Woman provides Christmas dinner to all Newport News law enforcement


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News woman is giving back to local law enforcement on Christmas for the third year in a row.

It first started as something for her son, and then grew into so much more.

Phyllis Mather knew she wanted to give back to not just her son’s police department, but to all the precincts in Newport News.

“Today we are celebrating our law enforcement officers who have to work holidays, weekends, vacation times with their family,” said Mather.

And the way Mather celebrates is with food, food and more food.

“My son became an officer three years ago and that was the first Christmas he’d ever missed,” she said.

It was then she knew just because her son, David Mather, wasn’t home for dinner didn’t mean dinner couldn’t come to him.

“So I decided to make Christmas dinner for all the guys, and ever since then it’s become a tradition,” she said.

It’s a tradition that includes homemade collards, yams, sweets and everything in between.

“Because everybody works and because they are so loyal to our city and our law enforcement officers that I felt they needed a little pick-me-up for the holidays,” she said.

David Mather says he wouldn’t expect anything less from his generous mother.

“It didn’t even surprise me because I figured she was going to keep stepping up every year and do more and more,” he said. “I know the first year she did the central and last year she did all the precincts.”

This year she added the Newport News Sheriff’s Office, bringing the total to 200 mouths to feed. She says this is what the holidays are all about.

“It’s about giving back to those who serve us, and I have an excellent group of volunteers and people who’ve donated who feel the same way, that we need to thank out law enforcement officers for a thankless job sometimes,” Phyllis Mather said.

Mather said next year she has plans to feed not only Newport News law enforcement, but also the Hampton Police Division. 

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