Betty J. Stahm
2019-2020 National “Buddy”® Poppy and VFW National Home for Children Ambassador
Spring into Action for Our Hometown Heroes.
I would like to share with you my experience at the 2020 Celebrating America’s Freedom Event which I also shared at the Mid-Year Conference.
It was an honor to participate in the Celebrating America’s Freedom Event (CAFE) and attend the Mid-Year Conference. These events were very special to me for two reasons. It is an honor to be the National Ambassador for “Buddy”® Poppy and VFW National Home for Children, but most importantly, because I am a proud member of VFW Auxiliary to Charles Evering VFW Post 6506. Charles Evering was a Rosedale, Maryland, hometown hero born on April 19, 1926. As a Private First Class, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, U.S. Marine Corp during World War II, Charles was Killed in Action on June 24, 1944 in Saipan, Marianas Island at the age of 18. Private Evering served our country about six months when his life came to an end. Charles is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It was very overwhelming when I was able to pay my respects to Charles at our CAFE. My husband and I placed Flags decorated with “Buddy”® Poppies at his gravesite to honor our hero and to thank Charles for his service! A life taken too soon as he honorably served our country.
Now that you know the rest of the story you can relate to “Why” we do what we do! There are many stories like Charles’. It’s the reason we promote our “Buddy”® Poppy and support our VFW National Home for Children. For those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, it’s our way of letting them know that we have not forgotten them. For our veterans and service members, it shows we are here for them today and every day.
VFW National Home for Children
We continuously support our VFW National Home for Children because there are veteran and military families who need our help. By now, Auxiliary Treasurers should have received the National Home for Children March appeal. I ask that you take this notice to your Auxiliary meetings so a motion can be made on your floor to participate in this appeal. The VFW National Home for Children sends out two appeals per year, in March and November. Here is a link to a story that is included in the appeal: https://www.vfwnationalhome.org/stories
Like Charles, Brian is a hometown hero. Brian was able to live at the National Home, which developed him into being the patriot he is today. His is one of many stories of those who need our help and support.
With warmer temperatures in the air, it is now time to “Spring into Action.” Here are a few ways that you can support the VFW National Home for Children:
- Donations are still being accepted for the Snow Plow Truck. To date the VFW Auxiliary has donated over $9,000 towards this project. Thank you to those who answered the call to action.
- Donate to the March Appeal. Every penny counts to support our Hometown Heroes.
- Don’t forget AmazonSmile. Designate the VFW National Home for Children as your charity if you have not already done so. With Spring comes yard work. When ordering your Spring supplies, please sign into your AmazonSmile account when placing your orders.
- National Home Wish List. This is a two for one support idea. Purchase the needed items for National Home on their Amazon wish list and AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5 percent of that purchase.
- Donate Gifts in Kind Donations. Please refer to the Gift in Kind policy to learn more.
- Tribute Bricks. Honor or memorialize someone or put your name or organization’s name on a brick to be placed in a sidewalk at the National Home.
- Tribute Park. Create a lasting tribute for a person or organization in a beautiful setting while helping build the permanently restricted endowment fund.
- Other Tribute Giving. Give a gift in honor or memory of someone. A card will be sent to a family member or friend to notify them that a gift was made in their honor/memory.
We promote our Memorial Flower in all our Programs to bring awareness to this little but mighty flower. This program provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance to maintain state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs. It also partially supports the VFW National Home for Children. For each “Buddy” ® Poppy purchased by your Department for distribution:
- Once-and-a-half cents go to the Department’s Veterans Service Fund.
- One cent goes to VFW National Headquarters Veterans Service Fund.
- One cent goes to the VFW National Home for Children.
Spring Projects to incorporate into the National Programs:
- Include “Buddy”® Poppies in your Spring time wreaths. Donate the wreaths to your local VA facilities, local hospitals and nursing homes. (Hospital)
- Decorate tables for your fundraisers or functions with an arrangement of Spring flowers, American Flags and “Buddy”® Poppies. (Americanism)
- Include “Buddy”® Poppy pictures/clip art in your Spring Newsletter (Historian/Media Relations)
- Write a letter to your legislators using a “Buddy”® Poppy picture on your letterhead. (Legislative)
- Spring is a great time to host a Family Freedom Festival. Have plenty of “Buddy”® Poppies on hand. (Veterans and Family Support)
- Decorate a Basket with “Buddy”® Poppies and fill it with Springtime books to donate to your local schools. (Youth Activities)
All this and more are ways we can show our “Unwavering Support for Uncommon Heroes®”. The “Buddy”® Poppy/VFW National Home for Children Program is essential to our hometown heroes. It is with your help and support that our hometown heroes like Charles and Brian will know that we have not forgotten them.
Makemake ʻoe i kahi pūnāwai hauʻoli
(Wish you a very happy Spring)