A Place for EVERYONE to Grow

by: Sarah Bitter

As a new volunteer and intern at GiGi’s Playhouse this past Spring Session, I got to experience for the first time how special of a place GiGi’s really is. I saw the tremendous progress of so many of our program participants: just beginning to crawl, learning new vocabulary words, figuring out how to hold a plank, and so much more! It is impossible to put into words all of ways that the Playhouse helps participants and families grow.

toddlers and adults sitting in a circle during a program for people with Down syndrome

Something that I can explain is the impact that my experience at GiGi’s Playhouse has had on my own personal growth. Prior to coming to GiGi’s, I had never had personal interaction working with individuals with Down syndrome. Before I knew it, I was immersed in an incredible environment that encouraged the thriving of both the participants and the volunteers. I soon found myself leading and planning activities for a birth-three program, getting out into the community for fundraising events, and making meaningful relationships with those around me. Most of all, I became more aware of just how amazing the Down syndrome community truly is.

Volunteer, Sarah Bitter at a fundraiser

As a college student, it can be easy to get stuck in the monotony and grind of coursework and future planning. I am thankful that my undergraduate program included the opportunity to participate in an internship with a local organization as great as GiGi’s Playhouse. There was nothing better than coming into the Playhouse each week, seeing our participants’ smiling faces, and watching them progress in their programs. My favorite moment from the spring session was seeing our GiGiFit participants receive their end-of-session certificates and hearing the highlights of how they improved over the past few months. Being part of something so meaningful gave me something to look forward to each week and reinforced my passion for human services.

All in all, GiGi’s Playhouse fosters an environment for all individuals to grow and progress, participants and volunteers alike. My experience at GiGi’s has been unforgettable, and I am grateful to everyone involved who helped make it so positive.

Volunteer, Sarah Bitter at a fundraiser

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