THOMAS, MEET LEENA. LEENA, MEET THOMAS.

Overcoming Isolation

Daily Call Sheet is our Social Connections program pairing industry members around common interests. Read this remarkable story of deja vous.

THOMAS, MEET LEENA. LEENA, MEET THOMAS.

Overcoming Isolation

Daily Call Sheet is our Social Connections program pairing industry members around common interests. Read this remarkable story of deja vous.

SERVICES HIGHLIGHTED IN THIS STORY: SOCIAL CONNECTIONS > VOLUNTEER > 

In the 1980s Thomas Baxter dressed the revolutionary feminist, crime-fighting duo of Cagney and Lacey, just one in a string of shows Thomas worked on as a costume designer. He was a proud member of Local 892 and 705. Retired after 22 years, Thomas now lives in a nursing home in Michigan, a long way from “home” in Hollywood. He was happy to share his experience and praise for MPTF after radiation treatment one afternoon.

At 65, Thomas moved cross-country to be close to family. However, when his sister had trouble accepting him because he is gay, Thomas found himself distant from everyone, and often alone with his thoughts. “Because I lost everybody,” he says poignantly.

Daily Call Sheet was designed especially for industry members like Thomas who find themselves isolated, less mobile, and surrounded by fewer friends and family. As a member of the entertainment community, Thomas’ MPTF social worker reached out to Maureen Feldman, program director, MPTF’s Daily Call Sheet, who matched him with volunteers who were looking for their own connection.

“I’m not alone anymore.” 

-THOMAS BAXTER

“I’m not alone anymore.” 

-THOMAS BAXTER

Thomas was paired with Leena Dunn, a fellow costume designer. After a few minutes on their first call comparing shows they had worked on, Leena said, “Literally, my heart stopped. I said, ‘Thomas? I think we know each other!’ He was floored. And then he started to cry. It was the best reunion ever!”

It was a dramatic moment for them both. Two members of a work family who had drifted apart were suddenly, heartachingly together again. For Thomas, it was a beacon of hope for the future.

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