Volunteer Spotlight: Jelena Verkler

Allow us to introduce you to the wonderful Jelena Verkler! Jelena began volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit in December 2022, by jumping right in with participants in Kids Club, Open Play, Drama Troupe, and as a Literacy Tutor!

Jelena shows up week after week with the best attitude, and everyone at the Playhouse can feel her heartfelt support. We are so grateful for her time, thoughtfulness, and talents! Please take a moment to learn a bit more about Jelena…

How did you first hear about, and then get involved with our Playhouse? 

I first heard about GiGi’s from a former coworker whose daughter attends GiGi’s programming. I was looking for a volunteer opportunity and this seemed like the perfect fit given my previous work at The Arc of Illinois.  

What do you like most about being a volunteer? 

What I like most about being a volunteer is that whatever may be going on in my life, I always leave GiGi’s with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.  Tutoring gives me the opportunity to connect with my student one on one, and see first-hand the incredible progress they make from week to week.  Drama Troupe has been a wonderful experience in watching participants come out of their shells and show off their many talents, while also making me feel like it’s a safe place to be silly and myself as well.   

What do you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time I love to play in sports leagues, run marathons, travel, read as many books as I can, attend musicals and sporting events, and volunteer with other organizations such as Gleaners Community Food Bank and Gentiva Hospice.  

Many thanks, Jelena, from all of us at GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit!

Our volunteers mean the world to us! If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit, now is the time! There are countless ways to support, from assisting with group programs, 1:1 tutoring, joining a committee, and more! All skillsets are welcome, and any amount of time you can give will be appreciated. You can find out more info HERE.

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