Mary Mangan: GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago Impact Story 

What brought you to GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago? 

I had heard great things about GiGi’s Playhouse over the years from the Girls Scouts at my children’s school who volunteered there. My dear friend and college roommate brought me into GiGi’s Playhouse Chicago. Her daughter Samantha was born with Down syndrome. I recommended reaching out to GiGi’s and she did. They started going to the Crawlers and Walkers program to get out of the house. Being around other babies and parents going through the same experiences with similar questions was exactly the community they needed. GiGi’s is such a valuable resource for new parents! 

I joined the board in 2014 because I wanted to help continue that community of acceptance that Samantha received at GiGi’s. Since then, I’ve learned and have seen the free programs provided to the participants and families have been transformational. Did you know literacy tutoring can help a child develop the readiness skills to attend traditional schools? This and so many programs at GiGi’s make a huge impact on the lives of our participants and their families.  

What is your most memorable moment of impact in 2023? 

I am the Treasurer at Chicago Playhouse Chicago. The finance committee and I have the role of budgeting, forecasting, accounting for, analyzing, and communicating our financial position. We have moved cash into a higher interest-bearing account. We squeeze every penny we get!  

I’ve also been involved in creating some of our fundraising campaigns and events. How much we accomplish with 2 full-time employees and dedicated volunteers is a testament to their energy and dedication!  

What is your vision for 2024? 

From a financial perspective, my goal for 2024 is to end the year in the black. In the past two years, donations have been lower, resulting in losses for the Chicago playhouse. These losses require us to use our reserved funds to cover our operating costs, which makes us less sustainable.  

My vision for next year is to have 321 donors to be 3.21 Champions. 3.21 Champions are monthly donors at the $21 per month or higher level. These donations would cover our operating costs for the year and ensure our sustainability! 

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