In February 2020 our two young men, who have DS, were very active. Jonathan attended a day program twice a week; Jacob volunteered in a preschool one morning a week, helped a friend with her daycare another morning, and volunteered at our church’s preschool Sunday School class a couple times a month. Both exercised with GiGiFIT one evening a week, attended Friends’ Group at our church, helped me babysit our grandson one day each week, and did outings at least two to three times a week with a social group for adults with special needs. When COVID hit in March and everything shut down, they lost all contact with friends and extended family. I thought, “What are we going to do?!” When it was predicted that the closings could last for two months, I couldn’t bear the thought of being home by ourselves for that long. (We do love each other, but so enjoy variety and the company of other people!)
Now looking back eight months later, GiGi’s played a big part in helping us survive. Once GiGi’s started their virtual programs, Jacob and Jonathan had something to look forward to almost everyday. The friendly faces of GiGi’s staff gave us a break from each other, and someone new to connect with. Jacob quickly became a loyal participant of Erin’s yoga classes, exercising with them three times each week. Emily’s music class and Destination Discovery with Shannon were Jonathan’s favorites. We all have enjoyed cooking many delicious and healthy meals together with GiGi’s cooking class on Fridays.
GiGi’s virtual programs have definitely been a life-saver to us. We are forever grateful for the smiling faces of GiGi’s staff that have helped keep us busy, taught us new things, and become our friends. Thank you, GiGi’s! Even though some of their activities have started back up, we are happy to hear the virtual programs will continue even after COVID!
Jacob and Jonathan’s mom
Jacob and Jonathan exercising with their friends in GiGiFIT Adult!