2021-2022 National “Buddy”® Poppy & VFW National Home Ambassador
Fall is just around the corner and this time of year offers numerous opportunities to educate the public and our fellow members about the “Buddy”® Poppy and National Home. From fall festivals and football games to Veterans Day events, make sure you’re prepared for these activities with the tips listed below.
Educate yourself prior to your “Buddy”® Poppy distribution event
- Review the “Buddy”® Poppy Chairman’s Manual
- This five-page guide shares history, planning tips, alternative distribution ideas and information about the national contest and awards. A must-read for any “Buddy”® Poppy Chairman.
- Watch the eight-minute “Veterans Behind the “Buddy”® Poppy” video.
- Read the three-page Veterans Behind the “Buddy”® Poppy.
- Visit the VFW website for more historical “Buddy”® Poppy information.
Prepare for the distribution event
- Order your poppies.
- Request from your Department Headquarters an order form to purchase your Poppies two to three months in advance of your distribution date.
- Make a “Buddy”® Poppy Kit that contains what you need for a successful distribution event.
- A display board that lists information about the history of the “Buddy”® Poppy and what monetary donations are used for at the local level (e.g., Relief Fund).
- A container for the Poppies – it will make it easier to hand them out!
- A donation jar to collect monetary donations.
- Print “Buddy”® Poppy Story Cards to hand out at distribution events.
- Keep several copies of the VFW’s The Story of the “Buddy”® Poppybrochure which can be utilized as a teaching tool when explaining the memorial flower.
- Visit the VFW Store to purchase “Buddy”® Poppy aprons, vests, shirts, table covers, posters, coloring books, pins and more!
- Publicize distribution details in your community.
- Create a Facebook event with the time, day/date and location of the distribution event on your Auxiliary Facebook page and ask members to share the event on their personal pages.
- Submit the information to your local community newspaper for their calendar of events.
- Post flyers at public locations.
Host the distribution event
- Volunteers should wear VFW and/or VFW Auxiliary-branded attire (e.g., cap, hat, cover, shirt, nametag, etc.).
- Encourage volunteers to smile, be friendly and thank those who donate.
- Remind volunteers they are not “selling” “Buddy”® Poppies but distributing them with the hope of getting donations.
I hope each Auxiliary hosts and/or participates in a “Buddy”® Poppy drive/distribution event this fall. I look forward to seeing ways our Auxiliaries promote and participate in these events in their community.
I’ll share ways to educate our fellow members and our communities about the VFW National Home for Children in my next blog.