1212 ledbetter on Ellen
Hoover resident Kim Ledbetter received $20,000 and a new car on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Nov. 6. From left are Ledbetter’s granddaughter Madison Hall, her daughter Alex Ledbetter, Ledbetter and Ellen DeGeneres.
The year and a half since Kim Ledbetter lost her job has been a demanding time, but one visit to California changed everything for the single mother. Ledbetter, a Greystone Farms resident, was given $20,000 and a new car during an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show taped in Los Angeles on Nov. 6.
Difficulties at home prompted Ledbetter’s daughter, Alex Ledbetter, 21, to write into The Ellen DeGeneres Show over the summer. The family had numerous repairs that needed to be made to their house and car, and Kim had an additional mouth to feed since taking in her granddaughter, Madison Hall.
The weight was oppressive, Kim said, but she never expected her daughter to reach out to Ellen for help.
“I decided to write into Ellen over the summer the day that our microwave broke and I saw my mom break down about it,” Alex said in an interview that aired on the program. “We had already had a broken grill. Our refrigerator was leaking all over the floor. Our roof was leaking, and water was coming from the ceiling down onto the floor.”
So, the show called the family, and all three put off obligations to fly out to California on Nov. 5. On the program the following day, the first item Ellen gave Ledbetter was a microwave. Inside it was $20,000 cash, and behind the curtain was a new Hyundai Elantra.
“It was amazing,” she said. “My daughter told them I’d cry the whole time. I did.”
Long before appearing on TV, Ledbetter said Ellen was a bonding instrument for her family.
Ledbetter took in Hall five years ago because Hall’s mother – Ledbetter’s oldest daughter – was having health issues. She said she thought when her own daughter Alex graduated high school, she could sell her home in Greystone and move to an apartment. But with Madison now part of the family, she couldn’t stand the thought of relocating her again.
Hall attends Spain Park High School and Alex attends Samford University, but every evening the family sits on the couch for an episode or two of the show.
“The one time I see my mom smile is when she’s watching people’s lives being changed on the Ellen Show,” Alex said in her aired interview. “And I just thought how big her smile would be if it was her whose life was being changed.”
Ledbetter said the trip was an incredible experience, but of everything she received, including the chance to meet her favorite TV personality, she valued the help in the job market the most.
“If I had to weigh it, I’d have to say the job exposure is number one,” Ledbetter said. “I could walk to work if I had to, but I just have to have some income.”
Approximately a week after the show aired, Ledbetter said she had received numerous job offers but had not begun working.