Dr. John Thomas, Founder
Dr. Thomas, a general surgeon practicing in Lubbock, Texas, founded Operation HOPE in 1999.
“I am blessed; I feel like it is my duty to give back to others. In order for us to effectively be the hands and feet of Christ and to do the things we do, we need partners like you who believe in giving, going, praying, and offering your support. I hope that, as you look through this website, God will move in your heart and encourage you to get involved and partner with us as the hands and feet of Christ.”
Operation HOPE was founded in 1999 when Dr. Thomas brought a Bolivian boy to the U.S. for surgery, but upon arrival the doctors decided he wouldn’t survive the operation. The boy's final wish was to to go Disney World and see Mickey Mouse. Dr. Thomas was determined to provide this one wish and with the support of family and friends, created Operation HOPE.
Since Dr. Thomas’ initial trip to Bolivia, He has led our organization across the globe to nations including Kenya, Malawi, India, Iraq, and most recently where we are currently focused - Haiti.
Dr Thomas’ accomplishments include the following: Service medal in Iraq: Presented by American four-star General Ray Orderino Service medal in Iraq: Presented by Joint Chief of Staff of the Iraqi forces, General Babekar Zibari 2009 Red Cross Award: Presented by Congressman Randy Neugebauer - Red Cross medical champion of the year- received the United States flag flown on Capitol Hill on September 11, 2006 Recipient of the 2012 Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Kim Felty, Executive Director
Kim Felty joined the staff of Operation HOPE in August of 2019, bringing with her a passion for service, as well as for facilitation and organization of ministry opportunities.
For the past eleven years, she held the position of High School Librarian, working closely with teachers, students and administrators to ensure they had the informational and technological resources necessary for their success. Prior to that, Kim worked in retail as a manager, buyer and merchandizer. Before, during and after her college years, she participated in evangelistic musical outreach ministries locally, nationally and internationally. It was on one of these teams she met her husband, Brian, working side by side with him in youth and worship ministry for six years.
Kim’s varied background has prepared her for a range of challenges we face in being the hands and feet of Jesus in various parts of the world in which we minister. Kim and Brian have two children who have recently completed their studies and are now engaged in careers in the music industry.
We see the Lord’s hand in orchestrating the timing and life experiences that have brought Kim to Operation HOPE.