December 17, 2008
Holiday events benefit homeless
By John Gleason
During this time of the year, as many are caught up in the trappings of the season, there are those for whom the ultimate Christmas wish is nothing more then a hot meal or a warm place to stay. No one knew this better then Msgr C.B. Woodrich, better known as “Father Woody” who, in his years of ministry, helped thousands of people who were hungry, homeless and often didn’t even have a warm coat to get them through the winter.
Father Woody was fond of saying “we are here to serve—not to judge,” a philosophy that thousands have adopted and followed through the years, opening up their hearts each year.
It is through the generosity of hundreds and the determination and inventive spirit of Father Woody, two events take place this season that otherwise may never have happened: the Father Woody Money Giveaway and the Father Woody Christmas Party for the Homeless.
Father Woody began the money giveaway more than two decades ago with the help of an anonymous donor. Originally held at Holy Ghost Church, where Father Woody was pastor, and later moved to the cathedral, every adult who comes to participate in the praise and worship service receives $20 and all the children receive McDonald’s gift certificates.
For almost 30 years, the Father Woody Christmas Party plays host to thousands of people who show up seeking a hot meal. While dining, the guests are entertained by choirs and musicians, and for the children there is something special: a gift and a personal visit with Santa.
Each year, the Christmas party attracts hundreds of volunteers who come to wrap presents or serve meals or be part of the entertainment. It’s a tribute to the spirit of giving as well as to the memory of Father Woody, according to event coordinator Victoria McCabe.
“Father Woody conceived this beautiful event and continued to make it happen until he was called home to God,” McCabe said. “We have organizations and individuals who come from all walks to be part of it; it’s a city-wide expression of generosity, care and loving.”
Making reference that many hands make light work, McCabe said that anyone interested in volunteering for the Father Woody Christmas events may do so by calling 303-715-3154. Leave a message with name and phone number.