Toineke learned of ASVZ, provides care and services to those with mental disabilities, while providing analytics solutions to their organizing group.
Toineke learned of ASVZ,
provides care and services
to those with
mental disabilities, while
providing analytics
solutions to their
organizing group.

ASVZ operates multiple private residential facilities, but they also offer services in people's homes. Toineke funneled her expertise of the healthcare sector into hands-on volunteer work where for the past six years she’s hosted the ASVZ’s art weekend initiative. The program supports ASVZ clients in becoming artists.

Art as remedy

“We unite people through art,” Toineke says.

The ASVZ art initiative connects clients with their art through daycare managers, visual artists, and performing artists. Toineke founded the initiative based on an idea from the chairman of the board; she organizes and executes it with two ASVZ care mangers.

Toineke hosts the event at her own property, where she recruits the volunteer artists, helps train the clients in their art, and organizes exhibitions to show the clients’ work. The project, Kunst zonder Grenzen, Kunst zonder Beperkingen (United by Art) has had a positive effect on the clients.

The art created by ASVZ clients and their collaborators is used for exhibits that are open to the public. Exhibit attendees can purchase the art, and the proceeds help support the following year’s project.

Exponential impact

When the emphasis is on health and overall well-being, everyone benefits. Toineke enjoyed the way the ASVZ volunteers supported each other in the creation and preparation of the exhibits, and while collaborating with the clients. “Working together can be effective, fast, productive, and easy when the team is accepting of each other, shares the same goal and passion,” Toineke says.

Toineke’s time spent volunteering also impacted how she performed at work—the very job that introduced her to ASVZ. “The volunteer work inspires me, it gives me energy,” she says. “It makes me humble and thankful.”

Toineke’s experience as a managing consultant helps her volunteer work. She’s been at it a while—since 2004 Toineke has served in varying capacities at IBM: the culture and diversity mentoring program, the program for People With Disabilities, organizing a day for IBMers in ASVZ, and United by Music, an initiative that aims to increase music and art therapy in health sectors.

Even with all that experience, she has still noticed an increased passion at work because of the volunteering. “Now I’m bringing a range of experiences and skills into my work at IBM. ASVZ has influenced my attitude and by extension, the working environment and people around me.” She’s learned that gaining a personal understanding of what care organizations need can be an important asset in cultivating a relationship between the organization and IBM.

The work is “rewarding and has created positive energy for my life and in the lives of others,” Toineke says. She remembers a time before her ASVZ volunteer work began, when friends and colleagues questioned if the volunteer work would be too much. But it turned out to be the opposite. “If you feel like volunteering is a good thing, just do it. For me, it has proven to be right.”

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