Francesca Thomas: Volunteer, Board Member
How long have you been volunteering with WTAP?
Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with WTAP?
I have met a couple who escaped from Cuba va Venezuela and through the jungles of South America; I met a young man from Iran who was imprisoned for his political views; I met a doctor from Iraq who used his only allowed bag to transport his medical school books; I met a family from Eritrea who served us coffee and popcorn as a way to thank us for assisting them; and I have met lots of lots of my Arizona neighbors who share their hearts, their time and their treasures to build community with our new refugee neighbors.
Why do you choose to donate your time to WTAP?
I started volunteering with the organization because it was one of only a few places where I could take all my children, even when they were younger. Every delivery felt, for us, like a little trip around the world, meeting people, hearing of their experiences, sharing in their culture. It made our world both bigger and simultaneously more connected. I have continued to volunteer and financially support the organization because I have sene the difference it makes in the lives of families who have endured unimaginable hardship, and because I know that the experiences I have through my interaction with these international neighbors makes me a better, more understanding person.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I am the mom of 3 boys. I love to read, knit and travel, especially to my family in Italy and Switzerland.
What secret powers or talents do you have?
If I told you, they wouldn’t be secret anymore! A skill I have that isn’t quite so secret is my ability to speak Italian, French, and a little German and Spanish.