Your 2023 Non-profit of the year, GiGi’s Playhouse, is North Dakota’s only Down Syndrome Achievement Center offering customized, research-based programming geared specifically to the way individuals with Down Syndrome learn best.
Since 2015, GiGi’s has positively impacted the lives of over 206 families and individuals with direct support and intentional programming. GiGi’s mission is to increase positive awareness of Down syndrome through national campaigns, educational and therapeutic programs, resources and by empowering individuals of all ages with Down syndrome, their families and the community.
In May of 2021, GiGi’s met devastation, as their center and all optimal learning resources were lost to a fire. What they didn’t lose - was hope. Despite losing their facility and resources, the team was mission-driven to support its families and share their story, with the community’s support, to help rebuild.
There were over 4,000 unique donors that supported the rebuild after the loss of the center, and 37% of those donors were new to the organization, believing in their mission and efforts to fulfill the lifetime commitment to the families they serve.
Prior to the 2021 fire, GiGi’s welcomed 38 unique families a month. After reopening their doors in October of 2022, in an inspiring comeback after the fire, GiGi’s welcomed 13 new families and supported 65 total unique families each month with over 3,500 volunteer hours being contributed to the success of programs, operations and rebuilding efforts. Ninety seven percent of the organization’s work is accomplished through the hard work and dedication of volunteers.
Thanks to the tenacity of GiGi’s Playhouse and those in our community who have dedicated their time and talents to this organization, individuals with Down syndrome and their families can achieve their greatest potential with confidence, independence and joy.