This month we are highlighting an awesome volunteer Charlie R. He started being involved at GiGi’s Playhouse San Diego during Covid and now he has been volunteering in different programs and events and as well as a Literacy tutor.
Charlie started getting involved at GiGi’s San Diego in early 2021 actually during COVID era before in-person classes and programs were resuming. Initially, the first place for Charlie to roll up his sleeves was with technical, software, app and IT recommendations, since he has been a software developer for 25 years. Then as the in-person programs came back online, he began volunteering in person at Fantastic Friends, on Tuesdays GiGi Fit and now as a Literacy tutor every week.
We asked Charlie why did he start volunteering at GiGi’s? and this is what he told us:
“I had never heard of GiGi’s Playhouse prior to 2021. It only came to my attention when the new site manager, Phifer Crute, was hired. I’d been volunteering on projects at Home Start with her but the mission of GiGi’s really moved me even more. And the fact that I had not heard about GiGi’s Playhouse even casually in the community at-large, this motivated me to really wanting to help GiGi’s San Diego take things to the next level and become more of a household name.”
What do you like the most about volunteering at GiGi’s?
What drew me in to helping the office staff at GiGi’s was knowing that my expertise could make an impact. But what keeps me coming back a couple days per week is the time spent with the people GiGi’s is all about. Every family that I’ve seen come in really is special and I know they are thankful for having GiGi’s in their life. That said, of course I have my favorites of people I’ve gotten closer to – I always pair off with Alex at GiGiFit so we’re a team, and Elijah and I always have a bunch of laughs at his literacy tutoring sessions.
Personally, I love just rolling up my sleeves and doing whatever needs to be done. I’ve always felt that way in small companies professionally, and I get to do that when volunteering at GiGi’s. Where else can I simultaneously be a web developer, literacy tutor and chef for a full-gym pancake breakfast?
I would like to send a message to prospective volunteers: Don’t be scared, just come jump in. It’s not a heavy-handed, somber place – it’s fun being there and you’ll have fun too. And your help is always needed!