Interview by Aria Kim
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~ Maya Angelou
This quote happens to be a favorite of Becca Daugherty’s, and we can’t think of a better way to describe the magic she brings to GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit. During the week she works as a Special Education teacher at Quarton Elementary in Birmingham, and on weekends she leads the Kids’ Club program at the Playhouse. Enthusiastic, thoughtful, dedicated and kind are just a few words to describe Becca and we are so grateful to have her in our community.
Get to know her more below!
Hi Becca, how did you find out about GiGi’s?
I heard about GiGi’s through some community connections and came to the grand opening to learn more. I was hooked from that day!
When did you start volunteering?
I started volunteering pretty much as soon as this location was up and running. At first I attended Open Play and different groups, then Lisa asked if I’d be willing to lead a program. I’m so glad I said yes! I’ve had a blast watching Kids Club grow from 1-2 participants in the beginning, to what is now a regular party of up to 15!
What about the message of GiGi’s Playhouse appeals to you personally?
I think the idea of acceptance is so powerful. Everyone has a right to feel accepted and loved. We see so much intolerance in the world today and I love being a part of a movement that centers around appreciating others for who they are and celebrating our differences.
What keeps you coming back to volunteer, month after month?
Every time I walk into the Playhouse I know I will have a good time and it instantly brings a smile to my face. Seeing the Kids Club participants, as well as the caregivers, making connections with one another is so much fun.
How has volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse impacted your life?
It makes me happy!! Many of my past volunteer experiences have involved supporting a cause from behind-the-scenes. GiGi’s is very different in that I get to interact and engage with the participants and their families each time I’m there, and I love it!
Do you have a favorite memory from a program?
I can’t think of a specific memory, but my favorite part of each Kid’s Club are the few minutes at the beginning and end of each session. Each child who walks through the door is immediately greeted with their name yelled out and given a hug or high five. Their smiles and genuine excitement to see one another are contagious. When it’s time to go, the goodbyes are just as sweet, and no one ever wants to leave!
What would you say is the biggest misconception about people with Down syndrome?
I think a huge misconception about individuals with Down syndrome is the assumption that they can’t do most things. People with DS are worthy of high expectations and the necessary supports to break through barriers and reach their full potential!
What would you say to someone who is considering volunteering?
Stop thinking about it and just do it! An hour to two at GiGi’s is guaranteed to brighten your day!
Are you feeling inspired??
We have all sorts of volunteer opportunities that would certainly suit your interests and time allowance. Please join us for the next volunteer orientation, Saturday August 6th, from 10 – 11am. If you have any questions, email Allie Plancon or call the Playhouse at 248-557-9899.