We had the good fortune of connecting with GiGi’s Playhouse Denver Startup Team and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi GiGi’s Playhouse, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Francyne Espinoza walked into GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix with her daughter Ezrah in her arms. The walls were brightly painted, music played gently, but she was hesitant. She didn’t know what to expect. She stepped inside, and within seconds Ezrah, her little brown-haired beauty, was whisked away by the program leader and Francyne was surrounded by other mom’s thanking her for coming. The tensity melted away. The fears melted away. Francyne felt at home and she could see the genuine love surrounding Ezrah. The Espinozas, now Denver locals, can’t wait to see the doors of GiGi’s Playhouse Denver open because they know firsthand what it is. GiGi’s was the answer to a question I didn’t even know I had” said Cathy Gallucci, another mom speaking of her experience with GiGI’s online for her four-year-old daughter. At GiGi’s Playhouse Denver the mission is simple: to change the way the world views Down syndrome. That’s it. Through experience, research, and a lot of grit, GiGi’s Playhouses know what it takes. We want to make waves. Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. It’s estimated that about 1 in 700 babies born in the US have Down syndrome. And though a lot of progress has been made for people living with Down syndrome in the last couple decades, there are still miles to go – that’s where GiGi’s Playhouse comes in. We aim to send ripples of acceptance throughout Colorado and beyond by opening Colorado’s first brick and mortar Down syndrome achievement center dedicated to providing FREE purposeful and progressive programs for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. With over 50 playhouses across the nation, its proven track record speaks volumes. We are in the final stages of signing the lease for GiGi’s Playhouse Denver. GiGi’s Playhouse Denver will be a place where individuals are celebrated and shown kindness each time they walk through the doors. We know individuals with Down syndrome can achieve and contribute to our community in a variety of ways and we are committed to helping them do that. Even though Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder in our country, it is the least funded. That is why at GiGi’s Playhouse Denver, families will NEVER have to pay for the programs being offered. From a prenatal diagnosis to career skills, we make a lifetime commitment to remain by their sides and empower them with the tools to succeed. We dream big and we are committed to keep dreaming. People with Down syndrome are just like they rest of the world; they just have an extra chromosome. Kids all want to dream, they all want to play hard, communally hate certain classes in middle school, and to be invited to birthday parties. Teens want to go on dates, have friends, and play sports or join clubs. Adults want to be a part of their community, maybe get married, hold jobs. People with Down syndrome dream, just like the rest of the world — and GiGi’s Playhouse will help them do this.
What should our readers know about your business?
With over 50+ brick and mortar locations across the United States and Mexico and 200 inquiries to start new locations all over the world, GiGi’s Playhouse is the ONLY network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. Every day, we provide FREE, life-changing therapeutic, educational and career training programs for 30,000+ individuals of all ages. Through free programs and through our Generation G Campaign for global acceptance, we EMPOWER families by maximizing opportunities for daily achievement and lasting acceptance. To ensure lasting acceptance, we help show the world what individuals with Down syndrome are truly capable of achieving as students, co-workers, volunteers, friends, and valued members of their communities. GiGi’s Playhouse is a volunteer-run organization and we rely on the skill and dedication of volunteers of various levels of expertise to keep our organization and our programs vibrant, educational, fun and free.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
– Nancy Gianni, Founder and Chief Belief Officer of GiGi’s Playhouse, who continues to support and share excitement with opening a Playhouse in Denver. – The GiGi’s Playhouse National office who help answer our questions, guide our efforts, and support our endeavors as we meet the necessary steps to open the Playhouse in Denver. – Denver Playhouse supporters, volunteers, and community businesses who continue to support our cause, share and like our social media stories, and donate to the Playhouse.
Youtube: GiGi’s Playhouse, Inc
Stephanie Trowbridge Photography – group picture only