American Heart Association | (859) 492-9411 | heart.org/lexington
On November 17th, the American Heart Association will be celebrating a decade of Go Red for Women in Lexington when they host the 10th anniversary Go Red for Women Experience at the Lexington Center – Heritage Hall.
Go Red for Women, nationally sponsored by Macys and CVS Health and locally sponsored by Kentucky One Health and Passport Health Plan, has grown exponentially over the years and has shared inspiring stories of hope with thousands of central Kentucky residents. KentuckyOne Health has been a major sponsor of the event since its beginning in Lexington, ten years ago.
The Go Red for Women Luncheon in Lexington has grown in both attendance and fundraising dollars each year. It began as a small event with several hundred guests and today is a half day experience that includes informative breakout sessions, a survivor fashion show and a wonderful gourmet luncheon as well as live entertainment. Nearly 1,000 men and women attend to learn how they can become involved in the fight against womens no. 1 killer, heart disease. The event will be chaired by Cindy Whitehouse.
“My journey with Go Red for Women in Lexington has been uplifting,” said Whitehouse. “As an engaged business owner, nurse, mother, and wife, Ive learned the importance of serving others and caring for myself. Go Red is an organization that gives back to our community through research, education, events, and innovation. We are building healthier lives and empowering women in the Commonwealth. I believe in Go Red because it gives us hope.”
Go Red for Women is a movement that involves everyone! Cardiovascular diseases kill 1 in 3 women each year, about one women every 80 seconds. 80% of these diseases are preventable through lifestyle changes.
For more information about how you can join the Go Red for Women cause or attend the 10th anniversary Go Red for Women Experience in Lexington on November 17, contact Jordan Yates at 859-317-6874 or email [email protected]
The American Heart Association is the nations oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. They fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tools and information to save and improve lives. The American Stroke Association was created as a division in 1997 to bring together the organizations stroke-related activities.
Bluegrass Care Navigators | (855) 492-0812 | bgcarenav.org
You have probably heard that Hospice of the Bluegrass is now Bluegrass Care Navigators. Hospice remains at the heart of their mission, but they now guide and provide care to more people in more ways at earlier stages of serious illness. They still have the same compassion and commitment – their new name simply reflects their growing range of services.
Joan Palmore Key, a Bluegrass Care Navigators board member, met her friend Bessie nearly a quarter century ago in a support group offered by Bluegrass Grief Care.
“Both of our husbands had recently passed away. At the time, I was 32 and Bessie was 75. Bessie didnt have children or any family nearby so we became great afriends and we sort of adopted each other – mom and kid,” recalled Joan.
Years later, Bessie was 97 and still living by herself when she experienced some small strokes and needed help. Bluegrass Extra Care came to the rescue and provided some assistance on a holiday weekend. Sadly, Bessies condition deteriorated and she had to go to a nursing home.
“Years ago I promised Bessie when the time came I would make sure she was able to be in her own home when she became unable to care for herself. Thanks to Bluegrass Extra Care, we were able to transition her from the nursing home to her own home. They even provided a nurse to manage her medications and monitor her health,” said Joan, adding that the extra help made it possible for Bessie to live the life she wanted.
As Bessies health deteriorated, the Bluegrass Extra Care team suggested they consult with Bluegrass Hospice Care.
“They told us about all of the additional services and support Bessie could receive. I am so glad we connected with them early on. She loves those caring for her, is comfortable and at peace in her own home, and I was able to keep my promise,” Joan explained.
Bluegrass Care Navigators is committed to delivering the right combination of care for seriously ill patients – the right care at the right time at the right place.
Bluegrass Care Navigators is a national leader in delivering high quality care to the seriously ill and a pioneer in developing new programs that are responsive to the evolving needs of seriously ill patients and their families. In addition to providing hospice services in 32 counties across central, southeastern and northern Kentucky, Bluegrass Care Navigators operates Bluegrass Extra Care, Bluegrass Transitional Care, Bluegrass Palliative Care and Bluegrass Grief Care. All of these programs offer invaluable services that enhance the quality of life of patients and families.
Scott & Brooklyn
BIA Cares | (859) 273-5117 | biacentralky.com
Meet Scott and Brooklyn Heideman. The Heidemans have just been named successful candidates for the third “Home for a Veteran” to be built by BIA Cares, the non-profit arm of the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky. The new 2 story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home is currently being built on Walcot Way in the Coventry Subdivision and will soon be ready for occupancy. The Heidemans are pictured choosing paint colors for their new home!
Scott served in the U.S. Army straight out of high school. Separating from Service in August 2016, Scott currently is a full-time student working on a double major in preparation for becoming a local business owner. Professionally, Brooklyn is a cardiopulmonary technician. She also volunteers at the Thompson Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, KY, assisting with events for the Veterans, such as outings to Keeneland, cookouts, or just spending one-on-one time. Scott and Brooklyn met in middle school at Fort Campbell, KY where both of their fathers were stationed at the time. Considering themselves Army brats, moving around often has always been a way of life and therefore, the opportunity to have a “home” is a dream come true for both of them.
BIA Cares does more than just build homes for Veterans. In the past four years, over 1000 Kentucky Military Families have experienced a Christmas they would not have had with the help of the “Operation Military Cheer” toy and clothing drive, in partnership with the KY National Guard. Families in our community with special needs have received repairs and renovations on their homes to make them more accessible and easier to live in.
BIAcares strives to build a better future through active participation in community service projects that support and promote the physical, emotional, and social well-being of Kentucky families. “Enriching Lives, One Project at a Time.”
Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center | (855) 253-2511 | bluegrassrapecrisis.org
Courtney Straw examines justice every day. She currently serves as a prosecutor in Louisville handling domestic violence and child abuse cases.
“Utilizing resources in the community and the ability to make choices to be safe and move on with your life – for survivors these are components of justice,” Straw says.
Courtney shares this message with law enforcement.
“We lead a training with law enforcement and campus public safety on the impacts of trauma and we give them the tools for trauma informed interview techniques. First responders serve a key role,” Straw says.
Before Straw was a prosecutor she was a client at BRCC. Straw says, “I was a victim. My case wasnt investigated the way it should have been. I knew that law enforcement could do better.”
Courtney received crisis counseling with BRCC after she experienced sexual violence, and later when she needed more support she joined BRCCs equine group therapy program.
“The relationship with the horses allowed me to heal in ways that would have never been possible in a traditional group setting,” Straw says.
This allowed Courtney to move from victim to survivor. She now harnesses her story to make an impact during training.
“Ill never forget the officers faces at the first training. After we took them through my hypothetical scenario, I revealed that it is my story. When I saw the look on their faces, I saw it click,” says Straw.
After partnering with BRCC to improve advocacy and education, Courtney joined the agencys Board of Directors.
“BRCC is building momentum and I believe in the direction we are going. BRCC does so much more than just crisis counseling,” Straw says.
Straw was emboldened by her experience to become a prosecutor; her story has brought her full circle. She is now returning to Lexington to join Fogle Keller Walker PLLC this summer.
“My heart has remained in the bluegrass. This opportunity allows me to expand my work with BRCC. Much of this work has been about collaborations and I am excited to see what collaborations can grow out of my work with FKW.”
Founded in 1974, the mission of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center is to eradicate sexual violence through counseling, advocacy, and education in the 17 counties of the Bluegrass Region. BRCC provides comprehensive services to individuals directly or indirectly impacted by all forms of sexual violence, including human trafficking. The BRCC provides a 24-hour crisis line, counseling, medical accompaniment, legal advocacy, psycho-educational groups, long-term psychotherapy, and prevention and awareness education.
The Foster Care Council | (239) 248-7699 | thefostercarecouncil.com
This is Jody, a Lexington foster child that was severely struggling in the classroom until the Foster Care Councils Education Advancement Program provided him with a tutor. Jody has shown tremendous improvement in his reading and writing since the tutoring started. He went from barely reading childrens books to reading grade level chapter books.
“He showed very little confidence in himself in the beginning but slowly progressed to feeling very comfortable asking questions in the classroom,” explained Jodys tutor. “He still has more to work on and achieve but he is doing well and has greater confidence in himself. Hes going to continue to work hard and will progress in school, graduate and not become a statistic; well all make sure of that!”
Jody has always had a passion for music and he desperately wanted to learn to play the guitar. The FCCs Enrichment program agreed to help make that dream come true. The program provides funding so a child can pursue his or her passion, whether its music, sports, the arts or summer camps. They provided Jody with a guitar and lessons. A local musician, Rhyan Sinclair, even came and played a few cords with Jody to get him started. Both Jody and his foster mom had huge tears in their eyes when he received this amazing gift. Being able to pursue a passion truly helps children in foster care cope and begin to heal.
Cassie Slone, Executive Director of the FCC, began the organization upon learning that foster children in our community were not being sufficiently funded to pursue their passions or to get extra academic help when needed. “Foster children deserve a chance to a have a normal childhood,” Cassie explained. “FCC continuously advocates for local foster children, like Jody, through intense community involvement and by seeking resources that support opportunities for normal growth and development.”
The Foster Care Council was founded in 2012 by Cassie Slone, a Tates Creek and UK graduate, with the sole purpose and passion of helping our local at-risk children persevere.
The Foster Care Council believes in providing every foster child with the opportunity of a brighter future. They pay for children to attend summer camp, participate in enrichment activities and most importantly they provide individualized tutoring to a foster child not testing on grade level. They strive to provide these precious children with the opportunity to become strong healthy adults and not another statistic.
Gods Pantry Food Bank | (859) 255-6592 | godspantryfoodbank.org
She was one person among the 170 families who were fed that day. But she was unforgettable.
Gods Pantry Food Bank had unloaded more than 16,000 pounds of fresh produce and bakery products in the parking lot and invited the neighborhood families to come help themselves. Cucumbers, corn, tomatoes, watermelon, potatoes, onions, squash, cabbage and watermelon were bagged and lugged to waiting cars by grateful kids, seniors and families.
One tiny, white-haired lady scanned the bounty there for the taking. She was hungry, but she had a problem. It was a hot July day and she had just walked a long way to get the food her aching stomach and empty cupboards told her she needed. Approaching a helper she let them know she was hungry, but could only take as much as she could carry since she was “on foot” nearly three miles from home. That watermelon, head of cabbage and bag of potatoes were needed, but would be impossible to tote that distance.
A volunteer couple offered her a ride home and told her to load up on whatever she needed. Soon the trunk of the volunteers car was filled with healthy vegetables, fruit and bread. During the five minute drive to her tiny house at the edge of the cemetery, she shared her circumstances.
She received a disability check for about $700 monthly plus $16 in food stamps. Her rent was $350 a month and she had a large monthly medical expense. After utilities, there was very little left for groceries. It was the middle of the month and there was very little cash left when she heard of the produce distribution so close to her home, and yet so far. Compelled by her hunger, she made her way to receive help on foot, figuring she would only receive what she could carry. As she stood on her porch among bags of garden fresh food and staples, she thanked her volunteer drivers, thrilled she had nutritious food to eat and to share.
The mission of Gods Pantry Food Bank is to reduce hunger in Kentucky through community cooperation making the best possible use of all available resources.
Hope Center | (859) 252-7881 | hopectr.org
When Chris was 33 years old, he was in a car accident that hurt his shoulder very badly. Before then, Chris lived a normal life like most people. He worked every day, paid taxes, owned a house and a car. He had good relationships and never used drugs.
“After surgery, the doctors prescribed pain medication. I took them normally for two years, then both of my parents became ill. I took off work to care for them, and watched helplessly as they died within months of each other,” he recalled. Chris began taking more pills to cope, and got to a point where all he cared about was getting high. “The worst part was that my son no longer wanted to have anything to do with me,” he said.
Chris slept in the Hope Center emergency shelter for six months. After his third time through detox, two of the counselors helped him find the courage to enter into the Recovery Program of his own will. “This program has taught me to recognize when I am doing something harmful to myself or my family, how to cope with my emotions and learn from my mistakes. I know I can become a functioning member of society again,” Chris said.
Today Chris is a peer mentor, and is teaching his first class about learning to deal with resentments, fears and harms to self and others. He is two weeks from being one year sober. “Im working to pass my DOT physical so I can renew my CDL and start driving professionally again. My son actually called me for fatherly advice!” Chris expressed.
“It feels really good to live an honest life. I want others to know that no matter what you have done, living clean and being around positive people can change your life. I found hope here in the Recovery Program,” Chris said.
Since 1993, the Hope Center mission has stayed the same: to care for homeless and at-risk persons by providing life-sustaining and life-rebuilding services that are comprehensive and address underlying causes. The Hope Center is not just a homeless shelter, but a comprehensive group of programs designed to get the homeless off the streets and keep them off. The root causes of homelessness vary widely. Each person who enters the Hope Centers doors is unique, and in need of a unique set of resources. The goal is to provide each of them with the tools they need to rebuild their lives.
Kentucky Equine Humane Center | (239) 881-5849 | kyehc.org
Annora is a lovely young Thoroughbred mare who had a bright future as a racehorse. She had been practicing hard and even had a few timed workouts at the track. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond her control, she never made it to a race. She was subjected to neglect and abandonment by her owner/trainer and her future started to look dim. Would she starve? Would she ever enjoy the comforts of a good owner and loving care or would she slowly fade from this world, tucked away on the remote farm where she lived with 42 other unfortunate abandoned horses? Thankfully, The Kentucky Equine Humane Center (KyEHC) stepped in and rescued Annora from a very uncertain fate. Upon arrival Annora was in desperate need of rehabilitation due to overall body soreness, lameness, and neglect. Luckily, The KyEHC takes in horses that need extensive rehabilitation. Thanks to the fantastic staff, and access to top veterinarians at Park Equine Hospital, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital, and Haygard Equine Medical Institute, as well as equine chiropractors; Annora recovered and was ready to begin her re-training. The trainer at the KyEHC, Olivia, saw so much promise in Annora that she entered her in the 2017 Thoroughbred Makeover, where her talents will be showcased. Annora will show that great feats can be accomplished when you give a chance to a horse in need. After the completion of The Thoroughbred Makeover, Annora will be available for adoption into her new, forever home. Annora is now strong, healthy, safe, and her future has never looked brighter!
The goal of the Kentucky Equine Humane Center is to Help, Heal, and re-Home horses of all-breeds in Kentucky.
Their mission is to provide humane treatment and shelter while working to seek adoptive homes and provide second chances for Kentuckys equines, regardless of breed; to educate the public and raise awareness for responsible equine ownership so that fewer horses end up in crisis; to work with and serve as a model for organizations with the same mission in other states; to save Americas equines from inhumane treatment.
Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen | (859) 986-3192 | kyguild.org
Bethany Butters of Steam-Bee Pottery is the new Artist in Residence at the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen! Bethany joined the Guild in February 2017, making her one of the newest members. The KGAC “artists in residence” program is for artists who want to become a part of the art community, in Berea and surrounding artisan areas of the Commonwealth. The KGAC has worked with approximately 15 artists, over the past few years and many have already established their own businesses in the art world.
Bethany describes the inspiration for her work as, “an integration between both the industrial history and the vibrant nature in Kentucky by reflecting the textures and colors found in old rivers, industrial parks, coal mines, and the vibrant shades of the hillsides. It is an ode to the hard workers both human and inhuman, the steam mechanics and the bees.”
As a first-year student enrolled in Ceramics 101, Bethany had no experience with ceramics. After falling in love with the idea of functional art, she continued to learn about ceramics and grow as an artist. Bethanys favorite piece was created her senior year after an inspiring trip to Japan; “its very personal, a culmination of my experience in Japan with its stacked lantern form, which I saw a lot of in historical Japanese architecture, and my proud Kentucky heritage with the dogwood blossom adornments.”
Bethany can now be found on Saturdays and Mondays at the Kentucky Guild Gallery, where people of all ages can enjoy watching her work! When asked why she was interested in joining the Kentucky Guild of Artists & Craftsmen, Bethany said, “I love being in a community of artists; I can gain meaningful connections and experiences, I really think it will help my growth as an artist. Im also so excited to have a space to share the process of my work and even teach classes in the Kentucky Guild Visual Arts Academy!”
The KGAC Visual Arts Academy, which started in 2015, provides a learning experience for those who want to learn the techniques of their art or trade. This new academy hosts classes April through November that teach beginning to advanced skills, in hopes to encourage the next generation of artisans to carry on the rich and historic history of the premier, state-wide, visual arts movement right here in Kentucky.
The mission of the Kentucky Guild of the Artists and Craftsmen, Inc. is “to establish art and craft, as a vital influence, by promoting excellence through education, collaboration, leadership and service” throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“We love Lexington Hearing & Speech Center (LHSC)! You couldnt ask for a better place for a child to go if they have hearing loss. Everyone at LHSC is familiar with the challenges associated with hearing loss. They teach and nurture each child.”
Lillians parents brought her to LHSC when she was nine months old after being diagnosed with mild to moderate hearing loss. Audiologist, Dr. Miller, evaluated Lillian and talked with her family about her diagnosis, options for hearing amplification, and early intervention services offered by LHSC for children with hearing loss. At one year of age, Lillian was fit with her first set of hearing aids and enrolled into the LHSC Early Learning Center. Lillian remained in school at LHSC until she graduated in 2016 and continues to receive audiology services. With early detection and intervention through hearing amplification, and her language enriched school and family lifestyle, Lillian never needed the speech/language therapy services also offered by LHSC.
At one of Lillians audiology appointments, Travis talked about issues he was having understanding speech. Travis was in law enforcement for many years and wondered if this lifestyle affected his hearing. At the time Travis was unaware LHSC provided audiology services for adults, which serves hundreds of adults a year across the community. Travis had a hearing evaluation at LHSC and results showed a high frequency hearing loss in both ears. Travis noticed immediate results after he was fit with his hearing aids. “After I got them, I walked through the grass and heard it crunching under my feet. I teared up because I had not heard those sounds in such a long time.”
Today, Lillian and Travis continue to come to LHSC for their audiology services. “LHSC has provided a foundation for Lillians lifelong success and have made a tremendous difference in my ability to do my job and communicate effectively with family and coworkers. I cant thank them enough for everything they have done for our family!”
Lexington Hearing & Speech Center is a non-profit organization with a mission of teaching children with hearing loss and speech/language delays to listen and talk. LHSC provides education services for children 6 weeks of age through Kindergarten, speech/language therapy, and audiology services. The LHSC audiology team provides full family healthcare for the community with a motto of helping individuals with hearing loss from twinkle to wrinkle. With the help of the community, LHSC is able to ensure that no child or adult is ever defined by their communication delay and will have a sound beginning.
Lexington Public Library | (859) 231-5500 | Lexpublib.org
Its a tradition generations old: students going to the library after school to do their homework.
That tradition has taken a new form as dozens of volunteers at two branches of the Lexington Public Library help scores of students from 4:30 to 7 pm every Monday through Thursday when school is in session.
The program, simply called Homework Help, began six years ago at the Village Branch, where as many as 60 students receive assistance each day. With funds from KentuckyOne Health, the library was able to continue Homework Help at Village last school year and expand the program with the same schedule at the Northside Branch.
At the Village Branch, many of the students who seek homework assistance come from Spanish-speaking homes and need extra help to start learning in English. For Carlos, an eighth grader at Lexington Traditional Magnet School, Homework Help meant the difference between repeating sixth grade or moving on to seventh grade.
“When I entered sixth grade, it was a lot more difficult than I had expected. I started to go back to Homework Help and my teacher got surprised by it. It started to make me motivated,” he said. “When theres someone there to help, I feel like I really do matter.
In addition to Homework Help, Gods Pantrys Kids Cafe program provides snacks prior to Homework Help sessions at both Village and Northside, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm.
Teachers say they see the difference in the students who attend Homework Help. Librarians hope students who come for Homework Help will come back to the library at other times, making library visits a regular part of their lives.
Keeping the program going requires recruiting more than a hundred volunteers. Adults interested in volunteering should contact the library at [email protected]
Lexington Public Library connects people, inspires ideas, and transforms lives. Seven days a week at six locations throughout town, the Library serves as the communitys meeting place, a place where people can keep reading, keep learning, keep doing, and keep growing. Theres Homework Help for students and Job Help for job seekers. Theres a makerspace for crafters and a makerspace for tech geeks. Theres story times for preschoolers and computer classes for seniors. Theres something for everyone at the Lexington Public Library. You can help fund the Lexington Public Librarys endeavors here lexpublib.org/foundation.
Alfred and Alesia worked hard all their lives. Growing up on farms, they were used to long days and little “down time.” As a married couple, they liked taking on jobs together, whether it was highway flagging or long-haul trucking. So when Alfreds leg was amputated last year, it dramatically changed their lives, leaving him in a wheelchair, with no income, and with only their pick-up truck to call home.
Not knowing where to turn for help, they came back to the Lexington Rescue Mission.
Years ago, they had come to the Mission for help. “We needed gas, and Abigail took us to the gas station to fill up our tank,” Alfred said of Abigail, who worked here at the time. “We became friends. We started eating together, going to church together, praying together.”
They had lost touch when they started driving a truck again, but then Alfred had the scare of his life last summer. He fell headfirst out of his freight truck with his foot caught under the pedal. The fall left him unconscious, and he was rushed to the hospital, where doctors said he had lost feeling in his leg due to gangrene, a side effect of his diabetes.
While Alfred was in the hospital, Alesia stayed in a motel, turning over the freight truck they had been living in. Eventually, he was moved to a nursing home for physical therapy. By the time he was released, most of their money was spent, and it wasnt long before they were living out of their pick-up truck.
Being in a wheelchair added to the stress of homelessness. “It was hard to find a bathroom,” Alfred said. “Shed have to take me to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night just to go to the bathroom.”
When they came back to the Mission, they found Abigail had moved, but Erica, our social worker, was ready to help. She worked with the Social Security office so they could start receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and she began helping them search for an affordable apartment. Once they found a place to live, she was able to assist them with their rent.
“She helped us get off the street to where we can rent our own place,” Alfred said.
Today, they are working on making a budget…for the first time in their lives. “Its above me,” he said. “We always worked so we never lived on a budget. I was telling Erica all we spent our money on this month, and after food and everything, were still $500 short. But shes going to help us.”
Because of your support, Alfred and Alesia had a place to turn when they had lost everything. Your gifts made it possible to help them move from homelessness to housing…and to keep their home!
The Lexington Resuce Mission exists to serve and glorify God through Christ-centered ministry that meets the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people that are hurting in the greater Lexington area.
“A childs joy is contagious. It is the best feeling in the world. It cannot be described with words nor is it a tangible object that can be shared. You just have to feel it for yourself,” said Andrea Greathouse on describing the drive behind her donation.
Andrea, in collaboration with Josh Bowen and Andrew Clark, personal trainers with Aspire Fitness have established Operation Joy, a non-profit dedicated to purchasing therapy bikes for children in Central Kentucky so all children can experience this everyday miracle. Therapy bikes typically cost $700-$3,000 depending on the specific needs of the child.
Operation Joy contacted Shriners Hospitals for Children Lexington after watching a news story on a Louisiana resident who builds therapy bikes to the specific needs of children with disabilities. Andrea was moved to tears and immediately decided that she would donate a therapy bike to experience a childs joy of no longer being limited by their condition.
Therapists at Lexington Shriners Hospital suggested that Operation Joy donate the bike to Rachel Napier. Rachel, a recent high school graduate, has cerebral palsy and has been a patient of the hospital for many years. She has spent countless hours receiving therapy and utilizing a therapy bike during sessions. “Rachel has wanted this since second grade and Im so excited to give it to her. The wait has been too long”, says Andrea.
Therapy bicycles allow children with limited mobility to experience the joy and freedom of bike riding while providing a safe way to exercise and increase muscle strength and tone. “Rachels enthusiasm and appreciation for the bike is heartwarming. She has told me on numerous occasions that the bike has improved her overall health and wellbeing,” Andrea said. Rachel has dropped 3 dress sizes since receiving her bike.
“My dream is to never stop giving. Our organization is not doing this for recognition or publicity. We are only doing this to give back and experience a childs joy,” said Andrea.
Aspire Fitness was built on community service and charity involvement. From their inception in 2014, Aspire has raised nearly $100,000 for local and national charities. In 2016, Aspire with collaboration with a client, Andrea Greathouse, decided to start their own charity, Operation Joy. The idea came from Andreas service heart when she saw a similar charity in Michigan and wanted to do something for Central Kentucky.
Operation Joy is a charity serving the community by buying specialty bikes for children with special conditions to keep them active and spreading joy to them.
Surgery on Sunday | (859) 246-0046 | surgeryonsunday.org
Martin is a chef at a local restaurant and often works 12-14 hours per day, sometimes unable to take a break. He wasnt able to perform his job 100% because it was painful for him to stand at times and he always had it in the back of his mind, wondering what was wrong with him. He admits “the worry was often worse than the pain.”
Without health insurance, he lived with the condition for almost a year but was eventually diagnosed in early 2017 with an inguinal hernia. When a co-worker told him about Surgery on Sunday, he had the Salvation Army clinic where he was diagnosed refer him to the program.
Martin acknowledges that when he was first referred to Surgery on Sunday, he was nervous about getting the news of “how bad everything was going to be.” But, he says, “as soon as I met Dr. Kearney, he took all my worries away. He was so confident and positive about the procedure that I knew I was in great hands.”
Dr. Paul Kearney, a volunteer surgeon who also serves as Surgery on Sundays board chair, operated on Martin in June and Martins life was changed. “The worry is gone, the pain is gone, and Im back!” he replies when asked how he feels now. He can now move around normally again and not worry about picking things up, possibly worsening the hernia, and needing a visit to the emergency room.
Martin is so grateful to Surgery on Sunday and says “the whole experience was professional from start to finish” and that the volunteer staff was so welcoming and caring that he felt like he was with family. “I have been so blessed with finding this organization. My guardian angel has definitely been putting in overtime.” He is so appreciative that he has offered his culinary skills to serve lunch to Surgery on Sunday volunteers on surgery days.
Surgery on Sunday was created for people just like Martin and it is an honor each day to care for patients like him.
Surgery on Sunday is a not-for-profit organization that provides outpatient essential surgical services at no cost to income eligible, uninsured or under-insured individuals who are not eligible for federal or state assistance.
Thursdays Child | (859) 361-8827 | Thursdayschildky.org
Ken and Loralee Ridge are not exactly sure when their familial goal changed from “having a family” to building one. They married in 1982 and had what some view as the ideal household by 1988. “Yes, we had a daughter, son, a cat and a dog. Yet, somehow we knew two children were not a full house for us,” said Loralee. At some point in the few years following the birth of their second child, they attended an informational meeting to explore adoption. This was based on a desire to provide a family for additional children, knowing there were, and still are, children waiting for families. “While not the case for everyone, we simply felt there was no need to have more children when we could adopt children who had a desire to be part of a family they could call their own...forever,” Loralee recalled.
The 20-plus years since that first meeting have been full ones indeed. Instead of only adopting, the Ridge family made the decision to foster as well. Fostering has its unique set of challenges because many children won their hearts and were later reunited with their birth families, leaving Ken and Loralee with hearts that needed to mend. Of the children with whom they shared a home through fostering, seven became part of their family forever. “Thanks to Thursdays Child and the integral part they play in the Foster and Adoptive Parents of Lexington support group, we have been able to remain balanced and informed as we navigate this roller coaster we call parenting,” Loralee said.
Parenting is much like a world-class roller coaster. This applies to parenting biological children, children who have been in foster care, and adopted children. The ride includes joy, thrills, plummets, curves, and much anticipation. “When we finish the ride, unbuckle the seat belt, and step off, we find ourselves saying, “I would definitely do that again!” shared Loralee.
In September, 1989, a need was filled to support the waiting children in Kentuckys Special Needs Adoption Program by creating Thursdays Child, Inc., a non-profit 501(c)(3). Board members are volunteers allowing all funds to be dedicated to supporting the waiting children. The Boards mission is to recruit adoptive parents; support waiting children; and provide post-adoption support.
Thursdays Child is blessed to have filled many needs; foster youth graduation celebrations, Christmas gifts, clothing requests and scholarships. However, their biggest challenges remain, finding special homes for special children. Fortunately, there are many caring people looking to make a “Forever Family” with a waiting child.
Woodford Humane Society | (859) 873-5491 | woodfordhumane.org
The first year of Punchys life is a mystery, but one things for sure: his life changed forever in February of 2016 when he arrived at Woodford Humane.
Punchy is a young, energetic Rottweiler with big, brown puppy dog eyes and a bottomless appetite for squeaky toys. At first glance, his 98-pound frame may seem intimidating; but spend even a few minutes with him and youll discover that hes a goofy, sensitive, oversized lapdog. He loves long walks and tearing around the yard at top speed. His favorite game is tug-o-war, and he usually wins.
Back in the winter of 2016, Punchy was the same sweet, silly dog at heart, but physically his life was very different. He came to Woodford Humane Society after being found as a stray in Woodford County; when he was picked up, he couldnt walk. His hind legs had so little mobility that, initially, he was thought to be the victim of a hit-and-run. But after a visit to the VCA Woodford Animal Hospital, the staff at Woodford Humane received some very different news: at just one and a half years old, Punchy had such severe hip dysplasia that he would require a full hip replacement on at least one hip.
Hip replacement is not a common surgery for dogs, and is almost unheard of for humane societies. But Woodford Humane operates on the notion every pet deserves a second chance – and in temperament and personality, Punchy was as good a dog as they come.
A year and two months after his arrival, after countless consultations, x-rays, exams, and therapy sessions, Punchy traveled to Ohio State University and received a brand new titanium hip. During his carefully-controlled recovery, Woodford Humane Society staff kept him comfortable and safe, monitored his progress, and best of all, helped him find his footing again.
In June of 2017, Punchys time at Woodford Humane came to an end. During his recovery, he stole the hearts of the family that would adopt him; and now, the dog who couldnt walk is running things in his forever home.
The Woodford Humane Society is a non-profit animal adoption center in Versailles, Kentucky that maintains an annual placement rate of over 93% and places no time limit on any animal in its care. Woodford Humane receives no government funding at any level, relying entirely on private donations to fund the housing, veterinary care, and all other needs of the animals in our care. Every year, approximately 1000 dogs, cats, and other pets depend on Woodford Humane for a safe, happy, healthy temporary home.