GiGi location Annapolis 2

Help this volunteer-based business continue to educate and inspire with a virtual run/walk/ride.

GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis, which serves over 400 families with Down syndrome members from all across Maryland, D.C., and Virginia by offering therapeutic, educational programs and tutoring funding was hit hard with the cancellation of its annual gala due to COVID-19. So in its place, the team has planned GiGi’s virtual “Step to Accept” Virtual run/walk/ride, which will take place on June 6 at noon. You can participate individually or start a team with family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or classmates. Gigi’s has a goal of 50 million steps for Global Acceptance and Step to Accept across the world.

At GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis, programs are free and offer engagement for all ages, from families with a prenatal diagnosis through adult individuals with Down syndrome. The programs focus on a variety of skills, including gross and fine motor skills, literacy and math skills, social skills, and confidence–all with the goal of helping individuals with Down syndrome become their best selves.

The stay-at-home order has certainly put a damper on the fun and learning for all, but especially for individuals with Down Syndrome who do best with routine and a structured environment.

“When the coronavirus pandemic hit, GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis suspended all in-person Playhouse programming,” says Judith Co, Gigi’s Annapolis site coordinator “and moved to a virtual format supporting individuals and families who rely on our programs. GiGi’s provides weekly programs for all ages that are offered “live” virtual formatted both on a local level as well as on a national level. Additionally, there are over 200 programs recorded for On Demand access to view from home.”

GiGi location Annapolis 2GiGi’s Playhouse is 99.9% volunteer run, led by members of the community including clinicians such as speech language therapists, physical therapists, and behavioral specialists, as well as generous people with a variety of relevant volunteer and career backgrounds who offer their time and services for free.
For the “Step to Accept” challenge, you and your team can walk, run or ride to help Gigi’s continue the on-going programs reaching families where they are until they can resume regular Playhouse operations. Registration is $21 per adult / $10 per child. Donations are also accepted. For more information go to:—click on events and then Step to Accept.

“We can’t say thank you enough to the awesome people who support, provide guidance and lead GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis programs,” says Co. “We are all missing seeing each other in person and can’t wait for the time we can return together safely, until then we’ll continue meeting together online, physically distant-socially connected!”

—Joyce Heid