Children's Shelter opens new campus

Million-dollar campus named for benefactor Glenda Woods

Author: Ursula Pari, Anchor,
Published On: Jan 22 2013 04:23:55 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 22 2013 05:03:09 PM CST

On Tuesday, the Children's Shelter is honoring a woman by giving their campus her name -- the Glenda Woods Campus for Children and Families.

And for good reason.

Thousands of abused, neglected and abandoned children owe her greatly.

"We would sit sometimes and look at the children and just looking at their eyes and wonder what their eyes had seen and could they ever really recover from that," said Woods' best friend, Harriet Helmle.

Woods started small at the shelter, as a volunteer helper. She ended up a crucial member of the board, raising funds.

When she died in 2010, her husband, Gary Woods, decided to make the shelter her legacy.

"She was sweet," he said. "She was loving. She was beautiful."

"We serve over 4,000 children and families," said Annette Rodriguez, president of the Children's Shelter. "We have this beautiful campus (and we are) able to provide services to the community. We would not be able to do that without Mrs. Woods."

It's been an evolution -- changing with Glenda Woods' help -- from just a warehouse for kids taken from their homes due to abuse and neglet to something far greater.

"We also now help with families who are in crisis," Rodriguez said. "We want to prevent child abuse. We want to work with teen mom who may be struggling and may be in challenging situations. We want to work with dads who needs some parenting support."

The shelter has actually been around in San Antonio since 1901.

It's moved from downtown to West Woodlawn and changed dramatically in the process.

It even offers help for teen mothers seeking pre-natal care.