Abilities United is proud to present Hellen Hsieh of Mountain View, who is a two year volunteer with Abilities United (which serves Santa Clara and San Mateo residents with disabilities), the President’s Volunteer Service Call to Action http://www.presidentialserviceawards.gov/tg/pvsainfo/dspAboutAwards.cfm for her over 200 hours of volunteer work as the art curator for Abilities United http://www.AbilitiesUnited.org
Hellen came to Abilities United in January 2010. She found the “art curator” position on VolunteerMatch. As the proprietor of Design Loft in Mountain View, she wanted to share her design and artist skills to benefit people with disabilities.
The work Hellen does promotes the artist talents of all the artists at Abilities United from all the service areas and programs. Her interior design background and skills make each piece of art shine. Using primarily donated frames and mat boards, Hellen painstaking chooses the frame style, and mat color and cuts the mat to best compliment the artwork. Because the pieces are so beautifully and professionally presented, the art sells more quickly and for a higher price than could be commanded without the frames. Since Hellen has volunteered at Abilities United and has helped increase the number of art exhibits in the community, art appreciators throughout the Bay Area have purchased over 50 original works from the artists. Because Hellen volunteers her time and utilizes donated materials, 100% of the sale can go the artist.
The President’s Volunteer Service award is a very unique and prestigious award as it takes many hours of consistent and continual volunteer work for one individual to donate over 200 hours of community service. Although President Obama won’t be present, Hellen Hsieh will receive an official letter, certificate and pin from President Obama and the White House. Staff and participants will be present to congratulate Hellen.
Abilities United held a casual award ceremony to present the awards to Hellen on Monday, January 9, 2012. Hellen was thrilled and totally surprised to learn that the bell ringing ceremony was for her. After receiving her award, gifts and a few rounds of applause and accolades, Hellen got back to work installing 40 original works of art by artists of Abilities United at Zoe’s Cafe in Menlo Park 1929 MenAlto Avenue http://www.cafezoemenlopark.com/
Ms. Hsieh explains her passion for promoting the art created by people with developmental disabilities; “I want other people to see the beautiful artwork individuals with disabilities are capable of creating; to help people see their talent and ability rather than their disability. This is an opportunity to give these artists a public space to display their work since they normally don’t get to exhibit in galleries.” In 2010, she featured over 30 original works of art by artists from Abilities United at the Design Loft public grand opening. Hellen has also volunteered her interior design skills to renovate the Adult Day Activities staff office, which is a fun and cheering red, black and white theme complimenting the Abilities United brand.
On behalf of everyone involved with Abilities United, many many thanks to Hellen for her great spirit, commitment, and contribution to people with developmental disabilities!
Submitted by Wendy Kuehnl