A Volunteers Perspective

As we come to the end of Volunteer Appreciation week, I thought I would share my Volunteer story. I came to GiGi’s Layton September 2017. We were still new to Utah and according to my husband, the time had come for me to find something to do outside of the house! After some research and visiting a few different places, I decided on GiGi’s Layton. I will admit it, there were a few selfish reasons for this pick; it was close to home and my volunteer time was what I chose it to be. I started out with the Cooking Club Program to get my feet wet with Programs, as I fancied myself as being better than the average home cook! Soon after I became the Program Lead. What a learning journey it has been for all of us as we explored the world of “Gluten Free”. I was determined to not only expand their horizons, but mine also, and what a fun experience the last 2 ½ years has been. I can confidently say that every meal has been consumed even if they frowned and looked at me like I was crazy using cauliflower to make Pizza dough or coloring our Green Eggs & Ham with pureed spinach!

In 2019 I was asked to join the Board. I thought it over and happily climbed on Board in February 2019. Since then I have had the pleasure of moving on to Program & Volunteer Coordination. This has given me the opportunity to be a part of many of our Programs and learning so much from all our Participants and families! Plus, I get to share my GiGi’s story with every potential volunteer while answering the burning question that most are hesitant to ask, I know I was. What do I really have to offer besides my time? I am not a mother of child with Down Syndrome, I don’t have any relatives or friends with a child that has Down Syndrome. Will I really be able to help or make a difference? I can answer this with a resounding YES! The Playhouse has endless tools available to help you plan a beneficial Program; past lesson plans to look over, Program evaluations, and endless materials available.

Joining the GiGi’s family has been such a great experience and so much fun. It truly is a win, win situation for anyone who chooses to volunteer at the Playhouse; our Playhouse thrives, is able to continue to offer beneficial FREE programs, you gain lifelong friends who are quick with Hello & Goodbye hugs, witness and celebrate every Participants “Best of All”, being part of their victorious triumphs as they conquer a new skill or activity, and always knowing that everyone has a place at our Layton Playhouse.

Danielle Craner

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