Eileen McDowell, also known “The Art Lady” at the Rosenberg Learning Center, has been volunteering at Texana Center for over 16 years. She was the founder of the Arts & Crafts Program in the Texana Learning Centers at both Missouri City and Rosenberg and has recruited several others to volunteer. She is very persuasive; if someone shows a little interest in art, crafts or working with people with intellectual disabilities, before you know it she has whipped out the volunteer application form and has another person signing up!
The Arts & Crafts program is volunteer-driven and has gone from a small start-up crafts some 16 years ago, to today having its own dedicated room in two of Texana’s learning centers, each providing many different types of arts and crafts opportunities for the learning center clients to enjoy.
Eileen exhibits a tremendous amount of passion for art and everything related, and shares this with the clients who have also learned how enjoyable the arts can be. They take enormous pride in producing handcrafted items which are sold in the community at local shops and at craft fairs etc. and they really enjoy having the opportunity to help sell the items. For some it is the only way they can truly express themselves and Eileen makes sure that there is a project that each client can do that will enhance their abilities and help them to reach their fullest potential. Whether it is creating a piece to be hung on a wall, a birdhouse, a drink mat, jewelry or a themed chair she makes sure that there is something for everyone. Without Eileen’s passion and drive there would be no Arts & Crafts Program at Texana and all those hidden talents that our clients have would have been lost.
George Patterson, CEO said “We are truly fortunate to have someone like Eileen who gives of her time so freely. She really makes a big difference in the lives of the people who come to our learning center program. The art program has also helped in making people aware of Texana Center and the services we provide for people with intellectual disabilities. When the volunteers are out in the community selling the arts and crafts made by our clients, it is often the first introduction to Texana Center. I was extremely pleased when I heard that she had won this award as I know how hard she works to make the program successful. This is a really well deserved award.”