Showing lots of their love to the community, Mark and Alyssa Love have made thousands of impacts by volunteer teaching art students with intellectual disabilities through the Marbridge Foundation.
The Marbridge Foundation operates a residential campus south of Austin that provides work and living space for hundreds of Austinites with cognitive disabilities. Arts and crafts classes are one of the most popular activities for residents, and when the Loves’ volunteer credentials and qualifications were reviewed, art director Jan Meeks knew how lucky they were! Mark is an expert woodworker and Alyssa is an occupational therapist with a specialty in the arts – a particularly helpful background for a volunteer at a place like Marbridge. The skills that the Loves brought to Marbridge residents opened up new mediums and opportunities to learn about things that residents had never learned before.
To date, Mark and Alyssa have taught around 400 individual art classes, representing thousands of educational, sensory, and inspirational experiences for the Marbridge residents. They have donated their artistic talents faithfully for years, but the extra special care they bring may be more valuable to the Marbridge mission than woodworking, woodburning, or painting. Mark and Alyssa lovingly push the residents and challenge them in the best ways. Their art lessons have created an impact that has led to deeper understanding and more confidence for residents.
“The conversations they have with each resident, including those outside the art room between classes, mean the world,” says Marbridge art director Jan Meeks. “They’re listening to every word that is said, always teaching and guiding each person to be their best. They’re the best fit I could ask for!”