Betty J. Stahm
2019-2020 National "Buddy"® Poppy/VFW National Home Ambassador
VFW National Home
It is hard to believe that winter is fast approaching – even though it already feels like it has arrived with the crazy weather our country is experiencing! What comes with winter in most of the country? That bad four letter word…SNOW! Now many people love snow. I am not one of them. Snow brings winter woes such as removing it.
I have been informed by Fred Puffenberger, Executive Director of the VFW National Home, that they have an URGENT need of a truck with a snowplow. The National Home is looking to buy a ¾-ton Chevy or Ford truck with a snowplow. The approximate cost is $40,000. With that being said, this is a call to action to our Auxiliaries. Please donate any amount that your Auxiliary can afford. No donation is too small. It all adds up in the end.
To donate by mail, send your check earmarked “Snowplow” to:
VFW National Home
3573 S. Waverly Road
Eaton Rapids, MI 48827
Any excess funds raised will be put into the Transportation Fund for vehicle maintenance. Let us show the National Home how the Auxiliary reacts to their needs. They ask, we provide. Snow may be white; however, VFW Auxiliaries will show them the green.
With winter also comes the holiday blues. The stress of the holidays can trigger sadness and depression. This time of year can be difficult because there are high expectations placed on us. Many veterans suffer during this time. Families also suffer when their veteran is not feeling the Christmas spirit. Please educate and promote the National Home Helpline. Encourage those in need to call 800-313-4200. Remember this is a helpline not a hotline. Be heard, be helped. All calls are answered and no caller is turned away. This free service offers information, creates connections and gives hope to struggling military and veteran’s families. This helpline is answered by experienced problem-solvers who care deeply about veterans and their families and who have the contacts and knowledge needed to get each caller help. Sometimes an American hero just needs to be heard. Especially this time of year when depression can set in. There are various triggers to this feeling:
- Finances – Not enough money to buy gifts which leads to guilt.
- Stress – Not enough time to do everything that is expected of you during this season: dinners, parties, shopping and just being tired.
- Loneliness – 43% of Americans are single, with 27% living alone. 17% of singles are over 65 when health, age and mobility can make it more difficult to enjoy them self.
- Grief – Missing a deceased loved one. Seniors have more reasons to grieve.
- Estrangement – When you are not speaking to a relative, family get-togethers can bring feeling of sadness.
- Divorce – Especially difficult when adult children need to balance holiday visits.
- Pleasing – Trying to make everyone happy.
- Sadness – Gloomy weather and decreased sunlight can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Promoting this helpline may save a veteran and their family in time of need.
We all need to brighten the winter blues with the color red. Brighten the holidays and spread cheer with a powerful little red flower, our “Buddy”® Poppy. The “Buddy”® Poppy can be incorporated in all our programs during the holidays:
- Decorate cards for our hospitalized veterans with poppies. This is a good time to remind our veterans that we remember them.
- ‘Tis the season for holiday parties for our youth, our veterans and military families. Wrap a Flag with a poppy and include with Christmas stockings given to children at your holiday party. Imagine that – three programs with one project; Americanism, Buddy Poppy and Youth.
- Does your Auxiliary have a Secret Santa gift exchange? Include a “Buddy”® Poppy with any gifts you are giving to a Post or Auxiliary member.
- A “Buddy”® Poppy Christmas tree will set off the holiday spirit at your Post Home.
- Include poppies with packages sent to our overseas military.
As always remember to count the “Buddy”® Poppies that you use and report the number to your Department Chairman.
At this time, I would like to wish from our house to yours a holiday season that is merry and bright. Make it a season of remembering our veterans, our military personnel and their families. One that brightens those winter woes away.
Mele Kalikimaka a me kahi makahiki hou hauʻoli
(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year)