Get That Elevator Speech Ready!


Because GiGi’s Playhouse Rockford is such a big part of the daily lives of people who attend programs, work, or volunteer here, it’s hard to remember that the “average Joe” on the street may not know who we are and what we do.  Our Operations Coordinator, Stacey Bonetti, recently had an up close and personal reminder of why it is always important to have that 60 second “elevator speech” ready to teach people about GiGi’s Playhouse and advocate for those with Down syndrome.

Stacey was at UW Madison Hospital with a family member. While waiting in a hospital hallway, a doctor she did not know was walking by and noticed her GiGi’s shirt. He stopped to ask specifically about what we do at GiGi’s. Stacey was ready with her short speech about all the wonderful things we do and the amazing people we serve. The doctor was genuinely interested and impressed, so she said, “Well, if you’re interested in volunteering, there happens to be a Playhouse right here in Madison, and I would be glad to connect you with them.”

Amazingly, later that same day, Stacey had a second opportunity present itself. She inadvertently left her keys in one of the hospital waiting rooms. She happened to have a GiGi’s keychain, and when a good Samaritan returned her keys to the nearest staff desk, he immediately knew who they belonged to because the logo on the keychain matched the logo he had seen on Stacey’s shirt. He found Stacey and returned her keys, and for the second time in one day, she found herself teaching a stranger about the Playhouse. 

The point of sharing this (other than to thank Stacey for the great job she did advocating for individuals with Down syndrome!) is to remind all of us that we never know when or where these teaching moments or opportunities for advocacy are going to occur.  As we round out National Volunteer Month, we think it is important to note that we all have chances in our every day lives to be ambassadors for the Playhouse.  We all have opportunities to educate, inform, and promote acceptance and inclusion.

The question is, will we be ready when those moments present themselves? For all of us who care about creating a better world for those with Down syndrome, the answer should be a resounding YES! So… brush up on that “elevator speech,” break out your best GiGi’s swag (you can score some cool merch at, and get ready to advocate!

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