September 13 started like any other day at work, I hit the ground running and was working when our Founder & Chief Belief Officer Nancy Gianni started a Facebook live stream. During that time she spoke about the expansion, future programming and her plans for a million people to take the Generation G pledge during Down Syndrome Acceptance Month. I sat at my desk listening and thought, “Wow, a million people? That’s ambitious.”
Shortly after the live stream I received a text message from Hope, a playhouse volunteer, literacy tutor and now college freshman. She was excited to tell me that her school participates in one-on-one tutoring programs with communal homes for adults with Down syndrome. To learn of such widespread acceptance beyond our organization brought a smile to my face.
That night participants and volunteers arrived for T.E.A.M. to make dinner and exercise together. Our volunteers come from a local business who partnered with us in Spring 2017. These coworkers volunteer at the programs, show up at our special events and even plan a holiday party for our adults. Every time I see them I am in awe by their kindness and how they have embraced GiGi’s Playhouse Hillsborough.
During the program I was handed an envelope from one of the participants with a letter that made me cry. One of my adults was out with her parents for her birthday and someone anonymously paid their bill, because they loved seeing her out “living life.” The donor has a 47-year-old sister with Down syndrome who is currently in hospice and seeing this family out celebrating brought a smile to her face. The family generously decided to donate the money they had planned on spending on the birthday dinner in honor of the donor’s sister, Jean.
Generation G asks us to Be Accepting, Be Generous, Be Kind. And in one work day I realized I have been living Generation G without even trying and left thinking “One million pledges? A drop in the bucket…”