William "Mack" Hull received the Volunteer of the Year award for founding the Heartstrings Community Foundation, which supports six businesses that employ adults who suffer from disabilities.
Mr. Hull, principal of Capital Group LLC of Overland Park, Kan., created firms ranging from a candy-packaging business to a snack delivery service so that his two special-needs sons would have a place to work.
“They have blossomed as a result of being in an environment where they feel they make a contribution in their work,” Mr. Hull said about these two sons, who are now 30 and 35. The Hulls also have a third son, their oldest, who helps with both the foundation and with other nonadvisory businesses that Mr. Hull owns.
The foundation Mr. Hull and his wife, Anne, created in 1999 is much more than just a personal achievement; the businesses employ about 50 adults with different levels of disabilities and have been recognized for improving the local community. The businesses that Mr. Hull began in his basement now have about 18,000 square feet of office space.
AWARD WILL AID EXPANSION
The businesses are mostly self-sustainable, but the $20,000 award from the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation will help continue expansion and management of the businesses, he said.
“It won't take long for the award to get put to work to help developmentally challenged folks have employment,” Mr. Hull said. “There is so much demand for what Heartstrings has created.”
Mr. Hull's reach one day may extend beyond the Overland Park region, as he has been talking with other communities that are interested in replicating the foundation's sustainable model.