County Clerks Help Bring Joy to Veterans

County Clerk Jason Denny

County clerks across Kentucky, including our own, Jason Denny, have come together to help veterans in federal nursing homes around the state.  Around 2006, a couple of eastern Kentucky county clerks visited one of the veteran homes.  They realized after talking with a number of the veterans, that many of them no longer have family to help them purchase personal items or even to send them a Christmas card or gift.  Those clerks then met with others during the Kentucky County Clerks Association Conference to talk about how they might be able to form an organization to help these veterans.

Together, the clerks formed Hope for Tomorrow and started planning how they could raise funds.  After trying several fundraising ideas, the Letcher County Clerk, Winston Meade, got an idea to use something that the clerk’s office works with everyday: license plates.  Winston and his father in law, Arnold Watson, took the old license plates residents bring in when they need or want a new plate and turned them into birdhouses to sell as a fundraiser.

The idea took off, and last year alone, the clerks across Kentucky raised over $65,000 between the birdhouses and a raffle event.  The funds then get distributed to the three veterans homes where they help improve their lives and lift their spirits.

Our county clerk, Jason Denny, has seen first hand just how much simple items can help.  While attending the Christmas party at one of the homes three years ago, he got to help distribute gifts of fruit, t-shirts, pajamas, and other items that the home couldn’t buy them.  Many of the veterans were so joyful they cried tears of happiness.  Hope for Tomorrow donated over $22,000 of items that year to the home and have already donated $15,000 to another home this year during a Veteran’s Day celebration that Jason also attended.

The birdhouses are currently on display at the Anderson County Clerks Office.  They use all different types of Kentucky license plates, including specialty ones like University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, autism, cancer, farm, firemen, Fraternal Order of Police, and more.  The birdhouses are available for a $25 donation which will all go to help veterans.

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