Remembering a Board Member and Friend

Sophia Travis 1

During this holiday season we are thankful for all the people in our lives. It is also a time where we remember and honor those who are no longer with us.

Sophia Travis


In November of 2012, LIFEDesigns lost a Board Member. Sophia Travis was much more than just a board member though. She was a mother, a wife, an advocate for others, an inspiration, a fighter, a supporter, a community leader and a friend. She was passionate about supporting the people with disabilities that LIFEDesigns serves and demonstrated that passion through her actions. She took her deep commitment to her chosen home and all of its citizens, and her genius for connecting with people, to create positive change in her community. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Karst Farm Splash Pad, a fully accessible water park for children, inviting local bands to play at its launch party. She was President of the County Council the year the Council passed a tax levy to benefit families with disabilities needing respite that went to LIFEDesigns (then called Options). She also ensured that public Monroe County buildings have lactation rooms for nursing mothers and children. These are just a few of the lasting changes she made in the community.

Her social service was deeply important to her, and deeply integrated in her life. She served on the board of LIFEDesigns, Inc for 6 years, fundraised for Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, and served as treasurer for Your Art Here. She was also the president of the IU Asian Pacific American Alumni Association and was founder and chair of the Monroe County Commission on the Status of Women. This merely scratches the surface of the many ways in which she supported and served the people of Monroe County and the causes, including inclusion for people with disabilities, that were dear to her heart. She envisioned and worked toward a sustainable community that embraced all of its citizens, and in which she would be proud to raise her son, Finn.

The best way to honor Sophia Travis is to strive for genuine openness to other people. Make connections. Create without self-consciousness. Be generous with your compliments. Be fierce in your love and loyalty to your family and friends. Be steadfast in your commitment to social progress. Laugh heartily. Live fully. We wish to honor her with the Mayor’s Award because Sophia was an outstanding individual with a consistent history of working hard and passionately to better the community for people with disabilities. We are sad to have lost a great friend and advocate in Sophia Travis. This honor befits her as it will add to her great legacy, embodying the spirit of Sophia’s passion for people with disabilities in our community.

The video below is just a small glimpse of how Sophia helped make Bloomington and everyone she came in contact with better. We will miss Sophia dearly and will do what we can to honor her legacy of supporting people with disabilities.

If you would like to give to LIFEDesigns in Sophia Travis’ honor, we have started a memorial endowment fund. To donate, please designate Sophia in the memo line of your check or notes section of your PayPal donation. You may also contact our Community Development Officer, Leslie Abshier, at 812-332-9615 or by email at labshier (at)

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, enjoy those who you have in your life now and never forget those who, although gone from here, made an impact and left an impression with you forever.

Give to LIFEDesigns on Giving Tuesday

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We have a day for giving thanks: Thanksgiving, of course. We have two for getting deals: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year help create Giving Tuesday™, the giving season’s opening day!

On Tuesday November 27, 2012 charities, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.

It’s a simple idea. Find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to join in acts of giving. Tell everyone you can about what you are doing and why it matters. Join a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity and together we’ll create ways to give more, give better and give smarter.

One way to do it: DONATE NOW on our webpage securely through PayPal.

Thank you for your support! The people we serve with disabilities need your help this holiday season and year-round to live more independent lives.

LIFEDesigns’ Fall Newsletter

Newsletter Feature Image Fall 2012
Keep us with us if you can! We are always on the move, working with people with disabilities to become more independent. Check out what we have been up to by reading our quarterly Newsletter.
A preview of what you will find in the Fall Newsletter:
  • An article by CEO Susan Rinne about Crawford Apartments
  • Pictures of our customers participating in the Special Olympics
  • Our Annual Picnic and Halloween Party
  • A recap of Kids LEAP
  • Buddy Walk 2012
  • Information about our Holiday Party that you won’t want to miss


Keep an eye out for our Newsletters to come out quarterly.
If you are not receiving our newsletters and would like to or are only receiving them by mail, please sign-up below to receive them by e-mail and help us to go green, saving money by cutting out printing costs and saving the environment by helping us use less paper. Thanks!

LIFEDesigns’ Halloween Party – A Time to Celebrate Giving Back

The LIFEDesigns’ Halloween Party was Tuesday, October 30th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bloomington Moose Lodge.  This year’s bash, the most anticipated of the year for LIFEDesigns customers and staff, featured games, food, costumes, prizes, and dancing, with music provided by Dance Machine Entertainment. Volunteers from Indiana University’s Kelley School International Business Association and Chi Delta Phi Sorority provided volunteers for the event. Pizza was contributed by Pizza Hut and Pizza X. The Halloween party was open to the public and over 250 people attended.

In addition to the fun activities, LIFEDesigns celebrated giving back to the community.  After two months of fundraising, LIFEDesigns wrapped up their United Way of Monroe County Annual Campaign at the party with the “winners” of Penny Wars receiving a pie in the face!  Penny Wars is just one of the many activities LIFEDesigns hosts, giving staff the opportunity to support their local United Way.  Employees in the office also participated in Jeans for a Cause, paying a dollar a day to wear jeans to work throughout the month of October.  Payroll deduction to the United Way was also encouraged as employees who chose to donate i this way were entered into a raffle to win gas cards.  LIFEDesigns‘ goal was to raise 10% more for this year’s Monroe County Annual Campaign than last year’s: they more than succeeded as they nearly tripled their contributions this year!  LIFEDesigns is a United Way  agency in Monroe County, Lawrence County and Bartholomew County as services are provided mainly to residents in these three counties.  LIFEDesigns is proud to support the United Way because of all they do for the community.