Gail Wiersma and her husband, Bob

Employee Crisis Fund cares for Sanford Family

March 25, 2021

Like so many of our Sanford and Good Samaritan Society caregivers, Gail Wiersma has a gift for taking care of others. But when Gail needed financial assistance, her coworkers found a way to return her compassion.

Through the generosity of Sanford and Society employees, the Employee Crisis Fund provides assistance to family members facing personal financial hardship due to extraordinary and unexpected circumstances.

Gail never expected to need this assistance, but when her husband, Bob, suffered a stroke earlier this year, their family was hit hard. Gail had to take time off work to care for Bob, and after using the majority of her time off during low census days in 2020, Gail ran out of PTO hours quickly.

Temporarily without an income, their family started to struggle. Bills for their car payment, heating and rent were coming due. Even putting food on the table was difficult.

Then the eviction notice appeared. Gail didn’t know where to turn.

“The fear of not having a home left me with many sleepless nights,” Gail shared. “My husband doesn’t get emotional very often, but this situation put us in such a state of fear.”

Just as she thought they would lose their home, Gail heard some amazing news. Her family received a grant through the Employee Crisis Fund. With this assistance, Gail and Bob caught up on rent and re-stocked their cupboards.

In 2020 alone, the Sanford and Society family gave more than $1.5 million to help 1,500 coworkers through the economic difficulties of the COVID pandemic and other personal financial hardships. Their support has meant the world to colleagues like Gail.

“I don’t think I have ever been so humbled or grateful,” Gail told us. “We feel blessed beyond all measures and are so thankful to everyone who gives through the Foundations.”

Today, Gail is back to doing what she loves – caring for patients as a nursing assistant – but she hasn’t forgotten how her Sanford Family showed up to help her get through such a difficult time.

To all those who already give to the Foundations, thank you! You make stories like this possible.


Giving means a lifeline to Sanford Family

In just two minutes, you can support Sanford employees experiencing personal financial crises.

Give now to support the Employee Crisis Fund.

If you are a Sanford employee, consider signing up to give automatically through your paycheck.