By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (CBS) — Woody Wolfe once dreamed of filling arenas. But these days, he works filling the hearts of young people in the midst of battles for their lives.
“Things that we let bend us out of shape, these kids just take in stride,” says Wolfe, 60, who founded Heart to Hand Ministries in 1992 after volunteering his time for eleven years.
A musician, Wolfe visits his young patients, bringing happiness through song.
“Music just seems to touch the innermost part of a person,” he says.
Although Wolfe grew up listening to the Beatles, he takes requests of all types.
“Right now the most popular is Katy Perry’s ‘Roar,’ ” he notes. He says he also gets numerous requests for “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”
Wolfe is a husband, father, and grandfather to eight-year-old Morgan, who has taught him to embrace his innermost Katy Perry. He also plays guitar and raps.
But what Wolfe really does is brings smiles to kids faces, helping families let their guard down and remember that their sick child is still just a kid.
“I don’t think my mission is more important than that: to let children be children. They deserve that,” says Wolfe, who just cut his beard in honor of one of his young friends who got a transplant after a three-year wait.
“I told him I wouldn’t cut my beard until Christmas or until he got his transplant,” he says. “I got to cut it early.”
Wolfe says getting good news about one of his young friends, making youngsters laugh, or singing with them reminds him that he has made it big.
“They’ve helped me see how valuable life is,” says Wolfe. “It’s no more valuable a gift than what we already have in most cases.”
Hear the podcast…
Know someone in your community who cares enough to give back? Nominate them for KYW Newsradio news coverage at firstname.lastname@example.org!