LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The presents are piling up under the tree inside Mona Ashby’s home, but if there’s isn’t a single gift for her, that would be just fine.
“Honey, if I don’t get another present for Christmas, (that’s fine) because this is it,” she said of the home she now owns.
Ashby was the beneficiary when LEX 18, and CHI St. Joseph Health teamed up with Lexington’s Habitat for Humanity program to make Ashby a home owner for the first time in her life. The foundation was poured in the spring, and she was able to move in by fall. Now, on Christmas Eve, her grandson and a nephew are lying in bed, relaxing and, as Mona said, “being quiet, for once!” They’re probably making sure they don’t end up on Santa’s “naughty list” so close to the big day.
But for Mona, the big day came and went months ago. “It’s all still surreal to me, knowing this is mine,” she said. The home has several bedrooms, plenty of space for entertaining and a fenced yard, which she says she cannot wait to use this summer. Many of the walls are adorned with various spiritual messages, which serve as a reminder to Mona.
“Pretty much every room has something about God and having faith, because that’s what I had to do to appreciate and get through life,” she said.
Mona works in the office at UK’s School of Dentistry. She said her monthly mortgage payments through this program are actually less than what she paid while renting a place she couldn’t call her own. Now she gets a chance, for the first time as a adult, to wake up in a home she owns that’ll be filled with young people on Christmas morning.
“There’s nothing you could say about it, to explain how I feel. It’s the best Christmas present I could ever expect, or have,” she gushed.