Many elderly residents of Hardin County and surrounding areas are homebound because of being at risk for COVID-19.

However, residents of Willow Creek Senior Living in Elizabethtown are giving baskets of sunshine to these individuals.

Carol Galloway, community relations coordinator at Willow Creek, with the help of friends and residents at the facility, put together sunshine baskets for elderly members of the community.

“It’s hard enough being home. But being home by yourself and not being able to drive or get out ... That would be really difficult,” Galloway said.

She said there are seniors within the database in Willow Creek and in her Facebook friends list who are elderly and are unable to leave their homes. Galloway said she reached out to her boss about this idea and it was accepted.

She then went out, in a mask, and purchased the items.

The baskets include a seek and find book, popcorn, chicken soup, night light, hand soap, lotion, candy, facial tissue, pens, note paper, pudding, a stuffed animal, several resources and phone numbers to various organizations and opportunities, a prayer page and a jokes page.

“We’ve always, in this building, been about community service,” Galloway said.

Galloway also said this gives the residents something to do since they can no longer work in groups. They helped to put the baskets together while wearing gloves.

She said a majority of the items were purchased by Willow Creek but some of it was chipped in by Galloway and Fonda Wetmore, a friend of Galloway’s and a manager at University Apartments.

Wetmore is a retired social worker who has known Galloway for 15 to 17 years.

She said she saw Gallo­way’s post on Facebook about her sunshine baskets idea and decided she wanted to support it.

“Everybody needs something, you know, to look forward to,” Wetmore said.

Wetmore made a donation of $100 but isn’t able to do any hands-on work since Willow Creek and all other senior facilities are not allowed to have visitors.

She said in her complex, she notices how it has affected her elderly residents. She said elderly residents make up about one third of the 50 apartments there.

Elderly residents basically can’t leave their apartments, drive or take a walk. She said some of these residents will also receive baskets, and are in anticipation for their arrival.

Galloway said 16 baskets have been made so far and there are enough materials to make another 16 to 20.

She said she’ll start delivering them today and finish on Thursday and will be given to elderly community members from all income backgrounds in Hardin and LaRue counties.

She also said not all elderly community members use social media for communication, and usually benefit from a phone call.

“To receive a basket from somebody that you don’t have a clue who they are? What a wonderful thing,” Wetmore said.

Andrew Harp can be reached at 270-505-1747 or aharp@thenewsenterprise.com.

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