RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – Step inside GiGi's Playhouse, and you can feel the pride.

"There's just a feel to this place," said volunteer Kim Eyerman. "It's loving and accepting. It allows people to be the best that they are, their best selves."

Eyerman runs adult programming at GiGi's. She volunteers almost every day, helping those with Down syndrome achieve success -- whether it be in social situations or in daily life. Eyeman has formed a special bond with one of her students, Elizabeth Heenan.

"When you have a friend with special needs, they're a true friend forever," Eyerman said. "Pure, non-judgemental, beautiful friendship. Everybody deserves that."

Since their friendship bloomed, they've been able to watch each other grow.

"I see Elizabeth as far more communicative than when she first got here," Eyerman said. "She's really comfortable with having a conversation with anybody. Her confidence has skyrocketed."

Elizabeth recently landed her first job at a local non-profit. Her managers say she does it all -- with extreme enthusiasm and an unmatched smile.

"I'm a greeter at the front door, I clean the lobby, and I write thank you notes," Heenan said.

It's a goal for everyone who comes to GiGi's -- giving those with special needs the skills to live happy, healthy, and independent lives.

"I feel like every human being is entitled to a fulfilled, joyful life," Eyerman said. "With opportunity, with community, with friends, with social opportunities. This organization gets that."

For volunteer opportunities, visit here.

If you have an idea for our next Everyday Hero please email us at everydayheroes@charter.com