Making a Difference by Volunteering

As we reflect on this fabulous volunteer awareness month, we can’t help but notice the striking positive impact individuals with Ds have on those lucky enough to be a part of their world. That “luckiness” happens more frequently at the Playhouse, as we are constantly making connections and building relationships between participants, their families, and our amazing volunteers. As a 99% volunteer-run organization, our volunteers have such an impact on everything we do. With volunteer components in EVERY program we run, we simply could not provide services without our dedicated volunteers.  

While we readily acknowledge the hard work and dedication that we regularly witness as our community steps up and goes above and beyond for the Playhouse, we are also well aware that those who volunteer here often feel like they are getting as much or more than they are giving. Keifer, a med student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine and a long-standing volunteer for the GiGi U program said it well.  “Volunteering at GiGi’s has been one of the best experiences of my life. Seeing the people there constantly spreading love and filling the air with joy gives me instant happiness. I feel like all my other problems disappear when I’m at GiGi’s, leaving me in the present and engaged with the phenomenal people there. GiGi’s introduced me to the Down syndrome community and the rich culture of support and friendship that floods through it. Above all, being at the Playhouse always leaves me smiling and inspired. I will forever cherish my time at GiGi’s and the friends I made!”

Whether you have an hour a month or 10 hours a week available, you can make a difference.  Whether you prefer a one-on-one assignment or a larger group activity, you can make a difference.  Whether you would like to volunteer on a regular basis or just jump in for an occasional special event, you can make a difference.  Whether you want to engage on an academic basis sharing math and literacy skills; want to share specific gifts related to theatre, art, fitness, or cooking; want to work behind the scenes helping with administrative or maintenance issues; or just want to get in on the fun with our social activities… YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

I guess what we are trying to say is that if it is in your heart to make a difference in your community, GiGi’s Playhouse Rockford is a great place to do that.  For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Playhouse, visit the volunteer page on our website at https://gigisplayhouse.org/rockford/volunteer.

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