GiGi’s Playhouse launches “Step to Accept”

Due to COVID-19, GiGi’s Playhouse locations have recently had to cancel more than 50 events and suspend many free programs. Families were devastated—but GiGi’s Playhouse has bounced back!

The GiGi’s Playhouse team thought a lot about how they could keep their families engaged with GiGi’s Playhouse in a virtual world. And so, the Step to Accept challenge was born!

Step to Accept is a virtual run, walk or bike ride to keep GiGi’s Playhouse supporters united and active, while also continuing to raise money for the Playhouses.

  • When: Saturday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. CST
  • Where: Your house, treadmill, street, park or favorite place to walk, run or bike
  • How: Live stream your steps with thousands of other GiGi’s Playhouse supporters around the world!

The goal of Step to Accept is to amass seven million steps, which is enough to span the entire United States. With each step, people pledge to accept other people as they are.

Step to Accept is already a success! Within days of launching this first-ever network-wide virtual event, more than 1,000 people were registered and more than $100,000 had already been raised!

All money raised from Step to Accept will go directly to GiGi’s Playhouse to enable the not-for-profit to continue its mission to provide free, life-changing therapeutic and educational programs for people with Down syndrome.

Nancy Gianni, GiGi’s Playhouse founder, can’t wait to see people show their support of GiGi’s Playhouse through Step to Accept. “This goes beyond individuals with Down syndrome,” she said. “We’ve been fighting for acceptance since we first conceived GiGi’s Playhouse in 2002. Every step matters because every life matters, which is why our initial goal is seven million steps—but we would love to hit 50 million steps, which is the amount of steps it takes to walk around the world spreading our message of acceptance.”
Step to Accept is open to both teams and individual participants. Teams can include family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates and anyone else you can think of!

The registration cost is $21 per adult and $10 per child (age 12 and under). This includes virtual coaching, as well as a fitness tracking app for monitoring and recording steps.

Step to Accept will begin on Saturday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. CST with warm-ups and inspirational remarks. The “stepping” will then begin at 11:15 a.m.

Together, we will make history as 60 GiGi’s Playhouse locations and start-ups unite. Every step taken and every dollar raised says, “I can and will accept you as you are.”

To register a team or yourself, or to make a donation, please visit

Every step helps change the way the world sees Down syndrome and sends a global message of acceptance for all! Every step matters because every life matters. Now let’s get steppin’! 

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