Volunteer Spotlight: Marina “It’s All About Positivity & Kindness”

A little while ago, I found a link to GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis on my high school’s service website from the service coordinator. I had never heard of it, but I allowed curiosity to take the wheel. I clicked the link and it immediately displayed bright colors and smiling faces. From that moment, I wanted to immerse myself into the wonderful environment that is GiGi’s Playhouse.

My first day volunteering, I must admit, I was nervous. I never worked with individuals with Down syndrome before. However, I was welcomed with friendliness and openness, and I became excited to begin volunteering. My role at the playhouse is to watch over some of the younger individuals as they play and rotate through speech therapy sessions. In my experience, I became amazed at how smart and creative each of the children are. Witnessing them using new words and communicating with me is not just amazing but beautiful. The environment of GiGi’s Playhouse is truly special.

Another unique aspect of GiGi’s is that it is mostly volunteer run. The people at GiGi’s want to be there, to interact with the families, and to empower individuals to succeed. In addition, they want to spread awareness about Down syndrome. While many may be familiar with Down syndrome, it is still an underfunded group of people. GiGi’s recognizes the fact that families need a place where their children or dear ones can truly grow and flourish.

“I feel so joyful when I enter GiGi’s Playhouse to volunteer because everyone always welcomes me with such kindness. The Playhouse greatly impacted and developed my understanding on how much a person’s own positivity and kind words affects another.”

Overall, I would strongly encourage other students like myself to volunteer at GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis. You will meet kindhearted people dedicated to helping others and assist in programs that encourage achievement and acceptance for all.

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Want to share your talents with friends at GiGi’s? Visit our website and complete the Volunteer Interest Form! We are also currently seeking Math & Literacy tutors for our summer session.

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