KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One artist, or "guitartist," has got a "Blank Space" or two for Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to sign on her custom-painted guitar.
Tiffany Thompson has been painting custom guitars for several years now as a part of her Guitartist business, where she then donates the guitars and any money she raises to a charity of her choice.
This time around, she’s doing that with her Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce-inspired guitar after her boyfriend suggested doing so to get in on the craze surrounding them now.
“I always pick the charities that are really close to my heart, and Hope House has been very close to my heart because they helped me back in 2015,” Thompson said.
Back in 2015, Thompson was experiencing domestic violence and turned to Hope House, a domestic violence shelter here in the Kansas City area.
“I ended up in Kansas City after a domestic violence incident, and I just had to figure it out, you know, in my 40s with about $43 in my wallet,” Thompson said. “I didn’t have anywhere else that I could go.”
When she turned to Hope House, it became a safe space for her.
“I got the counseling I needed, and it wasn’t the first time I’d been in a domestic violence shelter, but it was the last time,” she said. “It was just a safe place where you can get a good night sleep and you don’t worry.”
Now, she’s paying it forward by hoping to get Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce to sign her custom-made guitar as an auction items for Hope House’s gala in August.
“What I would love to see, other than my signature that’s already on the guitar, is to get Taylor Swift to sign it and Travis Kelce to sign it, and then 100% of the money we raise is going to Hope House,” Thompson said. “It would raise a lot more money with their signatures on it than just my signature.”
Hope House CEO MaryAnne Metheny has been with the organization for 31 years. Though she and Thompson never crossed paths until their interviews, Thompson’s story reminded Metheny of why she’s done her job for so long.
“Our goal is to help people where they are and to help them work through the crisis that they’ve had in their life,” Metheny said. “So to know that we were a part of that and we helped that, that’s why I’m here everyday.”
Metheny says like Thompson, many people feel they’re all alone when it comes to seeking help in domestic violence situations. It’s why she wants people to know not only is the issue constant, but so is the support.
“Domestic violence is one of those things in our society that nobody wants to talk about,” Metheny said. “Our goal is that people know that there are services available and that you don’t have to do it alone.”
In addition to shelter, Hope House provides numerous other services, including help in court, responding to hospitals, offering therapy and more.
“Our hope is that we can meet people where they are,” Metheny said.
And when Metheny met Thompson for the first time, it was in a very special place both literally — at the Hope House shelter — and figuratively.
“I’m now at a place where I can just turn around and help others, and I help someone every single year with this,” Thompson said.
This year has already been full of travel across the country to raise awareness about her goal, one that’s been met with much support.
“It’s the best feeling in the world that people are as excited as I am about this cause,” Thompson said.
She spent weeks in places like Colorado and St. Louis spreading the word, and she even received items along the way. For instance, one Swiftie named Ailey made her Swift and Chiefs-themed friendship bracelets, and left her with a note for whoever gets the guitar, plus a personalized note for Taylor Swift.
Even though she’s still waiting for those special signatures, having a "Taylor" brand guitar isn’t a bad place to start. But with or without the signatures, it’s her story that she hopes leaves a mark on survivors everywhere.
“I think that everybody talking about it and raising awareness just lets people know that they’re not alone, that there’s help out there and that you can always have a fabulous life once you take that first step,” Thompson said.
For more information about House Hope and its services, visit its website here or call its 24-hour hotline at 816-461-HOPE (4673).