Thank you. Because of you, GiGi’s Playhouse has triumphed over the unthinkable. Because of you, we’re now reaching new parts of the world. Because of you, we’re now helping previously unserved communities. Because of you, we never let our families down, despite the tumult of 2020 and 2021. Because of you, GiGi’s Playhouse is stronger than ever. There were times I was paralyzed with fear but because of you, I knew we were never alone.
Leading a nationwide, 99-percent volunteer-run organization through a pandemic forced us to dig deep. Our only choice was to think big, to innovate, and to automate… so that’s what we did! I am so proud to show you the incredible innovations that allowed us to continue serving our existing families while expanding to serve 77 countries and countless urban and rural communities that lack a physical playhouse.
But please don’t think we made it through COVID with no casualties. As hard as we worked, we were still down more than $2 million in revenues, three volunteer-run playhouses lost their physical locations (and are struggling to rebuild), our Fargo location was destroyed by fire, and our Sacramento location was vandalized with hate language. And in the world at large, our kids were still denied transplants, terminated late-pregnancy, and faced with great injustices. We have much to do… and we will!
Just as my daughter GiGi is growing up and representing, so is GiGi’s Playhouse. I am proud of the work of this past year, and excited about who we’re growing into: an organization that serves communities around the world virtually, an organization that changes the national conversation on acceptance, and an organization that truly improves lives.
Because of you, we are helping people with Down syndrome live longer and healthier lives. Because of you, our programs are free. Because of you, we are empowered to achieve the unimaginable.
Thank you, and we love you all!
PS: I can’t say enough about how much we need your support! Your financial donation helps us to continue to provide FREE, life changing programming around the world every day. Donate Now!
Check out all the excitement and inspiration for GiGi’s Playhouse!
GiGi’s Playhouse staff and volunteers from across the country gathered in Schaumburg, Illinois this month for our 2021 National Leadership Conference. Attendees learned about maximizing their operations, expanding the reach of their programs, and much more. Keynote speaker Amanda Booth, world-renowned model and actress, brought the crowd to tears retelling her experience of her son’s Down syndrome diagnosis through his early childhood. Special recognitions were made for playhouses excelling in their mission! We are so proud of our volunteers and GiGi’s team members who continue to step up, challenge themselves, and lead with courage in their communities.
GiGi’s by the numbers
ONLY 5% General and Administrative Costs
+ 61 GiGi’s communities
+ 77 Countries being served
+ 99% Volunteer run
+ 9,300 volunteers
+ 232,000 hours of programming
+ 3,500,000 website views
+ 25,000,000 social media reach = A WORLD full of LOVE and ACCEPTANCE!
This year, we launched a new Learning Management System that is leading us to new heights of excellence! We’re a 99% volunteer-run organization, so it’s vital that we have a robust, on-demand training system. Through this new LMS, we’re ensuring everyone is working at their highest capacity …all for our participants.
We’re proud to be rolling out brand new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources for not just schools and communities, but now corporations too. Encourage your friends and family to sign up their workplaces to become #generationG certified!
Sign up your company to become #generationG certified!Corporations are already stepping up to support GiGi’s in big ways!
Now that our playhouses have re-opened safely, we are seeing our program participation change accordingly. But don’t misunderstand: our online offerings are here to stay through our Virtual Education Platform GiGi’s At Home!
GiGi’s at Home:
1,500 program videos
Virtual participation hours (since March 2020): 137,000+
63,000+ views of on-demand programs to date
Serving Families in 77 countries!
In the 1980s, the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome was 25…Today, with the right support, our kids are living beyond 60!
The leading cause of death for people with Down syndrome is Alzheimer’s.
Programs like ours can help curb early-onset Alzheimer’s and help our participants live healthy fulfilling lives.
In 2022, more than 60 GiGi’s Playhouses and startups will host in-person events, and our global reach means individuals from around the world can participate too! Last year, 275,000 people participated, taking us closer to our vision of global acceptance of people with Down syndrome… and people of ALL abilities. Sponsor this game-changing event to show your commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion!
You’re invited to participate in the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge from World Down Syndrome Day (March 21) through June 12, 2022!
WE, the people of the Down syndrome community, are challenging YOU to move for acceptance – to prove that every person should be accepted for who they are.
We live in a world that is often separated based on differences. It is time for people to come together regardless of race, gender, diagnosis, sexual orientation, or religion. We need universal ACCEPTANCE for all people.
When you see the pride, the satisfaction, and the excitement on the faces at GiGi’s Playhouse, you know all of our fighting—and theirs—is worth it. That determination and aspiration are in our DNA. During these most challenging of years, we fought, both as an organization and as a community. And look at all we’ve accomplished.
It’s only possible because of you. As 2021 draws to a close, help us plan for an even brighter 2022.
Why attend GiGi’s Educator Symposium: Teaching Strategies for Individuals with Down Syndrome?
January 23, 2024
The GiGi’s Educator Symposium is FREE, VIRTUAL and INFORMATIVE! Are you interested in Learning from a team of experienced educators and therapists? Learning strategies for teaching individuals with Down syndrome to implement on Monday? Learning how individuals with Down syndrome learn best? Learning the “why” behind strategies you may already...
What does it mean to be a part of GiGi’s Playhouse?
January 18, 2024
Video Transcription: Mike Cirigliano: Hi. My name's Mike Cirigliano. I'm president of the board at GiGi's Playhouse Long Island, and my role is to support our board, our participants, and our volunteers the best that I can. GiGi's Playhouse is a center, a destination, a place to me that supports...
GiGi’s was like oxygen for me
November 15, 2023
Elena and her husband had been trying to become pregnant for nine years. They had almost given up hope when Elena decided to take one last pregnancy test. The test came back positive. Very early in her pregnancy, they were diagnosed with Down syndrome and hydrocephalus (water on the brain),...