“GiGi's Playhouse has given my family opportunities that we otherwise would not have: Opportunities for my daughter, Maleah, to participate in purposeful programming with kids of all abilities, including her brothers. In fact, GiGi's has offered her more of an inclusive setting than her school. She has also participated in one-on-one literacy, math, and speech with some of the most generous volunteers in our community.  Opportunities for my other children to learn the importance of acceptance as they get to know the participants and learn that they are all "beautifully unique." As a mother, I have the opportunity to connect with other moms and caregivers and establish relationships that I cherish.  I love that our circle continues to grow with each new family that discovers the magic of GiGi's.”

- Stacy, mother of Maleah age 6




“Mitchell is feeling on top of the world. At his bowling league on Tuesday, a friend of ours said she can really understand him so much better lately. His speech and the way he makes eye contact and speaks with his head up have really made a difference. So grateful to you. You have been the best inspiration to Mitch in his entire life.    

- Mom to Mitchell age 30 


“My eyes are filled with tears, and joy is bursting through my heart. I am so delighted that people see our son for who we know him to be. This is the first time in his life that is getting to be heard. Thank you for this gift.”

-Mom of a child in GiGi's Speech program


“My daughter’s speech has improved so much. She is using her speech skills [Sarah] taught her on her own. She is slowing down, opening her mouth more and showing confidence when speaking and reading. I can’t describe how much these sessions are doing for her.”

-Mom of a child in GiGi's Speech program


“I am originally from the great state of Nebraska, GO Big Red! My father was transferred here when I was just 7 years old. Our whole entire family still lives in Nebraska. We are a close family, and we miss being with our family dearly. We have contemplated moving back to be with our incredible family. Do you want to know the reason why this is not an option anymore? It’s because there is no GiGi’s Playhouse in Nebraska yet! Let that sink in, we will not move back because there is no GiGi’s Playhouse there. The support for the whole family, the programs geared especially for Hope, there is no way we could be in a place where we don’t have access to a GiGi’s Playhouse. GiGi’s Playhouse is our lifeline and has been since the day Hope came into this world. There is nothing in this world that is more important to Hope’s future than GiGi’s Playhouse. We love you GiGi’s Playhouse and I thank God every day that “the” GiGi was born to the fierce and fabulous Nancy Gianni. Hope’s future is so much brighter because of GiGi’s Playhouse and as a mother who would do anything to make life easier for her daughter, what this wonderful organization does is absolutely priceless.”

- Erin, Mother of Hope (age 8)


“I cannot thank GiGi's enough for the tutoring!  After 3 weeks of Literacy tutoring, Shelby just picked up books and started reading on her own!  It has also helped with her speech and expansion of her vocabulary as well. We cannot thank her tutor enough for all of her patience and hard work.  And we especially want to thank GiGi's Playhouse for offering this virtual program and thank you for pairing her with such an amazing person!”

-Mother of Shelby, age 18

“We create a learning plan that includes both her needs and her interests. Shelby is a pleasure to work with and comes to each session with a positive attitude. Shelby is always happy to see me when we connect through GiGi’s Tutoring at Home, and she is making great strides.”

–Rachel, Literacy Tutor of Shelby, age 18


“We still remember the day Brooklynn was born and the overwhelming fear we felt the day we were told that she had Down syndrome. If only I knew then what I know now!! Are there bumps in the road, absolutely, but we are no longer unprepared for them, and they are so insignificant compared to the incredible joy, happiness, and love we experience every single day with Brooklynn!! She has taught us patience; unconditional love, and she has completely changed the trajectory of our lives in such an incredible way. We first walked through the doors of GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix when Brooklynn was three, before that, we had very little support, no community connections, and a sense of instability. Fast forward eight years, and because of Brooklynn and GiGi’s, we now have a HUGE support system for our whole family, the most amazing community of friends and family, and we have found our “Home away from Home”. We could never in a million years show enough gratitude for all that GiGi’s Playhouse has done for our family. Over the years, we have witnessed incredible growth and achievement in Brooklynn as well as all of our friends at GiGi’s Playhouse. The sky is the limit for them all, they may go at their own pace and with their own rules (Brooklynn is ALWAYS in charge, and we know it), but they will ALWAYS get there with the GiGi’s community backing them. Brooklynn has taught us to enjoy every day in every way, to always celebrate the small things along the way, and to stop and enjoy the journey rather than always focusing on the end! We would not change Brooklynn or our new path in life for the world, but we will do everything we can to help change the world for her!! We love our Brooklynn beyond measure and cannot wait to continue watching her bloom as she grows!”

- Jennifer, mother of Brooklyn age 11


“It wasn’t until Clara was about 6 years old that we explained what Down syndrome was. We really entrusted the “person first” mentality. She’s been tagging along with me to the playhouse since she was 2 years old. For those 4 years, the participants were just people who also came to the playhouse. She had fun when she was there, so, why wouldn’t other people want to do the same thing? She has met so many different people who all just happen to have Down syndrome. Her uncles are different from each other in a lot of ways, and she knows that the participants at the playhouse are all different too. Everly, 4 years old, is always one to go up to other kids in her class who have different abilities and ask to play with them. She isn’t fazed if a classmate is stemming or if someone needs extra help. This isn’t to brag about my parenting skills! They have learned all of this through their participation at GiGi’s Playhouse. We can’t stress enough the importance of volunteering your time and talents, as you usually gain more than you give!”


- Kathleen, volunteer at GiGi’s, brother to Jacob, age 28 and brother-in-law to Pat age 54

“Life is not always easy when you have a sibling with a disability. When Olivia was born, we went to many appointments that were special for her, people would stare and ask questions when we went to places, we seemed to be put on a stage because she has Down syndrome. At GiGi’s Playhouse, we have met other families who we may only share one common thing with – having a sibling with Down syndrome, but we come together to learn, grow, cry, and CELEBRATE together!  GiGi’s Playhouse is a place where our family can come to BE- we get to be unjudged, we get to be a part of the community, and we get to be ourselves! We are able to all attend programs and learn right along with Olivia, we are able to ask questions to learn how best to support her now and in the future. GiGi’s has been there for our family no matter where we are in life.”


- Caitlyn, sister of Olivia age 17