GiGi’s Step To Accept Challenge!
Contributed by: Sara Van Deurzen
When GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers had to close their 48 locations across the country, due to the pandemic, panic set in. GiGi’s directly serves over 25,000 individuals with Down syndrome with free therapeutic and educational programming. Each week GiGi’s facilitates over 4,400 hours of personalized programming to children and adults that has now been halted. The families were devastated.
Within days, the entrepreneurial GiGi’s team launched GiGi’s at Home Virtual Programming. The site now offers nearly 100 LIVE and On Demand programs, plus resources and up to date information on COVID-19 and Down syndrome. The first LIVE national program was GiGiFIT Kids (physical therapy-based fitness for school-aged kids) and they had 156 participants from 14 states. Since its launch 5 days ago, over 55,000 people have visited the site, 308 NEW families joined GiGi’s (including 10 newborns), and thousands have participated in the LIVE and On Demand programming.
Individuals with Down syndrome do best in a structured environment. Routine is very important to them. The GiGi’s programs are designed specifically for individuals with Down syndrome and they are familiar to the participants. Having these programs continuing to be available On Demand and LIVE is life-changing for these families as they continue to shelter in place.
Sue, a grateful mother from the Milwaukee area said “GiGi’s at Home seriously made our days better. It’s been so hard and now we have programs to look forward to.” Nancy Gianni founder and Chief Belief Officer of GiGi’s said “The Sacramento GiGi’s Playhouse is not even open yet and they are already serving their families with GiGi’s programs. That is what GiGi’s at Home is all about; serving families where they are today.”
GiGi’s Playhouse is the only international network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers created to provide free life-changing therapeutic and educational programs for all ages. With over 48 locations across the U.S. and Mexico, and a demand to open 200 more, GiGi’s Playhouse is on a mission to change the way the world views Down syndrome and to send a global message of acceptance for all. Learn more at www.GiGisPlayhouse.org.
Our Mission and Purpose:
To change the way the world views Down syndrome and to send a global message of acceptance for all.
To see a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted and embraced in their families, schools and communities.
We change lives through consistent delivery of free educational, therapeutic-based and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community, through a replicable playhouse model.
A lifetime commitment to families.
How to Share
Have AGreat Story.
Big or small, Share Lemonade is about the moments that make an impact and the friends, family and neighbors that make our communities great.
Submit YourGreat Story.
Use the form on the Share Your Story page. Try to keep it positive, accurate and concise; make sure you have the right to use any images included.
See YourGreat Story.
Whether on ShareLemonade.com, our social channels or FOX6, we’re always publishing new stories – so like, follow and check back often!