New Board Member Alert

Meet Laura Bellizzi our new Fundraising Chair

  • How did you find GiGi’s:
    • A friend of mine works as a physical therapist for children with disabilities and used to volunteer at GiGi’s in New York. She had nothing but great things to say about the organization! When I moved from New York to San Diego, she recommended looking into GiGi’s as she thought it would be a good fit for me as well.  
  • What inspired you to volunteer:
    • Since a young age, I have always valued public service and community.  As a new resident of San Diego, I was looking for a way to give back to my new community. Given my background in special education, I was eager to serve a population with special needs and felt that GiGi’s mission to change the way the world views Down syndrome/send a global message of acceptance aligned with my core values. (Fun Fact – Another factor which prompted me to volunteer with GiGi’s was the Netflix show, Down for Love. I was extremely inspired by the brave individuals with Down syndrome featured on the show who promoted acceptance, visibility, and inclusivity. Libby’s story of perseverance in the face of great adversity was particularly inspiring for me.)
  • What is your role within GiGi’s
    • I currently serve as a volunteer for activities such as music, cooking, and fitness. I look forward to taking on a new role as Board Fundraising Chair for GiGi’s of San Diego!
  • What is your favorite thing about GiGi’s
    • Every person who volunteers at GiGi’s is committed to the organization’s mission. They have worked hard to build a community where every person – whether participant, volunteer, or family member – feels welcomed, supported, and uplifted. It is so amazing to work with a dedicated group of likeminded individuals who are truly making a difference in the community!
  • What would be something we could do better or incorporate
    • I think it would be great to build stronger partnerships with local colleges/universities to get more young people involved in the program, particularly those studying special education, occupational therapy, speech/language, public service, etc. I also think it would be great to offer additional career skill and/or life skill courses for GiGi’s adult participants as we have a dedicated, large group of participants in this age range. A parent recently inquired about adding additional fitness classes for this age range.

We are certainly happy and excited for Laura to join our GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego team! If you happen to see Laura around, be sure to share that warm welcome!

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