Turning tragedy into triumph. That’s the mission of an Indian River County family that lost their loved one, Alteria Woods, 21, in an deputy-involved shooting more than three years ago.
This weekend, the Alteria M. Woods Memorial Foundation is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner food drive to give a free meal to people who need it most.
“I think I have 80 turkeys, but I’ll have more come tomorrow,” said Yolanda Woods, Alteria’s mother.
Yolanda, her daughter Alexus, and several volunteers helped pack bags of food to prepare for the weekend drive.
“We want to make sure that she’s a part of history now that we can’t erase, so I want to make sure she remains a legacy. People still remember her for her kindness, so this is one way that we can give back in her name and her memory.”
In addition to the food drive, the foundation also supports the homeless, raises money for scholarships, and it is planning a toy drive in December.
Woods said she just wants to do as much as she can to honor her daughter.
“Whatever pops in my head at that moment, that’s what I go with. I also think it’s important to see the need in the community,” Woods said.
The food drive comes at a crucial time when COVID-19 is putting more families at risk for food insecurity. She also felt a renewed drive to honor her daughter this year following the death of Breonna Taylor, another young woman killed in a law enforcement shooting.
“I could just imagine what her mom was going through because I went through that. So, my biggest thing with all of this is to fight. Stand up. Keep fighting. Keep your child’s memory alive. That’s why I do what I do for Alteria because I want to make sure the world continues to know who she is,” Woods said.
The food drive will be a drive-thru and masks will be required for COVID-19 safety.
It’s happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Church of God by Faith on 58th Avenue in Sebastian.