AURORA, Indiana — Ken Maddin of Aurora comes from a large family, and the Christmas season usually means spending time with his family, including his grandchildren.
"I have seven siblings and we grew up kind of poor, so Christmas was like a big, big deal for us," Maddin said. "Over the past few years, we had grandchildren and that just made it that much more special."
This year, things are different, and Maddin won’t get to spend time with his grandchildren.
"It's a real rough time for us," he said. "We talked about leaving town, going on vacation instead of being here to celebrate Christmas."
But being away from family hasn't stopped Maddin from spreading some extra holiday cheer.
To make sure everyone has a reason to celebrate this Christmas, he's extended the invitation to the whole community and those who have no one to celebrate with.
"I started a little Facebook page, and within two days I had 200 people volunteering to bake cookies, donate money and donate their time on Christmas Day," Maddin said.
Those donations spawned the event "Christmas with Friends," a lunch party for anyone who'd otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.
"I've got so many of these calls like, 'hey, my mom died last year and we didn't know what we were gonna do,’ or ‘My husband died, and I was going to be sitting home alone,' and now these people are going to have some place to go," he said.
The party begins at noon Wednesday at the Dearborn Adult Center, 311 W Tate St, Lawrenceburg.