How This Actress Is Helping To Transform Lives

Created on Thursday, 16 Jul 2015 23:23:08

Best known for her roles in The Joy Luck Club, Supernatural and Friends, actress Lauren Tom has recently taken on a new part… team captain and fundraiser for Homeboy Industries’ Every Angeleno Counts 5K on October 24.

Originally from Chicago, Tom was a dancer on Broadway and lived in New York City before moving to Los Angeles twenty-five years ago to pursue work in film and television. Combining her onscreen roles with voiceover work for animation has allowed her more time to spend with her sons, now 11 and 14.


Tom first learned about Homeboy Industries and Father Greg Boyle when the moms at her sons’ school formed a book club. “One of the moms chose Tattoos on the Heart. Father Boyle was scheduled to speak at our kids’ school so we thought it would be fun to read the book before we saw him.”


For Tom, the book proved to be the perfect portal to Homeboy’s mission. “I was just so taken with it—it’s my favorite kind of book. It has so much humor and is so heartbreaking at the same time. To me, that’s the best kind of entertainment. I just fell in love with that book! I went to go see him speak in person. He’s such a powerful speaker that I just developed a passion for supporting his work.”


 And now? “I can’t stop fundraising!” Tom says with a laugh. The actress often attends conventions and events for fans of her shows, particularly Supernatural. “It’s the perfect platform for me to reach a lot of people and I get to brag about Homeboy!”

Fans have been very enthusiastic supporters. Says Tom, “To me, everything in life is about relationships. If you can establish strong relationships of trust, then you can really lead people and point them in a worthy direction. I love these fans. They’re willing to trust me and go there, and I feel I’m giving them a gift by turning them on to this organization. It’s so uplifting.”  


Tom has participated in the last four Homeboy 5K events. “This my first time being a team captain and this is all really new for me.” Tom, who plays Mrs. Tran on Supernatural, has used the show’s incredible fan base to recruit members for her team. So far, there are 18 members on Tom’s team. She is looking forward to recruiting more participants in the next few months. “I’m hoping I can grow that number to 50 people.”


Is it difficult to recruit team members? Tom says, “I have run across the feedback of ‘Oh gosh, I can’t run, I’m not fit, I’m so bad at that.’ Are you kidding me? I’m not running! We can half jog, half walk it. Don’t worry about running it. I have to reassure people that it doesn’t have to be a race. It’s about fun and the cause.”

Tom adds that creative incentives are a good way to attract people to your team.  She has held breakfast raffles for fans and she follows people back on Twitter. “I had a necklace made for the person who raises the most. Presents are always a good way to go. Something creative or fun as a perk, depending on what you do—these are the kinds of things you might offer as an incentive.”


Tom’s team, SPN Family, will be just one of the amazing teams at the starting line this October. “One of the show’s themes is ‘saving lives,’” says Tom. “This is what Homeboy is doing—Homeboy is literally saving lives! Let’s just link it all together!”


Click here to join Lauren as a Team Captain or Fundraiser for the 5k!

Check out this article from our top fundraiser and team captain!

Posted by Homeboy Industries Every Angeleno Counts 5K & Festival on Thursday, July 16, 2015

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Homeboy Industries is the largest & most successful gang rehabilitation and reentry program in the world.  

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Every Angeleno Counts 5K & Festival?
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