We can’t wait for our latest news to hit your email…so here’s a sneak peek of our January 2018 Newsletter!

IMPACT STORY: Julie Burhoop

As President of GiGi’s Playhouse the past two years, it has been such an honor to serve this organization and those who benefit from it. As I turn things over to Rachel White, I thought about the role that GiGi’s played in my life.

Our story is not one of all kicks and giggles and hugs. With Brady’s heart condition (complete AVSD), we needed to take care of that before we really concerned ourselves with the Down syndrome part of his diagnosis. After 3 weeks in NICU, 9 ½ weeks at home, and 4 months in PICU at Children’s Hospital, Brady went home to be with Jesus.

Thankfully, we do find great joy in our story as well. The relationships that grew from those I met along the way, many of those from GiGi’s, continue to carry us through. Of a recent Facebook post I had, I casually browsed over those who had that commented or liked it. Over half of them were from people I would have never known had it not been for Brady. There is so, so, so much peace and joy in walking with people who care, who “get it”, who love unconditionally, who go out of their way to be accepting, to be generous, and to be kind. I’m thankful for everyone that has entered my life because of this chromosomal thing called Down syndrome and can’t imagine my life any other way. I am full of gratitude that God had the foresight to put me where he did and when he did. I had an amazing opportunity to serve GiGi’s, and GiGi’s helped get me through some tough times, too.

Thank you to everyone who is a part of this journey. You are loved, you are needed, and you never know when you will be that bright spot in someone else’s day. And that is certainly worth celebrating.

Julie Burhoop, Past President

2018 Gala

· Rockin’ the 80’s and an extra chromosome! Join us for our most important fundraiser of the year! You’ll have a blast, dude!

· February 2, 2018

· 6-11 PM

· Delta Hotels South Sioux City Riverfront (formerly known as the Marina Inn) · https://gigisplayhouse.org/siouxcity/gala

· Be a part of our Gala Committee! Our committee will be meeting on Wednesday January 10, 17, 24 and 31 at 7:00PM at the Playhouse. Contact Gala Committee Chair Rachel White at rwhite@gigisplayhouse.org with any questions. Hope to see you there!

Winter 2018 Programs

Please RSVP to any of our programs by clicking on the event on our online calendar!


January Therapeutic Programs

DRAMA TROUPE (5th grade-Adult)

Confidence, communication and cooperation will be practiced through a variety of drama and improvisation techniques and games. We will choose a theatrical production to re-create and learn to express ourselves with physical and vocal freedom. Parents are encouraged to meet in another room of the Playhouse during this program.

Goals: • Empower the performer • Highlight student actors’ to discover their natural creativity and individuality • Enhance speech, communication and social skills • Encourage teamwork and cooperation, and promote positive peer relationships ·

January 6 9-10am

January 13 9-10am

January 20 9-10am

LMNOP-Language, Music, ‘N Our Peeps (Birth-3years)

LMNOP is an interactive and engaging program designed to guide parents and young children through learning basic sign language and other forms of communication using music and language-based activities.

· January 6 from 10-11am

· RSVP: by clicking here: https://gigisplayhouse.org/siouxcity/event/lmnop-12-2017-12-16

Friends, Fun & Fitness (18+)

What does your New Year’s Resolution involve? More time exercising and being healthy? More time with peers? We have got the program that is perfect for you! Join Jessica for a fun hour of Friends, Fun & Fitness!

· Tuesday January 9 from 1-2pm

· Tuesday, January 23 from 1-2pm

Art Explosion (9 years +)

Art Explosion Provide hands on experience with multiple art media and provide an outlet for individuals with Down syndrome to express them self, build confidence and socialize with peers. Goals of Art Explosion include:

· Provide healthy outlet for children/adults to express themselves

· Build self-confidence

· Promote positive peer interactions and socialization

· Gain experience with multiple art projects

Join us on Monday, January 8 from 6:30-7:30 for Art Explosion! RSVP at https://gigisplayhouse.org/siouxcity/event/art-explosion-ages-9

Fantastic Friends (18+)

Our Fantastic Friends program supports the development of social skills and language through peer to peer interaction in a casual fun setting. Along with their peers without Down syndrome, adult participants participate in the planning of activities so that group activities are based on personal interests.

· Friday, January 12 from 6:30-8pm

· Tuesday, January 23 from 6:30-8:30pm

January Education Programs

Literacy & Math Winter 2018 Session– Registered Winter 2018 participants will receive an email regarding scheduling the week of January 7. The Winter 2018 Session runs from January 15-March 13.

Tutor Training

· January 6, 11am-1pm


We are streamlining some of our Facebook groups, so keep an eye out for some changes! Some groups will be added to better align with our current program offerings, but some may be removed as well. Email siouxcity@gigisplayhouse.org if you have any questions or concerns. Thanks for your understanding!


Volunteer Orientation

· January 17 from 6-7pm

Immediate Volunteer Needs:

· Program Leaders

  • Commitment of 90 minutes depending on the program 1-2 times a month
  • Work directly with our families leading purposeful quality programming

· Program Assistants

  • Commitment of 90 minutes depending on the program 1-2 times a month
  • Assisting the program leader in hosting purposeful quality programming

· Education Coordinator

  • commitment of 2-5 hours per week

· Volunteer Coordinator

  • commitment of 2-5 hours per week

· Event Volunteers

· Board Members

  • Commitment of monthly board meeting and some committee work
  • Provide strategic direction of GiGi’s, working together towards common goals

Interested in volunteering? Complete our volunteer interest form to receive updates on our upcoming volunteer orientation session

https://gigisplayhouse.org/siouxcity/sioux-city-volunteer-interest or http://www.tfaforms.com/4603934


We’re Hiring-Update

· As some of you may have heard, Amanda Sweum has resigned her position to pursue another opportunity. We wish Amanda the best and thank her for her time at GiGi’s!

· We’ve been busy going through resumes and conducting interviews. We hope to announce our new operations director at our upcoming gala! See you there!

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