Throughout this Christmas season, WKYT is bringing you stories of Kentuckians helping those less fortunate. Missy Ward is helping seniors have a merry Christmas. A chance conversation with a friend a couple years ago led her to start a gift drive for people in nursing homes.
"I just had it on my heart that seniors were so forgotten," said Ward.
"Somebody told me what they wanted for Christmas, things like good smelling lotion, a new UK hat, baseball cards, a roll of quarters to put in the vending machine, and it just seemed so simple and I thought if I can just find a way to get the word out that I know the community will come out and help these folks."
People in nursing homes, Ward says, don't always get visits from family on Christmas Day. They don't often get presents to unwrap, either. Ward is working with ten nursing homes in five Central Kentucky counties to play Santa to seniors.
"Somebody wants a cat calendar, another person wants some Steelers sweatshirts, another wants a book of cars, some baby dolls, a lot of simple things," notes Ward. "You see people looking at the trees, they're gonna connect with one. That was my grandmother's favorite perfume, or my dad loved the Steelers and I'm gonna get that for them. There's a connection."
At her Rector Hayden Realtors office off Duval Street, you'll find gift tags hanging on trees. Each tag lists a senior's wishes - three gifts. She's asking shoppers to pick a senior, buy the gifts, wrap them up, and return them to their office. They'll deliver the gifts in time for Christmas.
Pick up tags and drop off gifts at Rector Hayden Realtors locations in Lexington, Georgetown, and Versailles.
Gifts must be dropped off by December 14th.