Volunteer Spotlight: Rachel!

Read all about the fantastic leader of GiGiFIT Kids!

This season of GiGiFIT included a new program- GiGiFIT Kids!! Rachel stepped up to the plate as the first program lead for this brand new offering and we are so grateful she did!! Read all about why she got involved and what she loves about volunteering at GiGi’s Playhouse below!!

What brought you to GiGi’s Playhouse? 

My brother in law helped lay flooring at GiGi’s before their grand opening here in Roseville.  Then my sister told me about all the wonderful programs they offer and we both knew we wanted to volunteer here.  Two years later, I finally attended a training session for literacy tutors and to my surprise, my sister was there too!  Since then we have been tutors, my nephew volunteered with Teen Tastic and my sons have helped me do GiGiFIT Kids.

What is a favorite memory from GiGiFit Kids? 

I especially enjoy the challenge of modifying our routines and finding ways to get every kid involved to whatever extent he or she is comfortable and challenging them to the next level when they are ready.  Maybe I shouldn’t say I have favorites, because it is easy to love all our kiddos, but one young boy last semester was especially fun to work with.  He had difficulty keeping up with the other kids and would generally participate in short bursts.  Mom said he tends to be a “sensory seeker” so I found we could get him quite animated, laughing and bouncing when I picked him up and jumped with him in my arms.  Oh, what fun to see his reaction light up.  So we rewarded him with sensory stimulation like that occasionally whenever he needed a little boost to keep going with our workout routines.  He is a hard worker and he kept me on my toes, trying to find better ways to engage him.  Every class is like a whirlwind of activity as I am trying to keep everyone participating at their own level and getting the feedback they need.  Our volunteer assistants are essential to help make that happen.

Do you have a fun fact about your family?

We are an active family that enjoys roller blading, bike riding on river trails, kayaking on Lake Natoma and road tripping to National Parks.  Looking forward to our first trip to Yosemite this summer.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering? 

The best part is sharing the smiles, the laughter and all the high 5’s while knowing participants are building important strength and stability skills at the same time.  It is great to see friendships forming and how the kids look out for each other and encourage each other.  

Any final thoughts? 

Every child is a miracle, a gift from God with innate value and purpose as well as unique challenges.  That’s why I am so impressed with GiGi’s Playhouse and all the high quality programs they offer.  Every kid here is shown love and acceptance from the time they walk in the door.  It really is like walking into a “Cheers” episode from the 1980s.  Where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.  And that’s not only for the kiddos, because I’ve seen the Playhouse provide a great community for whole families.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Thank you Rachel for all the energy and time you’ve committed to GiGi’s Playhouse Sacramento! We are so thankful!!

-Claire Ramaley

Recent Posts


GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge- May 4th!

We can't wait for our GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge on May 4th! Bring your energy and excitement as we are sure to have an amazing day!...

Team Feature: Ella’s Gems

On May 4th, 2024 our entire GiGi’s Playhouse Sacramento community will come together for our GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge! This Family Fun Run will celebrate all we...

World Down Syndrome Day Recap with Mia!

By Mia Siino & Claire Ramaley World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated every year on March 21st (3/21)! The date was chosen to signify...

Leave a Comment