Amy Ghalwash: A FANTASTIC FRIEND (and volunteer, mother, wife, daughter, sister…)

Charlie Horner and Amy Ghalwash during the Fantastic Friends program at GiGi’s Playhouse on Wednesday nights.

Amy Ghalwash epitomizes the spirit of volunteerism at GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County, having dedicated herself to its mission since its inception. From helping with the Grand Opening to contributing her efforts to the Gala and various special events, Amy’s commitment has been unwavering. Her altruism extends beyond mere participation; she has poured over 100 hours of her time, talent, and resources into the playhouse, exemplifying the essence of generosity. Rooted in a lifetime of service, Amy’s maternal instincts have guided her to support not only her three daughters but also the broader community through endeavors ranging from ASB and Pep Squad to church food pantries and classrooms. At GiGi’s, Amy’s nurturing leadership shines through as she leads the Fantastic Friends group every Wednesday, seamlessly blending meal preparation, dance practice coordination, and heartfelt friendship advice for participants. Alongside her, her husband Tarek enriches the atmosphere with his musical talents, providing live accompaniment for sing-alongs. Amy’s quiet strength, loyalty, diligence, and kindness make her an invaluable asset to the GiGi’s family, and we are truly fortunate to have her among us.

“Being raised by Amy Ghalwash has meant having an ever-persistent example of generosity and selflessness in my life. My mom has been an active, impactful volunteer for as long as I can remember. After picking me up from preschool, my mom used to lead me across the blacktop to my older sister’s fifth grade classroom where she led learning activities and Friday festivities. In fact, for all the 20 years that my mom had her three daughters in K-12, she never missed an opportunity to volunteer for athletic fundraisers, classroom activities, school dances, and everything in between. 

With myself now in college and my sisters already graduated, my mom has taken her selfless attitude to the greater community and in turn, has made an even bigger impact. As a regular volunteer at St. Kilian Catholic Church’s food pantry, my mom serves families weekly by providing not just basic necessities, but meaningful connection and empathy. My mom has gone beyond the already selfless act of donating her time and efforts to the food pantry and has taken it upon herself to go the extra mile for those in need. After befriending a Ukrainian family at the food pantry in April of 2022, my mom felt called to make their sudden move to the states as easy as possible. By collecting donations of clothes, books, and apartment necessities, my mom provided this family with a smoother start to their new lives and welcomed them to the community with open arms and a helping hand. 

This innate ability to nurture and care for others has led my mom to GiGi’s Playhouse, where her welcoming nature and patient kindness have made an impact on everyone involved. I’ve been lucky enough to see for myself the meaningful bond she’s built with GiGi’s frequent members, watching the Wednesday crew shower her in love and learn from her selfless attitude. The way she lights up telling me about the GiGiFIT workout she led or the GiGi’s Kitchen recipe she taught shows her genuine passion for service and unwavering care for others.”

-Alexa Ghalwash, Amy’s daughter

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