Rural/Metro program reunites loved ones on Christmas

Rural/Metro program reunites loved ones on Christmas


6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A special program has been helping loved ones see their families on Christmas for the past 25 years.

Rural/Metro paramedics pick up people from nursing homes on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and take them to family events they would otherwise not be able to attend.

There is nothing like being with family and friends for the holidays, and for Kay Horner, this Christmas is extra special. It will be the first time in years she and her sister, Roberta, will see each other.

"It just made our Christmas, that she could come and we could all holds hands around the table," Horner said. "It just means everything. Christmas is about being with people you love and celebrating the birth of Christ."

Roberta lives in a nursing home in Farragut. She has cerebral palsy.

"She doesn't walk, and you have to be real careful when you pick her up and move her," Horner said. "We just wouldn't be able to do that for her. It just means everything to have her here for Christmas."

Rural/Metro schedules "Home for the Holidays" trips in advance. They pick people up and take them back to their homes when the events they attend end.

"It's very moving, just to know that we can take loved ones home to see their families who can't get out in cars," said Rural/Metro paramedic Joshua Crutchfield. "We love to see the faces of the families when we're bringing their loved one in. Just to see them as we leave, and they're thanking us for bringing their loved one home."

The "Home for the Holidays" program is free of charge.

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