The Courage Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, will present Jordan Thomas with its National Courage Award on Saturday, August 15. The annual award recognizes an individual’s contributions to the health, welfare, and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. The award is being presented during the Medtronic Celebration of Courage Gala at The Depot in Minneapolis.
“To be included in this remarkable company of prior winners is a tremendous honor,” Thomas said. “I am grateful to Courage Center for this award and furthering the recognition of the foundation and its mission to help kids in need of prosthetic devices.”
Four years ago, at the age of 16, Thomas was scuba diving in the Florida Keys with his family when the boat’s propeller struck him. He lost both of his legs from the calf down. After a period of therapy and rehabilitation, he returned to high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, rejoining his teammates on the golf and bowling teams for his senior year. He will soon begin his junior year at the College of Charleston, South Carolina.
While hospitalized after his injury, Thomas was touched by the kids he saw who did not have the money to continue their recovery and rehabilitation. Thomas wanted to help these children, so with the help of his family, at just 16, set up the Jordan Thomas Foundation to raise money for disadvantaged children with traumatic injuries who need prosthetics and orthotics.
To date, Thomas’ foundation has raised $350,000, and is changing the lives of three children. He is also active in advocating for change in the way insurance companies cover prosthetic and orthotic devices.
In addition to the National Courage Award, this year Thomas was named Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).