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Who Was Sylvia Thomas?

Find out why our roots run deep in Florida's adoptive and foster family communities.

Sylvia Thomas was a trailblazer among child welfare professionals in Hillsborough County, Florida. Dedicated to families, she championed the need to ensure permanency in family relationships for the adoptive and foster families in her charge. Sylvia tirelessly worked in her community to help dependent and displaced children and their families overcome obstacles, evolve together, and grow as a family should. Sylvia made herself available to families as a listener, supporter, assistant, and advisor. She solved everyday challenges that adoptive and foster families and children face.

Following her untimely death in 2000, friends and colleagues chose to honor her memory by creating a safe place for adoptive and foster families to share their struggles and their successes. From the vision, the Sylvia Thomas Center was born. As a 501(c)(3) organization, STC continues to operate free of charge to families by receiving funding from Eckerd Connects – Hillsborough (our local community-based care lead agency), corporate foundations, civic organizations, and private donors and volunteers.

Without the generosity of our donors, partners, and community, we could not do what we do.

Meet Fernando (15)

If you had to condense all of Fernando’s characteristics into one word, it would be Loyal. He’s fiercely devoted to friends and family, and he’d go to the ends of the earth for the people he loves. Fernando has…

Become A Volunteer

Learn how you can become a Sylvia Thomas Center Certified Volunteer today!


If helping adoptive and foster families is something you're passionate about, contact Kitty Einsmann at the Sylvia Thomas Center to connect and learn more about volunteer opportunities.


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