Hello Helpers Community,
Happy Spring!! With this newsletter arriving, it is now over a year since we first learned of Covid – 19. We celebrate and are thankful, lessons learned, new ways, and joyful to be moving forward. There are exciting new happenings from Helpers Community regarding Residence Homes, Helpers Artisan Boutique and the Helpers Community Inc Grant Program to share with you.
The Pomeroy Center residents were vaccinated in February. Their first visits with family were during Easter, and they were very excited and happy!
Helpers Artisan Boutique (HAB):
New Artists Featured and Job Training Resumes
San Francisco is opening up as we move into a less restrictive stage of the pandemic. Christifer, the HAB Job Coach, is thrilled to resume having trainees from the Arc SF, Connie and Nona, to coach in retail and customer service skills. The Helpers Artisan Boutique has welcomed new artists’ products and art to the store.
Here are the new artists:
heart by Max greeting cards! A Helpers Artisan Boutique’s customer was led into the store by her dog. She let us know that her aunt’s son in Massachusetts is an artist with autism. During the pandemic his mother, Emily, shared, it began with a quarantine prayer, “How can we be a blessing to others? ” Max’s mom prayed, and Max began painting with the desire to bring some joy to people. Max’s heart by Max cards launched in March at HAB and are inspirational and an ongoing best seller.
Preston Lee is an artist with autism and epilepsy, and we were introduced to him through a HAB customer. We met him and his parents on a visit they made to the store. His greeting cards and watercolors are a wonderful addition to HAB. One of his paintings from a Floral series sold right out of the HAB window!
Shane Tarkington – A Big Thank You to the Executive Director, Heidi Cartan, of Common Roots Farm, an organization Helpers Community provided grant support to for an access path around the perimeter of the farm in 2020, and whose delicious fresh farm to bottle product HAB features. Common Roots Farm is located in Santa Cruz. Their mission is that people with and without disabilities can come to the farm to grow food, take care of plants and animals, learn farm skills and gardening, and build community. Heidi connected with artist Shane Tarkington and his mom, Maureen. Greeting cards, mugs, and tea towels with designs by Shane are now featured at the store and have been very well received by customers. HAB is looking forward to introducing Infant and Toddler tees with Shane’s designs.
Big Wave Project, Half Moon Bay, CA – Great to have greeting cards from Big Wave artists Emmy, Joe, and Michael – (Watercolors and a fun ,whimsical “Chicken Series”), at the store. Big Wave is a parent – driven organization founded in 2000 which helps adults with special needs maximize their full potential by supporting them in a live-work community enabling them to thrive.
Pomeroy Center, SF, CA artists E.J. Jacobo, artists Geddy Talag, and Duane Smith’s new paintings are featured in the store. We sold one of Geddy’s paintings, Coral Reef, an acrylic, from the window last week!
Creative Growth Art Center, Oakland CA – “This is a nonprofit that serves artists with developmental, intellectual and physical disabilities and provides them with a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery exhibition, and representation.” It is the oldest art center and exhibition space for adults with disabilities in the United States. HAB is excited to now feature several books about Outside Artists from Creative Growth: The Boy Who Time Forgot, Right Here Right Now, One is Adam One is Superman, and the Creative Growth Annual Magazine. In addition a Levi’s x and Creative Growth fashion collaboration resulted in designs by Creative Growth artists. HAB is carrying T-Shirts from this collaboration, designed by Ron Veasey and Ray Vickers.
Helpers Community Inc Grant Programs:
This Spring grant awards were approved for four organizations to date, with several grants pending for Fall’21 consideration once all criteria met. The deadline to submit an LOI for our Fall grant cycle is 7/31/21. There are two grant cycles a year. If interested, please check out the website www.helperssf.org/grants/ for the grant guidelines.
1. Clear Water Ranch, Cloverdale, CA
Clear Water Ranch will become home to 24 residents with developmental disabilities and staff. It is a beautiful semi rural “campus” in the Alexander Valley and contains 5 large homes some under renovation, and an Enrichment Center. Once all residences are occupied activities will be created to encourage socialization, interaction with the Cloverdale community. The Helpers’ grant was provided to Clearwater Ranch for shoring up unstable ground and bolstering support under the Enrichment Center.
2. Trajectory, Eureka, CA
Trajectory is a DreamMaker Program project under the umbrella The Ink People Inc which has a long history in Humboldt county, “Weaving the Arts Into the Fabric of Our Community Since 1979.” The organization’s goal is to make the community a better place through arts and culture. Their principles are in the belief that “art in all its forms is essential to the human spirit and well being.” There are over 36 artists with developmental disabilities impacted positively by this organization. The Helpers Grant disbursement will fund a new free standing printing press, paper and Risograph machine and ink for the Trajectory art programs with wide reaching benefit to the entire Eureka community.
3. Pomeroy Center, SF CA The Pomeroy Center received grant support for the One Center Program and the Transition Age Program.
4. One Step Beyond, San Mateo, CA One Step Beyond expanded job training and EDP programs with their grant disbursement.
Helpers Community Inc is actively searching for individuals interested in being considered for Board Membership. To learn more please go to https://helperssf.org/about-us/leadership/
Thank you for your continued support of Helpers Community. Please stop in to see our new products at the store or online. www.helperssf.org. Helpers Community looks forward to further making an impact towards enriching the lives of Individuals with Developmental Disabilities in 2021.