Hometown Heroes: Leslie Woods

Lisa Fredrickson, Patti Parish-Kaminski and Leslie Woods.

Lisa Fredrickson, Patti Parish-Kaminski and Leslie Woods.

By Joan Frances –

Fort Bend County is privileged to have so many residents who work full-time jobs, have families to support and still find time to work at a fundraiser or knock on doors asking for financial support for a worthy cause. These living angels are happy to work behind the scenes, unnoticed, and they do not look for gratification. These are the people who stand out the most. A perfect example of this kind of person is Leslie Woods, who is the chairperson for Crime Stoppers, vice chairman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Paint Horse committee and is actively engaged in the Fort Bend Family YMCA, Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Rainbow Room and Project S.M.I.L.E. It’s her turn to shine.

Woods is a native Houstonian and moved to Fort Bend County 25 years ago with her daughter, Lauren. She works for G.A.S. Unlimited/HPP, a locally owned staffing firm. Her father always told her, “Don’t complain unless you are willing to do something about it.” As a single parent, Woods loves giving back to the community. In 1995, she joined Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers to be engaged in the activities of the area. As chairman, Woods meets with volunteers every month to discuss fundraising, rewards from the tip line and community awareness of the program.

When asked what she enjoys the most about her involvement, Woods said, “Making every moment of every day a positive step to improving the quality of life for every person is what gives me the most pleasure. To see a smile, hear a supportive statement and watch the light in their eyes with gratitude is what I find is so fulfilling, and it makes me want to do more to help.”

Woods is also the chairman of the Strengthening Families Committee for the Fort Bend Family YMCA. About eight years ago, she helped start a Parents Night Out program in which once a month, the YMCA opens its doors from 6 to 9 pm to families so parents can have some time alone. Dinner is prepared for the kids along with movie night, game night or a holiday celebration. Woods was 2014 Volunteer of the Year and has served on the board for 12 years.

Executive Director of the YMCA Pam Filip has known Woods for 10 years. “Leslie is an amazing person with spiritual passion and commitment,” said Filip. “She is a mentor with the highest degree of credibility, respect and integrity, and she is my friend.”

Woods is also a 20 year member of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land. Her favorite project is Santa’s Exchange, a project that gives Christmas gifts to over 3,000 children through Toys for Tots. Woods is a member of the Advisory Council for the Rainbow Room, an organization that provides emergency and transitional supplies for children and families in crisis. She also works with Carolyn Tarver, founder of Project S.M.I.L.E. (Stan’s Memory Includes Loving Everyone). This organization distributes school supplies to students from low-income families in Fort Bend County.

Along with her extensive resume, Woods is an outstanding cook. She is in charge of hospitality for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Paint Horse committee. Along with several volunteers, they prepare and serve food for 350 to 500 entrants and committee members for the Paint Horse Show. They also raise money to provide the food every year.

Fort Bend County is so lucky to have Leslie, a devoted individual, who is a blessing to everyone she meets. Thank you for your contributions and commitment to making our world a better place to live.