my food cooperative valuable information and one step closer to better serving the Gluten-Free community. Susan Clark
Review from Guidestar