As many of you may know, earlier this month our staff, board members and a few committee related volunteers attended the National GiGi’s Conference in Schaumburg, IL. This conference is always inspirational and uplifting while also informative and innovative. We come back knowing more about the different platforms we use to do our day to day jobs and the processes to make things flow smoothly but we also come back renewed with fresh ideas!

This was the first GiGi’s conference for our Site Assistant Ali and we wanted to know what she had to say about her experience.

I attended the National GiGi’s Conference for four days and boy can I tell you I had a BLAST. Through this experience I truly came to understand #StrongerTogether (a hashtag is used by all of the GiG’s Playhouses). After spending many days networking with other employees from across the United States and Mexico, I came to realize how connected we all are. Although each of us work in different locations we all strive for the same goal and work hard to make a difference in the way the world views Down syndrome. We do so by collectively working to help spread the awareness and acceptance for individuals with Down syndrome.  It was so wonderful to meet all the families, board members, volunteers, employees, and everyone else who is involved with GiGi’s Playhouse and see how many lives GiGi’s Playhouse has affected. I learned so much great information in those few days and I wish I could have attended all of the sessions they offered! Unfortunately, there were several sessions per hour, so we had to pick and choose (which was very difficult). All in all, I left the conference feeling so inspired and I hope to take all my new knowledge and put it to good work here at GiGi’s Playhouse Quad Cities!

We’d say that’s a great summary of the conference! Also, in case you missed the announcement on Facebook, our local Playhouse was recognized as being a Strong Location for Operations and Volunteer Management. We are pretty happy with that and hope to improve in other Standards of Execution areas within the next year. If you’d like to know more about what those are, please ask a staff person or board member. The most exciting news for us at conference was that one of our local moms and volunteers won the national Generation G award. Heather Malli was recognized for writing the LMNOP (Language, Music N’ Our Peeps) program. You can see more about that award here.

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