Nancy Gianni, founder and Chief Belief Officer of
GiGi's Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers


Open to all, GiGi's is a place for families and the community to celebrate children and adults with Down syndrome and help them unleash one's "Best of All". Today there are 33 free-standing Playhouses throughout the United States and Mexico serving more than 30,000 participants and families. Programs are offered 100% FREE to all families so that cost will never be a barrier to achievement and acceptance. Going beyond Down syndrome, Nancy's vision for global acceptance for ALL comes to life through GiGi's Playhouse and the Generation G campaign.

CNN’s decision came after a month-long vetting process of our organization – including research, analysis and investigation into the organization’s 501C3 standing with the IRS, our financials, our business model, our program model, location stability, executive board health, and more – across all12 years of GiGi’s existence – and we passed! 

To simply be verified and validated by a respected international news organization like CNN is pretty cool unto itself!


Generation G

"This is not about me or GiGi. It is about all of us stepping up to make this world a better place. The real Heroes of GiGi's Playhouse include the participants themselves, (they inspire me every day!), the volunteers who run 97% of all programming, the courageous families who embrace the journey of opening a Playhouse in their own community, and the believers who make this all possible.”

From Richard Riley, a long-time Playhouse grandparent and supporter who nominated Nancy for CNN Heroes:

"Acknowledgment on the world stage should be but a beginning in recognizing the mission and the expectation of its success that Nancy Gianni has set. It could have easily been about her child, her struggle. Instead, she chose the word our...our children, our struggle. Millions are in need of feeling the touch of Love that is GiGi's Playhouse!"

CNN Heroes is a year-long initiative that honors everyday people for their selfless, creative efforts to help others. 2016 marks the tenth year of the Peabody Award-winning, Emmy-nominated campaign. Each year, CNN receives thousands of nominations from around the world.

In its first nine years, CNN Heroes has received more than 50,000 nominations from more than 100 countries. Since 2007, the campaign has profiled more than 200 CNN Heroes. They're working in more than 80 countries around the world, helping hundreds of thousands of people.

Please join us in congratulating Nancy and her family on this very special honor!