A BUSY YEAR OF MORE MIRACLES!
GiGi and I are still in awe of the record-breaking night for GiGi’s Playhouse 2017 “i have a Voice” gala: 850 believers changing the world for individuals with Down syndrome! Joined by Mario Lopez of Extra TV, Rob Johnson of CBS2 News, the Chicago Chapter of the NFL Retired Players Association, 7th Heaven and more, GiGi’s Playhouse broke new records at the 2017 “I have a Voice” Chicagoland Gala - only ONE WEEK after staying up for 30 STRAIGHT HOURS one week prior with 1,500 students united for our Playhouse families at the 2017 Northwestern University Dance Marathon: you’d think we would need a break. At least a nap!
NOPE! GiGi and I pack a bag and hit the road to visit the Atlanta Playhouse, as well as start-up Playhouse groups in Tampa and Ft. Meyers Florida. From the east coast to the west coast (our start-up rock stars in Sand Diego!) our mission continues to expand.
We literally just returned from PLAYHOUSE OPENING NUMBER 32 in Rochester, NY! Can you believe it? Who would have thought that my love for GiGi and wanting acceptance for “one child, one diagnosis and one community at time” would turn into 32 Playhouses in the US and Mexico! Serving more than 30,000 families with FREE programs that are 95% volunteer run! Who would have thought that in one year we would deliver more than 1,000 hours of FREE speech therapy! Who would have thought that Generation G would change from an idea to an everyday way of life!
And who would have thought that the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs would see so much value in our kids? Who would have thought that all major media outlets would understand how our locations and FREE programs are building acceptance?
Programs are free our families but not to us. And normally when a business works as hard as we do, you grow your profits. GiGi’s Playhouse growth is extraordinary but our profits are not measured in dollars but rather in the lives we are changing every day. I know our model of free educational, therapeutic and career programming would not fit into any fortune 500 CEO’s business plan! But you know who wins in this plan? The kids and the world! Not just the kids with Down syndrome, but the entire community starting with siblings!
This is where the miracles come in! Generous donors, selfless volunteers and heroic families coming together to CHANGE THE WORLD! I never imagined I’d watch GiGi sit in an airport, writing her own speech to give at a Playhouse grand opening. I never imagined there would be so many families yearning for acceptance and hope.
GiGi’s Playhouse needs to grow, because families want more programs to help their children. GiGi’s Playhouse needs more partners, to expand Generation G and show communities that people of all abilities are ALWAYS ACCEPTED in their businesses and schools. And with your continued support, we will keep helping. We will keep growing. We will keep accepting and loving.
GiGi doesn’t get a break from her diagnosis; no one does. People who are different don’t get to shed that “differentness” at the end of the day. They struggle constantly for acceptance, and that is why we’ll never stop fighting for them. Together we’re changing the world: one child, one diagnosis, and one community at a time!