William M. Hull

Volunteer of the Year

Heartstrings Community Foundation
The Capital Group, LLC
Questar Capital

Integrating people with developmental disabilities into the community is priority No. 1 for William “Mack” Hull and his wife, Anne, founders of the Heartstrings Community Foundation in Overland Park, Kansas. Mr. Hull is a principal of the Capital Group, LLC, also in Overland Park. When the Hulls realized that there were no career paths available to people like their two sons, who have special needs, they created Heartstrings, which consists of six businesses that employ about 50 adults with moderate to severe disabilities in normal jobs such as sales and delivery. The businesses include a specialty candy packaging and delivery service and five retail stores. All are convenient to transportation, and give the workers ample opportunities for interacting with customers and avoiding social isolation.“The employees are so proud of their efforts and the reward of friendships. They want to be called upon as friends because they have difficulty doing the calling,” Mr. Hull said. Heartstrings’ success has inspired the Hulls to develop plans and licensing to expand and replicate the model. The employees are just like everyone else, he said. “We all have our special needs, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Think about your own, and think about others.”