“Volunteering is an act of heroism on a grand scale. And it matters profoundly. It does more than help people beat the odds; it changes the odds.” – William J. Clinton
GiGi’s Playhouse is 99% volunteer-led. As an organization, we are extremely proud of this. We cannot do what we do without the dedication, motivation, enthusiasm, and generosity of our amazing volunteers.
April is Volunteer Appreciation Month; this is the month that we like to highlight our awesome volunteers and say a HUGE thank you to everyone that makes our Playhouse fantastic. There are many different volunteer opportunities available such as: being a general volunteer assisting our program leaders on virtual or in-person programs; being a program leader; helping to create resources or materials for our programs; assisting with events; reaching out to donors/sponsors; securing auction items for our Gala and being a member of our Board of Directors. We help you to discover the best opportunity for you!
This past year has been challenging but we have been amazed at the flexibility of our amazing tutors, they were able to switch from in-person tutoring to virtual very quickly. This year has been a huge learning curve for all of us but switching to a virtual platform did not faze any of them! Our virtual platform has also allowed Tutors to participate from around the country and Mexico!
“I signed up as a volunteer when I was living in NY and thanks to their virtual tutoring programs, I can still do it from Mexico. Without a doubt, is one of the greatest decisions I ever made. I can’t even express how much love I get and everything I learn from my awesome student every session.” Maria, Literacy and Math Tutor
“Volunteering with GiGi’s has made an incredible impact on me. I look forward to my tutoring sessions each week, my participant automatically puts a smile on my face and brings me so much joy. I feel incredibly lucky to be involved with an organization that is committed to acceptance and empowerment.” Ali, Literacy Tutor
“Volunteering at GiGi’s has been such a wonderful and impactful experience. The leaders and community are so supportive. Tutoring with Leah and the Hooper family has taught me a lot about how to be creative, patient, and know all of the best songs on Kids bop! I’m so grateful for the opportunity and for the relationship I have with Leah and her family. Volunteering at GiGi’s has been such a blast!” Roni, Math and Literacy Tutor who returned to the Playhouse this Spring to tutor.
We are incredibly grateful to two wonderful High School students who have approached us over the past year to develop programs. They both came to us with an idea for a program, they developed a plan, adapted it for a virtual platform that followed our guidelines, and they are both amazing leaders.
Molly developed our current Dance program which is scheduled every Wednesday at 4 pm and all ages are welcome to join us. She runs a fast-paced program, creating dance moves to fun and popular music. In addition to running this weekly program, she has also been a great advocate for our Playhouse, encouraging fellow students to volunteer and fundraise for us.
Diya volunteered at our Playhouse before the pandemic and thoroughly enjoyed our art program. Last year, Diya reached out and suggested a way for her to become more involved with our Playhouse. Diya researched and planned an 8-week book club program, which was primarily focused on sharing a chosen book with peers, to discuss certain elements such as characterization, settings, vocabulary, and mood. Together, we added a Book Buddy element where each Book Club participant is paired with a volunteer to discuss and ask questions outside of the program. We are currently in the pilot program with 4 participants and 5 volunteers reading Charlotte’s Web and everyone is having an amazing time. An enormous thank you to Olivia, Kenzie, Isabella, Kelly, and Diya!
We have been very lucky to welcome many new volunteers since Fall 2020 and we are continuing to get lots of interest from groups. Some of the amazing projects that have occurred or will occur are listed below:
- Tutoring internships from Sarah Lawrence College Genetics Program – one of the interns have continued to tutor with us after her internship was completed!
- Pace University Sorority came to refresh and paint our Learning Labs last year and are returning this April to refresh and paint Studio G
- The Big Give visited our Playhouse in December to paint our main Playhouse area
- The Nicholas Center volunteered their time to write birthday cards and made our holiday gift bags
- We are hoping to partner with Iona University OT Graduate Program later this Spring and Fall.
- Students from Manhattanville College, St. Ursuline’s, and Rye Camp Day school are all reaching out to find an opportunity that bests suits them.
“Volunteering with GiGi’s playhouse has meant the world to me I’ve met so many great people and I just have a lot of fun even though I can’t volunteer in person …” Jason, Volunteer
We are beyond thankful for these amazing community connections and all the wonderful volunteers that dedicate their time to our Playhouse!
Interested in volunteering? We have 3 volunteer orientations scheduled for April: April 5th at 4 pm, April 13th at 6 pm, and April 29th at 6 pm. Complete this volunteer application form and we will be in touch with more details. Registration for our Summer Session of tutoring is also open.