The Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Western Kentucky chapter of the American Red Cross’ 12th annual Christmas Cards for Veterans drive collected more than 8,500 cards this month for area veterans.
Judy Peters, visitors services director for the CVB, said that agency collected 8,471 cards.
The Red Cross also gets cards delivered at its offices from schools and other organizations.
Evelyn Miller, executive director of the local Red Cross, said the total number of cards collected between the two agencies last year topped more than 11,140.
But the Red Cross only collected 150 or so cards this year — mostly from its volunteers.
The total number this year was down this year.
But it was still ahead of the slightly more than 8,000 received in 2016.
Peters said churches, schools, organizations and individuals all participated in the drive again this year.
Dawson Memorial Baptist Church again contributed the most cards at 3,290.
It was followed by Karen Jarboe and friends at 1,150, Darlene’s Exercise Group at 375, Eaton Memorial Baptist Church at 337, Sorgho Baptist Church at 328 and Highland Elementary School at 325.
The program began in the fall of 2007 and has continued to salute the region’s elderly veterans every year.
Karen Miller Porter, who was executive director of the CVB at that time, said the idea came from several people who were discussing the Owensboro’s Veterans Day Parade that year.
It was a shame, someone said, that so many veterans were getting old and ill and unable to attend.
From that conversation, Christmas Cards for Veterans was born.