CommunityHeroes Among Us


Local 'hero' spends time spreading love to seniors at Sayre Christian Village

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Feb 14, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — No matter what the event or what time of year, there is a woman who shows up at Sayre Christian Village to do nothing else but love.

"We could not run any of our activities without our volunteers. So they are very, very helpful," says resident Pat Wilson.

Meet Barbara Burton, a retired lawyer who moved with her husband to the Bluegrass 20 years ago and has found retirement lacking.

"There are downsides to being retired," laughs Burton. "You can just turn into a couch potato, and I've always been active."

Sayre CEO Karen Venis is grateful that Burton chooses not to spend her days on the couch, knitting, or watching TV.

"She lights up rooms and faces everywhere she goes. She is truly one that is the hands and feet of Jesus," says Venis. "And so, for her to pass through here at Christmastime, whether she's involved with residents or staff, it's a blessing for us every single time."

Last October, Sayre recognized Burton with an award to commemorate her commitment to serving their residents and the community at large.

Burton says she hopes she fills a need for those with whom she contacts.

"I felt that a lot when I practiced law. There were a lot of cases that the people needed love."

Venis says Burton does just that with every visit.

"You can see her now with just so much grace and so much compassion, certainly for us in our environment with the elderly, which is just so important to what we do here on our campus."

When I asked her what motivates her to do this, the Miami native struggled to come up with an answer.

"I like people, I like to be active. I just like to be around people. And if I can bless them and talk about Jesus, it's just what I do."

Burton does more than just this. She changes lives; several hundred at last count. The other part of her powerful journey – next week in our "Heroes Among Us" series.