Little Hearts… Big Impact

“You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripple for change” – Tim Cook.

It’s no secret that the success of GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit is primarily because of the hard work and dedication of our fabulous volunteers. For many, their efforts don’t stop when they leave at the end of their program; they find ways to incorporate GiGi’s in other areas of their life as well.

For example, a 16-year-old named Shae Pettinga began assisting with our group programs, then signed up to be a Literacy Tutor. When her high school held a “charity week”, Shae nominated and campaigned for GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit to be the recipient. Suddenly, a student body of more than 2,000 members were talking about Down syndrome and the tremendous gift that is our population!

Twice we have been blessed by this ripple effect to student organizations at Wayne State University. Last fall, a small group called “Caring Hands” hosted a blanket making party, and more recently, “The Little Hearts Foundation” hosted an event for Earth Day.

Joelle Stempnik, another enthusiastic volunteer at the Playhouse, is also president of Little Hearts. When the group was considering places to do service work, she suggested GiGi’s. Vanessa, their Outreach Coordinator, connected with Lauren, our Volunteer Coordinator, and plans for an Earth Day celebration ensued!

As you can see by the pictures, the Little Hearts hosted an educational and joyous event where friends of all ages, with and without Down syndrome, enjoyed playing games, decorating clay pots, and planting seeds in honor of Earth Day.

Our mission is to change the way the world views Down syndrome, and one of the many ways we accomplish this is by getting as many people as possible to spend time with folks who were blessed with an extra chromosome. We know once members of the community experience the strength, perseverance, and charisma of people with Down syndrome, they will continue sharing the GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit LOVE with everyone, thus… the Ripple Effect.

If you want to learn more about GiGi’s Playhouse Detroit and how you can get involved, complete this volunteer interest form, and Lauren will be in touch about our next orientation on June 11th at 7pm.

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