Living Kindness Out Loud
This month in the world of GiGi’s Playhouse, we are celebrating kindness. We value kindness at GiGi’s for more reasons than we could name, but wow! What a powerful and uniting value to embody! We believe so much in the principles of kindness that we have built them into the framework of one of our most significant programs as one of our GiGi U Guiding values. The guiding values allow our adult participants to see abstract concepts as concrete and doable actions. Still, kindness was always the value that everyone could grasp without difficulty. It is already a language that all of our participants speak fluently.
The depth of their understanding of this value cannot be underestimated, as we have seen time and time again that kindness is second nature to our students. I can’t count the times that I have witnessed our students jumping in to help their peers with any number of problems they may be having. If someone is sad, their friends will pick them up and make them feel better. If someone spilled their water, at least three other participants spring into action to help them clean up and make them feel the spill was not their fault. The kindness expressed at the Playhouse goes deeper than our participants, however.
Even though our participants are leading the way, it is built into our very foundation, and every person who comes through the Playhouse door can feel it. Because of the palpable energy of kindness surrounding everything we do, it was only natural to begin a new plan at GiGi’s Rockford to spread that energy throughout our community and beyond, and our Give to Grow initiative is doing just that. We took the participants’ lead as we looked to our Rockford community to see who needed a little extra kindness in their lives. Give to Grow was incredibly successful in a Christmas toy drive for children in need via our connections at Wheels by RT and, most recently, Shoeboxes for Soldiers, which was organized by our friends at 95.3 the BULL. Our GiGi U families stepped up to the plate to donate as much as they could, and the results were fantastic. We hope to continue growing this volunteer and community engagement program by spreading kindness where needed. If you know of a need in our community, please reach out! We are so excited about Give to Grow, and our GiGi U students are thrilled to continue sharing their stellar kindness skills!