The Designing Hope Foundation is a 501c3 non profit organization dedicated to empowering burn survivors and individuals with disabilities.
With the assistance of our dedicated supporters and our annual fundraising efforts, we are able to offer support and assistance to survivors across the nation!
The Designing Hope Foundation’s mission is to advocate for burn survivors and those living with disabilities and to aide survivors in restoring their lives by promoting their physical and emotional healing as well as provide the essential tools needed to continue their individual growth and development.
By 2025, we want to see increased funding, resources, treatment facilities, and advancement opportunities for burn survivors and individuals with disabilities nation wide, and to provide constant diversified exposure to learning, adequate facilities, resources, enrichment programs and empowerment.
Our goal is for Designing Hope to become not only Arkansas’, but the nation’s premiere organization for funding burn centers, advocacy programs, as well as the empowerment and advancement of burn survivors, those with disabilities and their families/support systems across the nation.
THE STORY BEHIND THE CAUSE
Over seven years ago, RN Camp Sunshine founder, Greta Wilkinson introduced Linda Rowe Thomas to a group of young burn survivors at Camp Sunshine, ranging from the age of 3 to 18, and her life was forever changed.
After showcasing at New York Fashion, Thomas returned home to Little Rock present the collection to Arkansas. In efforts to assist the burn camp with its financial needs, she donated 100% of the proceeds from the show to Camp Sunshine.
What began as a small fashion show to help aide Camp Sunshine has grown tremendously and is now known as the Designing Hope Foundation. In partnership with the Arkansas Fire Fighters Association, Thomas continues to host the annual Designing Hope fashion fundraiser that directly benefits the burn center programs at Arkansas Children's Hospital. Those programs include Camp Sunshine for the youth as well as SOAR for the adult burn survivors.
The Designing Hope Fashion Fundraiser has now expanded to its second state and has plans to continue its journey of hope by aiding burn centers across the globe!
"As a burn survivor, I was in and out of the Shriner's Burn Institute in Galveston, Texas for over 18 years. During those years I endured countless surgeries, extended hospital stays and years of recovery. Thanks to organizations like the Shriners that have dedicated their time and commitment to raising funds to benefit families of children with burns and disabilities, my family NEVER incurred a single medical bill. This is why I will forever pore my heart and soul into Designing Hope and fight to empower other burn survivors and their families hope."
- Linda Rowe Thomas
Each year over 100,000 patients are admitted every year to Burn Centers across the country. While many burns are minor and do not require hospitalization, some burns can be very extensive or deep and may require hospitalization and surgery. Approximately one-third of patients treated for burns are pediatric patients.
Rebuilding a life after such traumatic experiences can be life altering for a survivor, leaving them hopeless, discouraged, and unsure how to take the first step to fully restoring their lives. Designing Hope Foundation was founded by renowned fashion designer and burn survivor, Linda Rowe Thomas to be a vital part of the survivor's rebuilding process.
The first step is often the hardest but always the most important. Through her own personal triumph, founder Linda Rowe Thomas discovered that critical first step begins with love for self beyond the scars. The love for self lies within our recognition and acceptance of our whole selves as beautiful, valuable, and worthy beyond our scars. Translating that love of yourself into your daily lives and even in our careers is one of the greatest steps towards ensuring that you are living passionately and to the fullest in all aspects of life.