Volunteer Work

Bracken's Kitchen volunteer work

Larry recently traveled to Bracken's Kitchen in the Los Angeles area to volunteer in their kitchen. He and his wife worked there for three days, chopping onions and other produce which became delicious meals to feed the hungry.

While there he was videotaped by the CEO Bill Bracken:

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Community Sharing

Larry currently volunteers with Community Sharing located in Cottage Grove:

For more than 35 years, Community Sharing Program has been extending a helping hand to people in need. Caring residents founded Community Sharing when a local lumber mill closed, forcing dozens of families into economic crisis.

Today, more than 5500 individuals rely on Community Sharing to help them meet their basic needs. Its food pantry, a member of the Oregon Food Bank system, provides eligible families with 3-5 days’ worth of food each month, including meat, produce, non-perishable items, breads, and dairy products (as available).

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Larry's Story

 

In 2002, Larry Woody was heading toward Eugene, Oregon when the driver of an oncoming tractor-trailer lost control of his rig. Woody's Toyota Celica was no match; the accident broke his back and shattered bones in his face. Seven hours of surgery closed the wounds and set the bones - but doctors weren't able to restore his sight. Suddenly, the everyday activities the then 42-year-old had taken for granted weren't so routine anymore.

 

Larry Woody

Woody had spent decades fixing, racing and restoring cars - and being sightless was no reason to stop tinkering. "So much of it is done by feel anyway," he says. "I just use my hands to see what I'm doing now." He opened his own place, D&D Automotive, in Cottage Grove, Oregon, a quiet town with a population of less than 10,000. A town that needs mentors like Woody.

Down the road from Woody's shop, Cottage Grove High School instituted a School to Work program that matches students with local community mentors. One of the school's first calls was to Woody. "Not every student is meant to spend years in college," he says. "If I can do something to help while they're in high school, it offers them direction and a little bit of experience."

And a little bit of inspiration. Woody's first apprentice was a 17-year-old named Otto Shima - who was deaf. "He's just another student, and I'm just another guy trying to help him," Woody says. Last year, a girl named Scarlett Fulton spent three months at the shop learning the trade, and soon a new student will arrive. "It's a small town, so everyone heard about the accident," says Denise Beauchamp, who oversees the program. "Being paired with Larry is empowering for these students, because often they're struggling in their own ways."

~Article from Popular Mechanics, August 2010

My Choice

"I just want to let people out there (that have a disability) know...they have a choice to make - to give up, or take the disability and continue on with their lives because they can. If I can work on cars, run my shop, drive cars... then there are things they can do as well, if they really choose to do it." - Larry Woody