Keep Dreaming Big Project: Restoring hope after hidden abuse

Story by Bora Laci. Photo provided by Keep Dreaming Big Project.

There is an organization in Dallas that stands out for its holistic focus on enriching lives and restoring hope of abuse survivors. Keep Dreaming Big Project was founded with a vision to grant life-enriching wishes and create awareness about more easily hidden forms of abuse.

Ms. Shannon Thomas, an internationally recognized specialist in the area of trauma-informed therapy. Shannon is the author of two bestselling books on the topics of hidden psychological abuse and financial exploitation and abuse. Shannon works exclusively with clients who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth region and offers in-person counseling sessions.

As a trauma therapist specializing in assisting survivors of psychological and financial abuse, Ms. Shannon Thomas, the founder of Keep Dreaming Big Project, witnessed the struggles faced by these individuals on their path to recovery. She saw a need for initiatives that could bring joy, hope, and moments of fun into the lives of survivors. The organization was born from this vision, with a clear mission to grant life-enriching wishes and raise awareness about the less visible forms of abuse.

Keep Dreaming Big Project’s core initiatives align perfectly with its mission to enrich the lives of abuse survivors. The four main programs that the organization is focused on include Wish Fulfillment, an Education Campaign, the M. Walker Scholarship fund, and the Ambassador Program.

The heart of the organization lies in granting life-enriching wishes through partner agencies. By collaborating with local 501(c)(3) organizations, Keep Dreaming Big Project ensures that survivors’ wishes are granted. Ranging everywhere from providing season passes to zoos and organizing spa days for self-care to replacing treasured belongings destroyed during abusive episodes, these wishes have brought joy and healing to survivors.

Beyond the joy of granting wishes, the organization also aims to raise awareness about hidden psychological and financial abuse through an education campaign. This includes donating copies of the founder’s international bestselling book, “Healing from Hidden Abuse,” to libraries and mental health professionals working with abuse victims. Access to resources through libraries is crucial for victims who may have financial constraints or fear retaliation from their abusers.

According to Shannon, Keep Dreaming does not only support the education of survivors, they also impact the lives of those interested in pursuing careers in the same path she pursued. In honor of Mary Walker, the organization awards the M. Walker Education Scholarship to a graduate student pursuing a degree in the mental health field. This scholarship not only supports higher education but also encourages talented individuals to become advocates for abuse survivors.

Community involvement is also a core value of the Keep Dreaming Big Project. It works to actively engage volunteers through its ambassador program. Ambassadors assist with fundraising ideas, introduce the organization to new nonprofit agencies, and coordinate local speaking and book signing events.

The impact of Keep Dreaming Big Project can be seen in the lives of survivors who have benefited from its programs. One of the most touching success stories involved replacing a beloved musical instrument that was destroyed during a domestic violence episode. By gifting a new instrument, the organization helped the survivor reclaim a part of her identity that the abuser sought to destroy permanently.

The Keep Dreaming Big Project is special because of its focus on restoration. While basic needs are vital, the organization believes that true healing comes from fostering hope and joy in the lives of survivors. By addressing the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery, the organization complements the efforts of other nonprofits in the community.

While the organization has made significant strides in enriching lives, it faces challenges in reaching new nonprofit partners and encouraging their staff to submit Wish Requests on behalf of the survivors they serve. Nevertheless, the team remains dedicated to its vision and aspires to expand its partnership with agencies that support survivors of human trafficking.

“Being a part of Keep Dreaming Big Project has been deeply fulfilling,” Shannon says. She finds great honor in giving back to the community and witnessing the positive transformations in the lives of survivors.

To individuals and organizations considering community-focused initiatives, Keep Dreaming Big Project offers valuable advice: stay true to your mission. Keeping a focused vision and having an engaged and committed Board of Directors with the same values can drive a project forward and make a lasting impact.

As it continues to grow, the project aims to expand its reach and impact, working towards a world where every survivor can dream big and find restoration on their journey to healing. Together, the community can support the vision and create a brighter future for all abuse survivors.

For those interested in supporting Keep Dreaming Big Project’s initiatives, the organization’s website is the gateway to making a difference. Volunteers can join as Ambassadors, and community members can contribute to granting life-enriching wishes and creating awareness about hidden abuse.