Growing Older & Bigger
On October 9th, we held our annual celebration of acceptance at the 2021 “i have a Voice” Gala. This year we celebrated 10 years of supporting the voices of individuals with Down syndrome right here in the Quad Cities.
During the event, Chad Johnson, Vice President of the Board, announced that the Playhouse would be expanding by taking over the vacant space next door. Over the past 10 years, the Playhouse has seen growth in the number of families served and volunteers involved and believes that the time is right to grow their physical space. This is partially in thanks to the landlords (previous and current) for their generosity in working with us on construction needed and a stairstep rent structure over the next few years. Thank you to Kevin with Build to Suit and Thad DeHartog with Leveraged Holdings for their time, talents, patience, and generosity.
This expansion will provide additional one-on-one learning labs for tutoring and speech programs, a meeting/classroom, staff offices, a volunteer workspace, and eventually an improved kitchen area to allow for more life skills programming. All of which will allow for additional and improved programming, more flexible program scheduling, serving more families, and additional volunteer opportunities. The #bestofall will be the new learning labs that are more spacious and will be set up to serve all ages for tutoring and speech!
This past year, GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities held over 2000 hours of programming even during COVID shutdowns! Many programs were held virtually during COVID with at-home kits provided to families, but we are happy to be offering programs in person again. All programs GiGi’s offers are FREE for individuals with Down syndrome (all ages). All that GiGi’s offers are made possible thanks to volunteers and donors. The Playhouse is 100% privately funded by personal donations, corporate support, and grants along with being 99% volunteer-run with only 2 paid staff.
We are currently looking for sponsors for the new learning labs, offices, kitchen, welcome windows, and more!
If you or someone you know would like to have their personal or business name on the wall of a specific location within the Playhouse, contact Pam at 309-762-7529 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about sponsoring. Not interested in sponsoring for name recognition but want to donate to help with the expansion?
With the expansion also comes the need for additional materials and equipment.
We have added specific items to our Amazon Wishlist that can be seen here.
Leah took the first hammer to the wall and she can’t wait to see the new additional space!
Volunteers have been working fast and furiously on cleaning, painting, and slowly moving items.
We’re now ready to welcome visitors and tours of the new space!
Call to set up a time to meet with staff and get a tour.
GiGi’s Playhouse is the ONLY nationwide network of Down syndrome achievement centers, changing lives through free, results-driven programs for individuals of all ages, families and communities. GiGi’s Playhouse is an inspirational and dedicated place to benefit from free programs nourishing self-esteem, confidence and continuous improvement. Beyond helping individuals with Down syndrome, we address the larger vision of global acceptance for people of all abilities through #GenerationG. With over 50 Playhouses across the United States and Mexico, the organization is growing by 16% each month, and aims to have a Playhouse in every State by 2021. Surviving completely on donor funds, GiGi’s Playhouse breaks down barriers and changes the way the world accepts individuals with Down syndrome by fostering acceptance and hope for everyone.