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holiday caravan

WooSox Foundation Holiday Caravan Spreads
Joy Around Central Massachusetts

Led by Josh Ockimey and Rich Gedman, two award-winning members of the Worcester Red Sox, the inaugural “WooSox Foundation Holiday Caravan” visited charities from Leominster to Leicester and from Webster to Worcester in late December 2021. Ockimey, the club’s first baseman and first-ever recipient of the WooSox Foundation’s “Heart of the Heart” award for community service, teamed up with Gedman, his Hitting Coach, who won the charity’s inaugural eponymous “Geddy” award for his kindness and contributions to the community. Joining them were Mascots Smiley Ball and Woofster the WonderDog, along with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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At UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center, over 25 pediatric patients were greeted with smiles, board games, books, and arts & crafts. In gratitude for their service and sacrifice throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and doctors were gifted with Dunkin' gift cards, a fan-favorite amongst the medical staff. 

Storytime was held at the Worcester Public Library, captivating an audience of young readers and their friends Smiley Ball and Woofster the WonderDog. Children were sent home with books, stuffed animals, and a WooSox winter hat. 

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Stretching northward, the Caravan continued to Leominster for a visit to the Spanish American Center. With a special focus on the Hispanic and Latino communities, the Spanish American Center strives to foster self-sufficiency, equal opportunity, active participation in the community, and a better quality of life for their neighbors. 

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Addressing some of the needs at the eastern end of Central Massachusetts, the Caravan also spent time with foster families from Framingham’s Department of Children and Families in conjunction with the Wonderfund. Families were sent home with care packages comprising toys and books, as well as clothing and toiletries. Lovingly assembled by Kits for Kids of Marlborough, the gifts provide fun as well as everyday essentials to the children.

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The Holiday Caravan, funded by generous donors from our community, began just blocks away from Polar Park in the Canal District at St. John’s Food for the Poor, where representatives of the WooSox Foundation served breakfast to those in need. 

Just a few blocks further, the Caravan delivered toiletries, household supplies, and gift cards to Abby's House, a shelter in Worcester that provides affordable housing, resources, and advocacy services that empower women and their children to lead self-directed lives filled with dignity and hope. 

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Southward, the troupe traveled to Webster to bring gifts to the talented students in Our Bright Future’s after-school program, which supports students’ academic needs and pursuits of robotics, arts and crafts, and sports. The charity is based in neighboring Southbridge, Mass.

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