Have you ever seen anyone fundraising for the Buddy Poppy Program and wondered what it is? You’ve seen the little red flowers and you may have wondered, “where does that money go?”
Since 1922 the Buddy Poppy has been a central program to the VFW community. The Poppy represents the blood shed by American service members and reiterates that the VFW will never forget their sacrifices. It is therefore the VFW’s official memorial flower. This is also why you will see many of these surrounding Memorial Day ceremonies, etc.
Why the Poppy?
The Poppy movement was inspired by Canadian Army Col. John McCrae’s famous poem “In Flanders Fields.” Poppies were originally distributed by the Franco-American Children’s League to benefit children in the devastated areas of France and Belgium following World War I. In 1922, VFW conducted a campaign to acquire Poppies from France to distribute. However they soon discovered it took too long to get the flowers in from France. So disabled, hospitalized and aging veterans decided instead to make the paper flowers and ship them out to their members for distribution.
Going forward from that point in 1922, every day would be Buddy Poppy Day. For veterans in VA hospitals or state veterans homes, these men and women assemble the Poppies, tie them in bunches of 10, and pack them in boxes of 500, 1,000, or 2,000 for shipment to all Posts and Ladies Auxiliaries.
Where does the money go?
VFW pays the disabled veteran for the work of assembling the poppies. In most cases, this extra money provides additional income for the worker to pay for the little luxuries which make hospital life more tolerable. ALL PROCEEDS from the distribution are used for veterans welfare, the well being of their dependents in need, and the orphans of deceased veterans. (This program is also therapeutic for the veterans because it provides exercise of the fingers and hands often crippled by wounds, disease, or the effects of old age.)
This program is truly about ALL VETERANS helping veterans and living up to the VFW’s motto:
“Honor the Dead by Helping the Living”
How can I donate?
Contact your local VFW post for details on how to donate to the program!
PHONE: (612) 823-6233