The Remarkable Impact of Volunteers at GiGi’s Playhouse: Meet Karen Kibler

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless” Volunteers are what make programs at GiGi’s Playhouse and Hugs & Mugs possible. We are 99% volunteer run, so without our incredible, dedicated, and amazing volunteers, we would not be able to continue to provide FREE programs to individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

What does a typical day in Hugs & Mugs as Karen look like? Well, it’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure! Karen helps the interns with their task lists, like stocking gelato cups, wiping down counters, doing inventory, and many more. She also helps the interns in their certifications, like shipping, product development, and counting money. Karen assists the interns in customer service by helping to make coffees, gelato, and helping at our register.

Beyond helping in Hugs & Mugs, Karen has also taught previous sessions of GiGi Prep and GiGiU. Her patience and kind heart made her the perfect volunteer in the classroom. She taught valuable skills to career programs participants like resume building, customer service skills, counting money, and many others. Volunteers, like Karen, are the reason that GiGi’s Playhouse is able to provide free programming to individuals with Down syndrome.

Hugs & Mugs is open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 9:00AM –5:00PM, and Saturdays from 9:00AM – 1:00PM. GiGiU will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starts May 13th from 9:00AM – 1:00PM, and GiGi Prep will run on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00AM – 3:00PM starting June 3rd.

The hours for all of these programs are flexible, so if you are able to do any part of these programs, we would love to have you! If you are interested in volunteering at Hugs & Mugs, GiGi Prep, or GiGiU, reach out to Megan Frey at

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