Joseph Thomas Foundation helps medically fragile children, families

Submitted by Roenna Thomas
Board Member and Joseph’s Grandmother
Joseph Thomas Foundation logo

The Joseph Thomas Foundation was started in 2007 by John and Erin Thomas after the loss of their 6-year-old son. Joseph was born with multiple medical complications. While the big expenses of Joseph’s conditions were covered by Medicaid, it was the constant barrage of little expenses that whittled away at their ability to simply survive financially. Had it not been for gifts from their church, family and others, they were unsure how they would have made it.

Following Joseph’s death, John and his wife reflected on their journey and felt a calling to help other families on a similar path. It was decided that they would establish a non-profit, The Joseph Thomas Foundation in honor of their son. This foundation would help medically fragile children and their families by helping cover expenses not covered by Medicaid and/or insurance.

They began by helping a few children a year, and in doing so, it helped them as grieving parents. Through the grace of God and continued support of friends and the community, the Joseph Thomas Foundation has exceeded all expectations. They have helped over 100 kids with more than $100,000. Entering the second decade of their work, they are eager to see what is in store for the foundation in the future.

JTF helps children from birth through high school with:

• Making their family vehicles wheelchair accessible.

• Surgery expenses and prescriptions.

• Leg braces and wheelchairs.

• Helping with treatment costs for cancer and cerebral palsy.

• Receiving ABA and Equine Therapy and much more.

JTF’s service area has grown from a few of Abilene’s surrounding counties to 60 Texas counties. This paper’s readership counties are all included. If you have, or know of, a medically fragile child that needs help, please go online to www.JosephThomasFoundation.org or keep in touch with JTF at www.facebook.com/JTF2007/

Counties included in the foundation area include: Dickens, King, Knox, Baylor, Archer, Garza, Kent, Stonewall, Haskell, Throckmorton, Young, Jack, Borden, Scurry, Fisher, Jones, Shackelford, Stephens, Palo Pinto, Parker, Hood, Erath, Somervell, Eastland, Callahan, Taylor, Nolan, Mitchell, Howard, Glasscock, Sterling, Coke, Runnels, Coleman, Brown, Comanche, Mills, San Saba, McCulloch, Concho, Tom Green, Irion, Reagan, Crockett, Schleicher, Sutton, Menard, Kimble, Mason, Llano, Gillespie, Kerr, Bandera, Real, Edwards, Wilbarger, Clay, Wichita, Montague, Wise.

How can JTF help?

• The foundation has three storage facilities located in Abilene and Weatherford, where donated medical supplies, supplements, and equipment can be donated. The Facebook page posts items available.

• The foundation takes applications for assistance through a form located on their website. Any questions concerning the application can be answered with a phone call.

• The foundation holds two main events a year for medically fragile children and their families. A Triathlon in February at PrimeTime in Abilene, and a Biathlon in November at Film Alley in Weatherford. Families can play miniature golf, Skee ball and bowl at these free events.

If you would like more information on the Joseph Thomas Foundation, or would like a speaker for a club or event, or would consider donating, visit our website or email John Thomas at john@josephthomasfoundation.org.