SleepIn for SleepOut 2021 Honorary Family – The Thomas Family
The Lord’s Place announces its 2021 SleepIn for SleepOut Honorary Family
The Hollister and Travis Thomas Family
The Lord’s Place is honored to have the Thomas family serve as our 2021 SleepIn for SleepOut family. Since 2017, the Thomas family initiated their own Holiday Hope for the Homeless gift bag program that has grown from 60 gift bags for the homeless to over 230 gift bags in 2020. Travis is a Leadership and Team Development Specialist with the United States Soccer Men’s National Team and a published motivational author. Hollister has become a dedicated volunteer serving at Burckle Place, the housing program designed exclusively for single homeless women. They have three children, Trinity (18), Holland (16), and Shepherd (13).
“Hollister, Travis and their three incredible kids are the perfect embodiment of how one family can make such a huge difference in the community. From having a small charitable idea in 2017, they have formed an incredible partnership with The Lord’s Place, inspired so many other families and have given hope to so many homeless and poor during the holiday season. We are so grateful to name the Thomas family our 2021 SleepIn for SleepOut Honorary Family,” said Diana Stanley, CEO of The Lord’s Place.
We did a quick Q & A with Hollister and Travis:
Q. How were you introduced to The Lord’s Place?
A. Hollister- “We as a family had the idea for the gift bags in 2017 to help the homeless during the holidays… but we didn’t know the best way to distribute the gift bags. A friend from church recommended that we speak with The Lord’s Place as they have the infrastructure and street teams in place. The Lord’s Place immediately embraced our family and concept and allowed to focus on providing more and more bags each year.”
Q. How has your family been able to grow this Holiday Hope for the Homeless gift bag program?
A.Travis- “That first year was challenging… but the family worked hard to raise donations and even started a Go-Fund Me page. In four years, we have gone from 60 gift bags to over 230 bags last year. These bags contain a collection of the essentials including toiletries, socks, clothing, snacks, blankets, pillows, and special treats. Come December, we have been known to clear out our local Wal-Mart. Another important part of the gift bag is a hand-written letter of encouragement that our family creates.
Q. How have your kids responded to this inspiring project?
A. Hollister- “Our kids are now 18, 16, and 13 and this has become an important part of their lives to help others. There is a tremendous sense of pride for each as they realize the impact of their efforts and how they are inspiring others to do the same. They all have great ideas of how to increase the funds raised so they can top last year’s gift bag total.”
Q. What did you think of being named the 2021 SleepIn for SleepOut Honorary Family?
A. Travis- “Completely honored. We have participated in a past SleepOut and it is such an inspiring and creative way for the community to come together an experience a small look at what the homeless really face. It’s important that we all understand that regardless of our situations we are all human and deserve respect. It is such an impactful event that raises much needed awareness and we are flattered to be forever associated with it. We have our large tent ready in our backyard and our kids are looking forward to experiencing this as a family. The mission of The Lord’s Place is clear, and this mission continually motivates us to do more. Please join us this year and support the 2021 SleepIn for SleepOut … you will be inspired!”