Meet Carmella – Milly and Ava’s Mom, plus Running for Hennepin County Commissioner – District 6 – Volunteer Spotlight

Carmella visited GiGi’s Playhouse – Twin Cities for the first time at the end of February this year. She visited our playhouse in St. Louis Park, with her daughters Milly, age 4, and Ava, age 6. Carmella and her daughters had an amazing Saturday morning at our playhouse. Milly immediately felt right at home with all our games, dolls, and toys. Carmella was truly inspired by what GiGi’s offered for free for our entire Down syndrome community. She also had the opportunity to meet one of our self-advocates, Abby, who was preparing to lead Young Athletes that morning.  (Check out our blog here that we wrote about Abby and Nell in early February of this year.) Carmella was also inspired by Abby – as she saw what was possible for Milly’s future, her daughter also a person with Down syndrome. The moment was totally empowering to Carmella and her entire family.

Less than a month afterwards, COVID hit our planet – and Carmella was busy working on arrangements for her children during this time, as well as making the decision to run for Hennepin County Commissioner for District 6. You can check out her website: HERE One weekend, we came across Carmella in her debate, and realized she’s one of our GiGi’s moms, and she’s running for this position. We were excited to reach back out and find out how her and her family are doing during this time.

After a phone call checking in, we also discovered that Carmella would be interested in volunteering to be part of the newly formed Racial Equity Advisory Team, where we are thrilled to work together on ways we can strive for more access and inclusiveness, with a current emphasis on our BIPOC community, for all our GiGi’s Twin Cities programming and events. We are excited for what all the team members, including Carmella with her amazing life experiences, will bring to helping us continue to improve and grow in this important area for our organization.

Thank you Carmella, and your family, for being part of our GiGi’s Playhouse Twin Cities community! We are honored that you are lending your voice helping us to make change. We look forward to what the future will bring for all of us. We are also so proud of what you have already accomplished in your run for Hennepin County Commissioner for District 6. Best of luck at primaries on August 11th!

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