Drew’s Why

Drew (far right) and her family!

“I first heard about GiGi’s Playhouse because it had shown up on my Facebook news feed, and after that I kept randomly hearing about it on the radio and seeing its name in various places. When I would hear about GiGi’s or see its name, I was always interested to learn more. Finally, this past summer, I looked into it more and found my way to its website. I loved everything I was seeing about GiGi’s, from its mission to all the fun events it offers. I also felt partial to its mission because I have a special place in my heart for those with Down syndrome. I was able to grow up with and be impacted by an incredible guy who has Down syndrome, Jesse Johnston. After taking these things into consideration, I knew I wanted to get involved with GiGi’s however I could.


I chose to apply to be a volunteer for ‘Fantastic Friends’, which is the program for teens and adults. Deciding to volunteer at GiGi’s was a no-brainer for me because I knew I could find the time to volunteer at at least one event a month at an organization with such a great mission. Ever since I was young, I have been very conscious of the well being of others. At GiGi’s, I am able to focus solely on those who attend the programs. It’s impossible not to have a good time there when my only job is to have fun with the attendees, whether we’re eating, playing games, or just goofing around!

Click the photo to see Drew’s awesome story covered by WDAY! They came to visit us at GiGi’s Playhouse! 🙂


People with Down syndrome are some of the most admirable people, in the sense that they have to overcome so many difficulties, yet they do so in great strides and with great joy. GiGi’s Playhouse has provided me a great outlet away from school, basketball, and other demands in my life to just go and have a good time. I am able to make other people’s days better while they do the same for me.


Remember GiGi’s Playhouse on February 9th for Giving Hearts Day 2017!

Kristin Peters’ Why

It is hard to believe that almost 10 years ago our son Jake was born with Down syndrome. Of course, there were a roller coaster of emotions for my husband and I.  Will he walk, talk or play sports? Luckily, I have a younger first cousin, Kari, with Down syndrome that I have grown up… Continue Reading

Marci’s Why

My first memories of children with Down Syndrome was during elementary school in the early 1970’s – and these memories were bleak as far as the school setting. All students with disabilities were taught in a single classroom, they didn’t participate in the general education setting except during recess, and at lunchtime they sat at… Continue Reading

Tonya’s Why

Having a son with Down Syndrome has changed my life…. for the better! When I was 34 weeks pregnant, I unexpectedly went into labor- a labor of love I never knew was coming! Jamison was born around 8pm, 9lbs-14oz and code blue. He was whisked off to the NICU and we were uncertain of the future… Continue Reading

Nikki’s Why

My son Max is 6 years old. He is in kindergarten and loves learning to read (and also lunch, recess and gym). The Bison and Eagles are his favorite teams and he has a wicked fastball. Max is grandpa’s biggest “helper” on the farm-the dirtier he can get the happier he is. He is an… Continue Reading

Kristin’s Why

      I will never forget the day we found out our son Birk, had Down syndrome.  I was overcome with so many emotions, but the strongest was the feeling of being all alone on this journey.   One night when Birk was about 2 years old, I was online looking at different resources… Continue Reading

Joe’s Why

“My middle child, Benjamin, is almost five now, and has the world in front of him. I got involved in GiGis first to be a voice and advocate for my son and those with special needs. Now it is a two way street. The connection is something special.” Remember GiGi’s Playhouse on February 9th for… Continue Reading

Mary’s Why

I was 38 when I found out prenatally that my daughter Elizabeth would have Down syndrome.     I did not have a lot of experience with individuals with Down syndrome and to be totally honest, it was my biggest fear as an older mom. My husband and I spent almost 6 months both believing we were… Continue Reading

Lindsey’s Why

When my daughter, Braelyn was born, one of my many google searches turned up GiGi’s Playhouse.   But the closest location was in the cities. Fast-forward a few years – I got an email from a local support group that they were having a meeting to discuss possibly opening a GiGi’s Playhouse in Fargo. I… Continue Reading

Teri’s Why

  Since having our son, Blake, who has Down Syndrome, I’ve learned there is an unique bond between parents raising these special children.  We would be out in the community and encounter another parent with a child with Down Syndrome and our eyes would meet and we’d smile.  We’d smile because we both knew we were… Continue Reading