Volunteer Spotlight: Nikki Rothstein

We started this blog series for volunteer appreciation week in April, but we have so many wonderful volunteers to talk about it, that we decided to continue it through the year! 

Just a reminder, GiGi’s Playhouse Madison is 99% volunteer run – which means we wouldn’t be here without our volunteers. We had 309 unique volunteers last year and have consistently been in the top five Playhouses for volunteer hours. It’s pretty incredible to think back on all of the hours people have given to us – 5,698 hours in 2022 alone! 

These blogs will be posted in a question and answer format. 

Nikki Rothstein

Why did you decide to volunteer with GiGi’s Playhouse? 

Throughout high school I volunteered in special education classrooms and coached for Special Olympics. Because of the pandemic, I missed out on these opportunities to continue spending time with people with disabilities in college. I learned about GiGI’s Playhouse through UW Madison and immediately knew I wanted to be a part of it! 

Nikki and a Playhouse Participant, at Friends, Fun & Fitness

How long have you been a volunteer? 

Since May of 2023. 

What programs, committees or events have you volunteered with? 

I volunteer for the Friends, Fun & Fitness adult program and co-lead Fantastic Friends.

Can you share a favorite moment from your time volunteering? 

A few weeks ago, I led a yoga session with a participant. In the middle of the session, she started giggling so loudly and suddenly the whole room was laughing, including myself. Joy and laughter are contagious at GiGi’s! 

What is the most impactful thing you have learned from your time at GiGi’s? 

I learned to never underestimate someone’s ability. Everyone is capable of achieving success with the right support, patience and encouragement. 

What advice would you give to someone that is new to volunteering or considering volunteering with GiGi’s Playhouse? 

Don’t be afraid to be silly! You can always find me dancing and singing along with everyone else, it’s a blast!

__________

Thank you, Nikki! 🧡

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