Suzie used her left foot to hold a paint brush and created amazing works of art


By Robert Airoldi

Robert Airoldi

Hope comes from many sources like Suzie Tabata, a talented artist born with cerebral palsy who spent time during her life as a client of Hope Services. In her memory, the Tabata Living Trust recently made a donation of nearly half-a-million dollars to the nonprofit.

With unstoppable perseverance, Suzie pursued her interests and creative outlets with passion. She learned to type with her toes and to communicate through a word processor, and she learned to use sign language.

Art is where Suzie truly shined. She used her left foot to hold a paint brush and created amazing works of art.

Sue Bell, director of human resources at Hope Services, has a piece titled “Fluffy and Zeek,” named after Suzie’s pets. “The art was made by Suzie when she was my client many years ago,” she said. “I cherish it and continue to proudly display it.”

Suzie’s parents, Janet Tabata and Flyer Crata, had been long time donors to Hope Services and included the organization in their giving.

“We are profoundly grateful to them and the Tabata Living Trust for this generous donation which will be especially impactful as we recover from the global health crisis during which time we continue serving clients,” said Chip Huggins, president/CEO of Hope Services.

When California’s shelter-in-place order in mid-March forced Chabad South County Jewish Center to pause their regular programming, they understood the need to adapt to the community’s unique needs during these times.

They canceled their community Passover Seder and moved weekly adult education classes to Zoom. They then reached out to local seniors and home-bound families, offering their assistance and a helping hand.

“There are many people here who were isolated without family or other support,” said Chabad’s director Rabbi Mendel Liberow. “And we found that many people were feeling alone. But that’s what Chabad is about, being there for the Jewish community in a time of need.”

They began with check-up calls