Volunteer of the Month – Matt!

I am a financial analyst at a software company. For hobbies, I like working out, working outdoors, and taking my dog for walks or to the dog park. I also go to a lot of sporting events, which I enjoy. 

I was interested in volunteering, researched local organizations, and stumbled across GiGi’s. The reputation and positive feedback online made me interested in attending orientation from there. 

Once I saw my friend Mallory on the Volunteer Orientation PowerPoint and knew I had friends who volunteered at GiGi’s, it made me feel more comfortable moving forward with volunteering. My first shadowing experience was math tutoring with Rossalyn and Ana in July. After observing their session I was hooked. Their relationship and mutual effort put forth instilled a desire to be involved going forward. My first official volunteering session was with GiGiFIT Adult in September of 2023. 

I volunteer with GiGiFIT Adult, Fantastic Friends, and Fantastic Friends Karaoke. 

I really wanted to start volunteering and helping others for quite awhile. I had time in my schedule and decided it was what I wanted to pursue. I have a sister with mild cerebral palsy and was aware of how important it is to be there for adults, especially as they get older with fewer social opportunities available as well as families becoming spread thinner as time goes on. 

I enjoy being able to help people. There are so many amazing people coming together for a great cause. Building relationships with the volunteers and participants is very fulfilling. Seeing the progress made at GiGiFIT each week by each participant and being with them as they grow in new ways is one of the best feelings in the world. With Fantastic Friends, I love the environment for everyone to have fun, unwind, and let loose. It’s awesome! It’s like seeing two different sides of their personality that are equally beautiful.  

There’s so much I love about it. The main thing is probably that it never feels like something I have to do. It’s something I want to do and get to do. Spending time with everyone and sharing experiences with the participants is something I wouldn’t trade for the world. 

Be as involved as you can be. There’s always anxiety when trying something new, but everyone here will make you feel like you belong. Every hour you invest in volunteering you’ll get back tenfold with all the experiences and relationships you build along the way. 

It’s hard to choose one because there’s been so many. I would have to say being the Grinch for Christmas. So many fun memories from that day happened from greeting everyone, giving out hugs, and taking pictures. I could barely see out of the costume and Erin had to guide me throughout the Playhouse. It was also my first interaction with Annie. She was walking over for a picture on the stage and I said, “It’s okay I don’t bite.” She gave me this puzzled, sassy look and let out an “…I know”. It always gives me a good laugh when it crosses my mind. 

You’re in good hands when you step through the Playhouse doors. Every volunteer I’ve met here has the best intentions to give your family members the best experience we can while here. We treat every participant like they’re our family and do our best to make them feel that way.  

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