Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Team Thomas

Halloween was a little different this year.  Thomas Jessop is a 14-year-old triathlete who has peddled across the USA this summer and fall.  He was supported by his 15-year old brother David and father as they travelled in a converted bus with him from Santa Barbara, CA to Florida.  Thomas is raising awareness for the homeless, in particular the "half homeless" who live in automobiles but often face difficulties finding places to park them overnight.  He has been featured in several news articles across the country including this one and this one.  Bethany met them at her church, Unity Renaissance, and we had them over for dinner during their brief stay in Hampton Roads.

We hooked him up with Harlan's Cannondale frame and other parts that were left over from donations we got for the Broad Creek Bike fair.  Chad (pictured left) set up Thomas with those sweet Sidi shoes (pictured above) and Wes (right) brought over some components for the frame.  We also had some wheels left over and the brand new Fat Frogs insulated skin suit that Amber Goins donated!  Thomas is also the proud owner of a 757cx skinsuit, but I warned him about how impossible it will be for him to breathe in it! 

Here is their travelling home.  Next stop is Washington, DC where they hope to get a meeting in the White House to talk about the homeless.  I hope Pennsylvania Ave. can handle this beast!

We still got to hand out candy and hang with Mini Mouse, so the holiday retained some convention.  Kaitlyn is pictured here with Jen Cohen. 


--Art said...

I'm not sure that kid can talk about being homeless--that bus is awesome!

After my graduation from UVA I took a Spanish class that lasted half of the summer term, but I didn't manage to hook up any accommodations. Woke up one morning in the back of my stifling hot Subaru wagon with the campus police peering in through the cracked windows. I showed my student ID and they didn't cause much trouble, but I ended up "moving" to a church parking lot where I went undisturbed reading--Shaw's "Saint Joan" was one, I think--and enjoying the rain splashing on the illuminated black top that I had all to myself.

Nice job getting all those donations, Liz.

Liz Schleeper said...

Oh, Art, I LOVE "Saint Joan" but I think Shaw's "Major Barbara" would have been the more fitting companion in the car that night! I never knew you spent a "half homeless" summer at UVA!

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that I saw that bus in Santa Barbara, parked along the beach, in January of 09 AND 08. Whoever is living in there has the same square footage as I do. PLUS, they have a BBQ :-( and I don't.

Liz Schleeper said...

The Jessop family lives there--Thomas, David and father--along with 3 dogs. It was in Hampton Roads Sunday.