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Teenage entrepreneur finds heroism by giving

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Aug 08, 2023

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — For Dunbar High School senior Jacob Hightman, making wooden flags started out as just a hobby.

“I started selling them, and I noticed the best part of making and selling them was seeing them with their new owners. So I wanted to find a way to give them to more people and have that good feeling of giving them to people," says Hightman.

Those “people” are veterans and they changed everything. To pay for materials, Hightman started a GoFundMe site to make more flags, to give to those who have already given so much to all of us.

The response has been overwhelming. Hightman received $1,000 in donations in his first two weeks.

“A lot of family starting off, and then I got a bunch of people I didn’t even know starting donating.”

That led to an event last week in Wilmore, where Hightman gave 15 of his flags to residents at Thomson Hood Veterans Center.

“(It) feels really good,” says retired 20-year Army veteran William T. Stewart Jr. “(When) I come back from the Vietnam service in the bad years, when they were throwing urine and stuff at you. So we appreciate this.”

Retired Army paratrooper Lane Crouch agrees. “I’ve been wanting a wooden flag for a long time. So, getting this is kind of like a big gift to me. It means a lot. It’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life,” says Crouch.

Hightman plans on studying entrepreneurship in college and has ideas on other ways to donate to other groups. But he’s enjoying living in the moment, being a hero to those heroes among us.

“It just feels good that I can help somebody out. They already helped us out by serving. They’ve already paid for these flags”, says Hightman.

If you’re interested in donating, you can go to his website.