Volunteer at the Fox Valley Location
Thank you for your interest in becoming a Volunteer. GiGi’s Playhouse is a volunteer-run organization and we rely on the skill and dedication of volunteers of various levels of expertise to keep our programs vibrant, educational, fun and free. Since the first Playhouse opened in 2003, and the Fox Valley location opened in 2005, GiGi's Playhouse programs have always been FREE to our families." There is also a space missing before that sentence. Parents, family members, clinicians, and individuals who believe in the GiGi’s Playhouse mission act as volunteers in GiGi’s Playhouse programs, events, administrative offices, and on committees. If you are interested in donating your time and talent, let us know!
Types of Volunteer Opportunities
GiGi's Playhouse offers purposeful, progressive, therapeutic, educational and social programs throughout the month and on the weekends. Whether a program is virtual or in the Playhouse, 1:1 or small group- we are always in need of leaders and volunteers for all our amazing programs.
- Commitment: Varies. Once a week to once a month
- Program Coordinator
- Program Leaders: The Program Leaders plays an integral role within GiGi’s Playhouse Programs – to facilitate skill development activities and connect with families. It is preferred that the Program Leader has advanced education and/or training in developmental therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, social work, special education, speech-language therapy, music, dance, art or a related field.
- Program Assistants: These people will assist the program lead during the program. They will help with activities, set up and clean up as needed. Program volunteers just need a general knowledge of Down syndrome which you can gain at the volunteer orientation!
- Host Families: The Host Family attends the assigned program each session and works in conjunction with the program leader. This role can rotate between families attending the program.
Tutoring and Education
Interested in helping participants learn to read, learn number concepts, and develop career skills? Then our tutoring or educational programs are perfect for you! We have specific training for tutors which include observation hours and continued support. Help make a difference!
- Literacy Coordinator: key volunteer that supports and oversees the GiGi’s Playhouse Literacy Tutoring Program. This volunteer position requires a commitment of 5-12 hours per week.
- Math Coordinator: key volunteer that supports and oversees the GiGi’s Playhouse Math Tutoring Program. This volunteer position requires a commitment of 5-12 hours per week.
- Literacy and Math Tutors: This is an exciting opportunity to help those with Down syndrome learn to read or do math skills! The time commitment per week is 1 hour plus prep time. We ask our tutors to commit to one session (10 weeks). You will work directly with the family of the child you are tutoring to determine when you will meet for your session each week.
Like to be on the computer? Like to work on projects? Good at fixing things? Every Playhouse is always looking for administrative, maintenance, and tech volunteers to help with various tasks.
- Program Prep: Assist in the preparation of programs by making program reminder phone calls, preparing program materials, creating program binders, creating lesson plans and more.
- Volunteer Coordination: Assist in the coordination of volunteers by calling/emailing volunteers, inviting organizations to take tours of the Playhouse, schedule volunteer trainings, email reminders about volunteer orientations and more
- Clean & Organization Crew: volunteer to keep our Playhouse clean, organized and safe for our volunteers and participants by organizing and sanitizing toys, vacuuming and sweeping floors, sanitizing door handles, cleaning windows, tracking inventory and more
- Marketing Volunteers: volunteer to assist in the marketing of GiGi’s Playhouse by creating Facebook events, creating and scheduling social media posts, assisting in the creation of our monthly e-newsletter, write blog pieces and more
- Fundraising and Outreach Volunteers: volunteer to engage with families to learn their stories and make connections, assist in the planning/execution of holiday parties/events, assist in conducting tours of the Playhouse, create acknowledgements, assist in securing donations and sponsorships for fundraising events and more
- Playhouse Ambassador: High energy, upbeat volunteers needed for off-site events to represent GiGi’s Playhouse at Special Olympics, Golf Outings, various conferences, and community festivals. Attend local events (host a table/booth), reach out in the community to share your enthusiasm and knowledge of GiGi’s Playhouse and other duties!
GiGi's Playhouse has exciting events that are run by volunteers!! GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge, Naperville Half Marathon & 5k, Chicagoland Gala, World Down Syndrome Celebration, Naperville St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Holiday parties…you name it! We are always in need of volunteers for these events – from being a committee member to helping the day of the event, we need your assistance!
- Commitment: Varied, 1x a week during event planning a few months before event
- Committee member
- Chairperson: Oversee the committee and event, some experience with event/people management preferred.
- Fundraisers/Sponsorships: Help secure donations for the events by reaching out to organizations in the community, asking for sponsorship and donations
- Marketing/PR: Write Press releases, follow up with media, create flyers, brochures etc.
- Decorations: Research and secure rentals needed for the event
- Food and Beverage: Research and secure food and beverage donations
- Day of Volunteers: Helping with registration and other activities.
- Group Volunteering: Have a group interested in volunteering together? The more the better! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and together we will set up your volunteer opportunities!
Join us for one of upcoming GiGi’s Playhouse Volunteer Orientations held at the Fox Valley location on the 1st Monday of each month from 7-8pm OR offered virtually through GiGi’s At Home. RSVP for the Fox Valley orientation at: gigisplayhouse.org/foxvalley/calendar or the virtual orientation at: gigisplayhouse.org/gigisathome/calendar
Becoming A Volunteer
To become a volunteer you must complete the following steps.
- Read our website in order to familiarize yourself with the Playhouse mission, vision, programs and events.
- Attend a volunteer orientation
- Observe 2 programs: Check our calendar for scheduled programs and events or view programs on GiGi’s At Home LIVE or ON DEMAND. Schedule in person observations with Playhouse staff during the Volunteer Orientation or by contacting us at email@example.com.
- Complete volunteer paperwork including: Hold Harmless and Photo Release, Confidentiality and Non-disclosure Agreement, Code of Ethics, and also complete a background check.
- Train for your specific role.