What do you get when you combine some old license plates, a little wood and some ingenuity? Birdhouses that are being sold at your local county clerk’s office to support veterans across the state.
Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz said that technically the birdhouses are being offered for a $20 donation that goes to benefit Hope For Veteran’s, which is a program that supports the four veterans nursing homes across the state.
“The donations that we take up with these are used to buy things like their lift chairs, big screen televisions for their community rooms and telephone cards,” Schwartz said. “Really it goes towards anything that Medicaid or Medicare can’t or won’t buy for them.”
Over $5,000 worth of birdhouses have been sold through Schwartz’s office alone, since it began selling the birdhouses last March.
Schwartz admits that she is a little surprised at how well the license plate bird houses sold, but she isn’t surprised by how much local residents want to support the veterans.
“We had one lady, who bought five for Christmas presents. They have been Mother’s Day gifts, birthday presents, there have been several requests for certain tags that we had when we get them turned in,” Schwartz said.
The birdhouses are the creation of Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade, a veteran, who started making the birdhouses out of various license plates about nine years ago with the help of his father-in-law Arnold Lee Watson.
“At the monthly clerk’s meetings, I bring a supply of bird houses back and take him a supply of license plates,” Schwartz noted.
Schwartz said that the most popular license plate bird houses in Whitley County are those made from the “I Support the Veterans” license plate or those from a particular branch of service, such as Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines.
“Of course, U.K. is a popular tag too, but I think the Veteran’s Tag is the most popular,” she added. “I appreciate people supporting the veterans. Supporting the veterans is one of the favorite charities that I like to support. They dedicated their life for us so I think we should support them.”
Daniel Hurd of Williamsburg, who served in the U.S. Army for six years, was at Schwartz’s office Monday afternoon buying one of the birdhouses.
“I like the little things,” he said. “I even bought one for my son at Christmas.”
Hurd said that his 19-year-old son, who joined the National Guard, put the birdhouse on the desk in his room.
The license plate birdhouses are sold at both Schwartz’s main office in Williamsburg at the old courthouse, and at her branch office in the old Corbin City Hall.
The cost is $20 and checks should be made payable to Hope For Veteran’s.