Here are some excerpts from the stories of our 2018 Christmas On Us Winners!
1.) Amanda Bourland
Amanda was chosen for the Bell Award , she was the first and only winner who was not associated with any established charity. She does what she does from help from friends. We all hear on a regular basis that something has to be done about the opioid crisis in our city but we question how much is being done. Amanda recognized that need years ago because of her past and helping others has become her passion. She also organizes three collections through the year to collect things like back to school supplies, coats, sleeping bags, and other necessities for families and organizations.
2.) Bev Watson
This 60 year old is known as an angel around her neighborhood and community. She is given that nickname from her acts of kindness. From cutting lawns, repairing neighbor homes, creating go-fund me pages, and rescuing many animals. Nothing can stop her from showing her kindness.
3.) Charlene Shipley
Charlene Wood Shipley has a heart for Kentucky’s ‘forgotten children & teens’ who are awaiting foster families and wishing for a forever home. Charlene and her family not only adopted their foster daughter with special needs, but put their hearts, hands, & minds towards an even greater task. Roo’s Wish, a Louisville non profit began when Charlene learned that when foster kids are removed from their homes of origin, they have a very short time to fill a single PLASTIC GARBAGE BAG with most prized clothing and possessions. Roo’s Wish (non profit) collects donations of gently used or new luggage, duffle bags, and tote bags and donates them directly to case workers at KY county DCFS offices.
4.) Gena Johnson
Gena founded Aiden’s Legacy, a non-profit organization that raises money year round for childhood cancer awareness. Gena has spent countless days raising money for a pledge that Aiden’s Legacy recently pledged Norton Children’s Hospital oncology unit in the amount of $250,000. Gena also spends a lot of time at Norton Children’s Hospital, where she is known as the LEGO fairy.
5.) Jeff Gill
Jeff is one of the selfless volunteers of the community that gives out food, toiletries, and clothes on 1st and Broadway every Sunday. He also delivers the most needed items to camps around the city and is woken up during the week in the middle of the night to run something desperately needed to a homeless person (and he gets up and goes every time). Jeff spends several hours a week with homeless people. He also was able to get the barber board to give him cards to hand out to the homeless to get free haircuts as it was pointed out to us that the haircuts being given on first and Broadway were not allowed. All of this is done strictly through donation.
6.) Jim (Boz) Bosworth
Neighbors, friends, relatives have benefited from Jim’s generosity. Small gifts handed at unexpected times, pitching in without being asked when a need was seen. He has also raised money on different occasions for people who are in need and has dropped everything he was doing just to help someone. One of his known good deeds was helping a family by becoming their grandpa and practically raising them!
7.) Karen Pedigo
Karen created the non-profit Elier Vela Foundation in 2006 to honor her dear friend Staff Sergeant Elier Vela that proudly served our country in Desert Storm. She collects items year-round to send the troops, accepts monetary donations for the postage and send over 300 packages the week before Thanksgiving in Louisville each year so our troops can receive their box by Christmas.
8.) Maci Curtsinger
Maci is a 7 year old sweet girl that has collected 169 toys for the Taylorsville police dept. Along with 179 stuffed animals . Maci has donated and collected over 1000 items for fire victims and has helped many families in need. She is also in the middle of collecting shoes for the homeless in the community. As of today she has reached 1037 pairs of shoes and she doesn’t plan to quit helping others. She has definitely shown everyone that you can do anything no matter how small or young you are.
9.) Mason Swinney
He is known for his selfless acts that he engages in regularly. Mason is an extremely humble, compassionate, and empathetic man, always putting others (even strangers) above himself. For almost 20 years, Mason has been an active volunteer at the Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, KY where he mentors, encourages, and promotes resilience for individuals who are experiencing adversity. He currently volunteers at Wayside once per week, offering his time to teach classes on faith, hope, and social skills that are vital to motivate individuals to create and maintain a healthy, productive, and purposeful life. Mason also volunteers through Southeast Christian Church where he offers support to individuals who are going to be baptized as well as volunteers in the nursery.
10.) Nixb Slider
There are many wonderful teachers out there that devote time and energy to kids with special needs, but I promise you there is no-one that gives so selflessly and patiently as Nixb. She often spends her own family time to be with our kids. She takes them to homecoming, parities, shopping, and sporting events. She dressed up like the grinch last Christmas, painted green and wore the whole outfit just to see these kids smile. She makes every attempt to participate in their lives in and OUT of the classroom.