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.
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) lifedesignsinc.org.
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.