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.


Kelly Wimberly, Director of Operations

Kelly was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas (where Operation HOPE is headquartered), and has attended Trinity Church since she was 14.

She has three children, Cody Wimberly, Macy Bostick and Cory Wimberly. All three of her children attended and graduated from Trinity Christian Schools. Kelly attended Texas Tech University where she received Bachelor of Science Degrees in Accounting and Petroleum Land Management.

She worked the past 13 years at Malouf’s in multiple roles varying from accounting to sales and buying. Kelly has also been a volunteer for Operation HOPE over the past several years and we are happy to have her as our full time director.

Her office door is always open should you ever wish to swing by the new office and visit with her or call (806)793-HOPE to find out more about what is going on at Operation HOPE.