Silver Bells Gift Drive Brings Holiday Joy

The Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass (NHOA) is once again accepting holiday gifts to fulfill the wishes of residents living in nursing homes, personal care homes, and family care homes. Now in its seventh year, the Silver Bells Holiday Gift Drive brings a little extra cheer for long-term care residents who would otherwise receive no gifts during the holidays.

“We find that 60% of long-term care residents do not have a regular visitor, meaning many residents are forgotten during the holidays. Residents miss the tradition of being home with family and loved ones,” said Denise Kennedy, Bluegrass District Ombudsman. “Our Silver Bells project presents the opportunity for the community to give gifts to residents so they are able to share in the holiday spirit. Last year, the community rallied to provide thoughtful gifts to 655 long-term care residents! I am excited to watch the program continue to grow, and I’m challenging our community to beat last year’s record.”

Becky Hacker, a certified NHOA ombudsman, smiled as she delivered gifts to residents in Garrard County family care homes. “Not only do the residents experience joy when they receive their gift bags, but I am overjoyed to witness their excitement and appreciation,” she shared.

Residents frequently fill their wish lists with the basics:

  • socks, slipper, and robes
  • sweatpants and sweatshirts
  • hats, gloves, and scarves
  • blankets and throws
  • nice-smelling shampoo, lotion, body wash and other toiletries
  • chocolates
  • stamps to send letters to family and friends
  • quarters to buy snacks from the nursing home vending machines

These small items are hard to come by when impoverished, like the 70% of nursing home residents utilizing Medicaid. Their $40 monthly allowance doesn’t stretch very far, leaving them without funds for the things they need and want.

“Silver Bells makes the residents feel special, like they’re part of the larger community and not forgotten,” said Laurie Clewett, NHOA’s Director of Fundraising and Administration.

To learn more about specific resident wishes, call (859) 277-9215. Gifts should be turned in to NHOA’s office, located at 3138 Custer Drive, Suite 110, Lexington, by December 14th at 4:00 p.m. The gifts should be unwrapped and placed in a gift bag.