Circle of Love program sends thousands of presents to local kids

Circle of Love
Posted at 9:42 AM, Nov 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-19 09:42:21-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The UK Healthcare Career Center on Waller Avenue was jammed packed with dozens of trash bags Friday morning.

Every one of them filled to the brim.

Not with garbage but gifts to spread holiday cheer.

Thousands of toys, games, even clothing, all put together by UK Healthcare employees.

"It's a big effort that takes a lot of people and these are just some of our committee members that have volunteered their time to help bag tag and shop for our presents," UK Healthcare's Jennifer Lowery said.

This large effort of charity is tied to the Circle of Love program.

It's a decades old initiative used to help provide presents to kids and families who may not be able to afford them otherwise.

"The Circle of Love program has actually been around since probably 1983 or so," Lowery said.

"They adopt children. They go shopping, they bring them back and then we take it over from there. This year we had 614 children adopted."

Each kid in the program made a wish list of three gifts they wanted this year.

That equates to thousands of presents going to children across eight counties in Central Kentucky.

Friday morning was spent moving all the gifts out of the career center to cars, vans, trailers, even busses for delivery to schools across our area.

Larry Stevenson, has worked with Paris City Schools for about 10 years, is usually tasked with picking up the presents.

It's a job he's happy to do for the betterment of the children he sees in the halls everyday.

"It makes me feel good to know that the kids are taken care of. People come together and help the kids out," Stevenson said.

"As long as the kids are happy, I'm grand."

Each school has roughly 50 kids involved in the program each year to give presents to.

Lowery sees this delivery day as the kickoff to the holiday season for UK Healthcare, a way for them to help a lot of people go into Christmas with a smile.

"It is really fun. I know it's really early to be thinking about christmas but it kind of gets you in the spirit of the holidays," Lowery said.