I pray this letter finds all of you and your families safe and healthy. It seems surreal that just a few weeks ago we were preparing for our World Down Syndrome Day Sock Hop. We had 42 teams registered and despite having to cancel we still raised a significant portion of our goal! A lot has changed in such a short amount of time. What hasn’t changed though is our commitment to the families we serve. I’ve seen so many articles shared all over social media pertaining to the trials of being quarantined when you are a special needs parent. This is our time to shine – we aren’t pausing, we are hitting PLAY! We are using this time to focus on growth and opportunity!
So, I want to share with you where we are at. If you are not aware, our playhouse facilitates on average over 375 programs hours each week. With our playhouse being closed we had to work fast to continue to serve our families. Through our partnerships with the 48 playhouses around the country, two weeks ago we launched GiGi’s at Home with LIVE and On Demand programming. We have had over 50,000 visits to the site in less than one week. The first LIVE national program was GiGiFit Kids (physical therapy based fitness for school aged kids) and we had 156 participants from 14 states! Here are some more stats from the last few weeks.
- 308 NEW families joined GiGi’s including 10 newborns
- 17+ LIVE National Programs weekly (AND GROWING) – thanks to our incredible volunteers!
- 90+ On Demand Program videos with materials and resources
- 3,000 views of On Demand videos
- 1,000 Live participants in the first week in National Programs
Aside from all of this, our national committee has been working with an international medical task force on COVID19 and Down syndrome so we can provide accurate information to families. We are in unprecedented territory but we are working 24/7 and continuing to serve our families. They are so grateful to have a team that does NOT give up! 17 babies with Down syndrome are still being born every day, families still need us and we are here! One thing to note is that we are now serving families that have never been able to participate in one of our programs because they lived too far away. We now have families all over the state of Michigan who are participating and learning together. So, not only are we responding to families’ needs – we are Growing!!
If you have a chance, please check out the GiGi’s At Home site that we have put together. You will find the programming, resources, and current COVID19 information our families need. We have programs for ALL ages!
See our Families in Action!
Some feedback we have received about GiGi’s At Home has come from the mother of 8 month old Maevis:
“Our family has been loving GiGi’s At Home programs! They have been helping with both our 5 year old Henry who has been out of school, and our 8 month old Maevis who no longer has early-o
n therapy sessions. The Live videos are wonderful because you can see all the other families participate and it gives us something to look forward to during the day. We also take advantage of the On Demand videos when we are in need of an activity. We appreciate GiGi’s Playhouse continuing to provide their amazing programs during this time of solitude!”
Thank you for helping make all of this happen!!
Lisa Kocab & the entire GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit Team