Honoring Justina at the Run Walk & Dash!

GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge Team Spotlight: Team Justina 👉🏼  See Team Page Here

If you currently attend GiGi’s free programing you know our incredible program coordinator, Kara.  Kara is mother to 8, her youngest Justina was born with Down syndrome and her precious short life left an incredible impact on her family.  Kara volunteers her time and hard work to build and grow the free programs at GiGi’s Syracuse, she honors her daughters life but showing love and acceptance to every one she comes in contact with.  We really can. not say thank you enough and are proud to “hand the mic” over to let Kara share more about why she and her family are participating in the GiGiFIT Acceptance

When we lost our daughter, Justina, four years ago. She was with us for just 8 hours, as a mom I wanted to find a way to honor my daughter’s little life. I came GiGi’s Playhouse because Justina had had Down syndrome and I thought I might volunteer once in a while. It didn’t take long and the people I met drew me in, and I fell in love with the warm, accepting, energetic community I found there. I couldn’t help but want to be a part of what GiGi’s is all about! My family and I are participating in GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge in memory of Justina and for all the friends we’ve made because of her.

In addition,  we believe in GiGi’s Playhouse and its mission of global acceptance for all.  Please help us support GiGi’s by donating to our team page, joining our team, and by spreading our message of acceptance to your friends.



How do you give your Best of All each Day?

By trying to love those I come in contact with each day, whether in my home or outside of it. Trying to be a person of integrity, that lives my values.

What is your favorite Program at GiGi’s Playhouse? Why?

How can I pick?! What I love about the programs at GiGi’s is that anyone of any age can find something right for them!

Do you volunteer at GiGi’s Playhouse? What has been your best experience?

I do! I am the Program Coordinator at GiGi’s Playhouse Syracuse and serve on the Board of Managers. A recent experience that was really great was the Destination Discovery Christmas party. New families, as well as families that have been at the Playhouse since it started filling the place up! Everyone enjoyed seeing Santa, taking part in the crafts and activities, and most of all seeing each other. It was great!

How do you show acceptance to other people in your life?

Listening, and believing their experience without judgment.

What does it mean for you to have a GiGi’s Playhouse in our community, and how has your loved one been impacted?

It is so important to have a GiGi’s Playhouse in our community! Playhouses are like lighthouses, shining out and telling people with Down syndrome, here we are your safe spot of acceptance. Come be yourself be celebrated, supported, and challenged to be your best!” While at the same time shinning out to the community, ” Individuals with Down syndrome are a valuable part of your community! Take time to get to know them, they deserve your acceptance.



Please join us on April 30th for a fun-filled morning of acceptance and movement! Join your favorite team or start your own and invite friends, family, and coworkers!  Learn more HERE


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