Home is where the heart is and that is where GiGi’s programs are happening today! #GenerationG
Since GiGi’s was built by all of us together, I felt you all needed to know the state of GiGi’s on March 27, 2020 – a time that will go down in history and has literally brought me to my knees. As the panic and fear continues to creep in, the GiGi’s team is not shutting down! We are instead working harder than ever to serve families. Though we had to close playhouses, suspend programs and cancel events, it has been amazing to watch 60 GiGi’s Playhouse locations and start-ups, in typical GiGi’s style, continue to take action to serve their families in every way possible!
I am very proud to say we have been working 24/7 and just launched GiGi’s at Home Virtual Programming for all ages! It hosts “ON DEMAND” programs and “LIVE” programs and has a resource library with tools and activities for all age groups. Our kids and adults are having a hard time understanding why they cannot come to the playhouse anymore. It has always been their “safe place” and they are really missing it, so we are bringing it to them! Check it out here!
Saturday March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day and with just a couple days’ notice our teams came together and hosted the largest virtual dance party and World Down Syndrome Day Celebration with all 60 GiGi’s locations and start ups represented! It was really special and brought us all together on a day when it felt like everything was falling apart. Take a look to see how your local GiGi’s was represented!
Playhouses across the country and in Mexico have been very creative in serving their families. From Zoom sessions, to backpack pick-ups in the parking lots, to tech libraries, to one-on-one speech sessions online, and virtual GiGiFIT classes we are there for our families.
In collaboration with other top Down syndrome organizations, we are also part of a COVID-19 National task force of elite medical professionals and researchers who are gathering all the relevant information in a Q & A document to help people care for their loved one with Down syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources will be shared as they are released.
When I first started GiGi’s, I was told that the GiGi’s model of giving everything away for free and being 99% volunteer run would never work, it was not sustainable. Well, with your help, we have been proving them wrong for 16 years now and we will continue to fight for a voice for our kids and to give them all the tools they need to succeed in life, even if it has to be virtually for now.
Please consider volunteering or making a donation to your local Playhouse. We still need you and we will not stop fighting for our families. As a network, GiGi’s Playhouse locations normally offer 4,400 FREE programming hours each week! With your help, we will be able to fill the void virtually with GiGi’s At Home nationally and through the efforts of our local Playhouses. We will continue to work, day and night, to serve our families. We had to cancel over 50 large crowd gathering events which account for 76% of all revenues in March and April. (Gulp) Though we are working on virtual events for these locations we/they still need YOUR help! Please consider making a donation or volunteering today.
♥ Support Our Virtual Learning
Yesterday was our first day of virtual learning, and we had over 2,000 page views on our GiGi’s At Home website, over 500 participants in our two LIVE programs, hundreds of views of our ON DEMAND programs! And there are 14 more sessions scheduled in the next week!
As we continue to navigate these uncertain times. We will rely on the GiGi’s core values which have helped us to grow where we are today.
Thank you for always believing! We will continue to pray for our country and all of you. We are so blessed to have you in our GiGi’s family.
Nancy and GiGi