JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — After a visit to the Thompson Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, a Jessamine County family is now making sure veterans in their community feel the love this Christmas. They are collecting donations and stuffing them in stockings, all as a way to say thank you for their service.
The idea came about after Heidi Middleton took her kids, Brantley and June, to the annual Veterans Day Parade.
"They absorbed more than I thought they would," Heidi explained.
They ended up following the parade to Thompson Hood Veterans Center where the 4th- and 5th-graders made a special bond while chatting with some of the residents.
"One was in the Air Force named Bud, and then there was another named Scott, " Brantley said. June went on to say, "I could have stayed and listened all day."
On the drive home their wheels started turning. The kids wanted to do something more for their new friends.
"They served our country, and they don't get all the stuff so why not give them stockings for Christmas to give them the stuff they need, " Brantley said.
So that is what they have decided to do. Along with their mom, they are collecting donations and stuffing them in to stockings. They plan to give one to each of the 170 men and women who now call Thompson Hood home.
"They obviously get attention on Veterans Day, but they need attention other days, and who doesn't want to feel special and get something at Christmas, " mom Heidi explained.
They are asking for treats but also necessities like toiletries. Heidi said to fill an entire stocking costs just $20.It is their hope that they will continue this new project year after year, with the goal of helping even more veterans in the future.
"They're heroes to all of us, and they're really great. They're just amazing," Brantley said.
Donations are being accepted until Dec. 12.
Drop-off locations are at the Nicholasville Police Department and Brookside Elementary in Nicholasville.
Thank you card
The stockings will be distributed on December 21st at 2pm.