LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The line for the buffet lunch was quite long. So too was the line to sign up for a “Secret Santa” gift several weeks ago. Inside the Ballard Tower living facility, Christmas can be an incredibly lonely and sad time of year, if the season isn’t managed properly here.
“Not everybody (here) has family, so we’re fortunate,” said Deborah Hartley.
Mrs. Hartley lives here with her husband. She has several family members nearby, so in that regard, she does consider herself to be very lucky. Many of her friends here are not in the same boat.
“This is my family. Not blood family, but family,” said Anna Logan. Logan said her family does not live close and other family members have passed away over the years. To her, what went on here today was everything.
The “Instead Home” group spends several weeks each year rounding up donated Christmas gifts from generous central Kentuckians, and after lunch was served, the social workers and other staff members at Ballard Tower distributed those gifts based on the sign-up list they received from residents.
“It makes their Christmas. Sometimes they don’t get anything, or this is the only thing they get, so when it’s sign-up time, we have lines out the door,” said social worker, Tiffany Jones.
Jones was one of a handful of people serving lunch and handing out the gifts. And Ballard staffers make sure no one feels alone at any time during the holiday season.
“We’ve got a big Christmas tree in the lobby so they all come and sit around. We’ve got Christmas music playing all day so they can talk and enjoy each other’s company,” Jones said.