Gigi’s Playhouse Quad Cities strives to remove the stigma against people with down syndrome.
The local chapter, founded by Michelle Hughes, serves more than 200 families in the area.
“At Gigi’s Playhouse, we hope the world includes everyone, down syndrome, any other diagnosis, all abilities,” Hughes said.
It is 99 percent volunteer run.
“Volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization. They make it possible for us to provide our services at no cost.”
The non-profit is 100 percent privately funded. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities.
“If you like to help prepare materials for programs, get involved with events, you name it,” Hughes said. “There’s something for everyone at Gigi’s Playhouse and we will train you and support you along the way.”
It can be quite rewarding.
“There’s something about having the advantage to interact and work with families and individuals with down syndrome. There is a light. There is a joy. There is an energy that comes from them that is just infectious and you can’t help but smile.”
For more information on how to volunteer, visit their website.