After a challenging 2020, heading into a new year certainly brings a renewed sense of hope. More than ever, it is an important time to recognize we are all one community, support those who need it most, and find ways to give back and make a positive impact.
This is an important mission for TCLers year-round, and I wanted to put the spotlight on just one of the incredible organizations we’ve had the privilege of working with.
About Hope Center for the Arts
Hope Center for the Arts (or HOPE) has been serving adults with disabilities through the use of the arts for over 40 years. Their students have intellectual and physical disabilities that limit their ability to communicate and interact with others.
HOPE provides students with an outlet and teaches them the skills to communicate through the use of the arts, including music, painting, dance, and crafts, among many other skills and services to support and enrich their lives.
With the help of HOPE, many students have not only learned skills to interact with others but have also honed their abilities to the point where their paintings and sculptures have been showcased in arts shows throughout California.
The HOPE Impact
I have been fortunate enough to witness the amazing impact HOPE has had on their students firsthand. My brother Frankie, who has Down Syndrome, has been a student there for nearly 30 years! Frankie has always loved music and entertaining, so attending HOPE and learning from their wonderful instructors has been a delight for him. When he gets home, he loves to share what he did and enjoys talking about his teachers. Witnessing the happiness the school brings to him and the other students is an absolute joy.
Most recently, with the mandatory quarantining, we became very worried about Frankie’s mental well-being. It was hard for him to understand why he could not continue his normal school routine and it was heartbreaking for us as family to try and explain. Thankfully, HOPE quickly transformed the magic they do in-person into a virtual program. While nothing can replace in-person interactions, HOPE’s virtual program, complete with remote learning tools, has helped Frankie and the other students adjust to this new style of life.
The transition to a virtual format for HOPE, while successful, has been a struggle financially. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, HOPE relies heavily on the generous donations of the community in order to continue to provide the services these students need. Like many non-profit organizations, donations during COVID have dipped.
Several years ago, the HOPE story was brought to TCL’s leadership team with the simple request to donate a TV for their Christmas Show silent auction. HOPE’s annual Christmas Show has been one of the highlights for their students year after year. It is a time where these special students can showcase the new skills they had been working on all year and a time to let their awesome personalities shine! The event features several musical numbers and (my favorite) some very entertaining comical skits.
In typical TCL fashion, we not only donated TVs, but also became an official sponsor and have not looked back since!
Supporting an organization that helps bring smiles to the innocent faces of HOPE students, fell right in line with our TCL Cares initiative and we could not be more honored to be a part of it.