2022-2023 National “Buddy”® Poppy & VFW National Home Ambassador
New Name, Same Mission!
“The VFW National Home assists military, veterans, and their families with children, by creating a foundation of services and resources to achieve their personal and family goals in order to move forward in a positive, safe, and healthy environment.”
The National Home recently refreshed their logo and has begun reverting to the original name, VFW National Home. This is the name they were founded with in 1925 and better reflects their program today as they serve families, not only children. As one can imagine, “for children” can be misleading. There will be a quiet introduction to the change wherein the National Home will slowly update documents on their end resulting in a no-fuss change for us. You will be able to ask any questions you may have at the Zoom meeting on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. EST.
November 11 is Veterans Day and a great time for a “Buddy”® Poppy Drive; the funds collected go into the relief fund to help veterans and help support the National Home. Christine LeBrun from the Department of Michigan came up with a great idea. She has made a flag (or you may refer to it as a pennant) for people to purchase and then write a name on it in memory of or to honor a veteran. The pennant will then be displayed at her Post on Veterans Day. If you go online to the 2022-2023 “Buddy”® Poppy & National Home Chairmen group Facebook page, she has posted the pennant for everyone to see. Great job Christine!
Also in November, I sent out a template for cards welcoming a soldier to our dinner table; an easy and quick fundraiser for Home Front Heroes. As we head into December with all the various activities going on and gift buying, it is easy to get overwhelmed. And as much as I complain about the quick transition from Halloween right to Christmas, I, too, have become victim to participating in the rush of preparation for Christmas.
The suggestion for December’s fundraiser covers two gifts in one! Auxiliaries can make reindeer cards using candy canes and sell them to support the National Home/Home Front Hero.
- Grandparents can purchase a card and enclose a gift card to their grandchild’s favorite store
- Make it a unique card for a special friend
- Enclose a monetary gift for the mail carrier, express delivery drivers, sanitation workers, meter readers etc.
- Add your own message and give the reindeer as a Christmas tree ornament
The reindeer card would be a thoughtful greeting for anyone. Directions are attached and the cost of the card is set by each Auxiliary. Have everyone participate in making them; provide the needed supplies and host a craft party following your monthly meeting. I personally never know what to give my grandchildren of various ages, as they have individual ideas and wish lists for Christmas. The reindeer card satisfies my holiday gift to the National Home while also providing a card to each of my grandchildren (with a little something tucked inside.) I will post an example to our group Facebook page so you can see the finished results.
Are you an Amazon shopper? If you are planning on doing some Christmas shopping on Amazon, sign up for AmazonSmile. This is a great way to donate to the National Home. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is available for Amazon customers with the latest version of the Amazon Shopping app on their mobile phone, including Android devices with version 7.0+ or iOS devices with version 12+. To activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app, simply tap on “AmazonSmile” within Settings or the Program and Features menu and follow the on-screen instructions. For further information click the following link to go online to About AmazonSmile: Program Details and FAQ. Anytime you shop on Amazon, make sure to tap on AmazonSmile to send a donation to the VFW National Home.
As each Post begins to decorate for the holidays, remember to utilize the “Buddy”® Poppy. Share pictures of your Post decorated for the holidays, develop creative seasonal uses of the “Buddy”® Poppy and post on our group Facebook page as a SWAP (Sharing Wonderful Auxiliary Projects.)
Put on your thinking caps about how we can best educate our veterans, service members and their families as to what the National Home can do to help them. The first step is a phone call which will get the ball rolling but too many veterans are not aware of how the National Home can help them in their own communities. Beginning in January, you will be hearing more about how the National Home can help veterans in their own communities.
December is National Stress-Free Family Holidays Month. While it is certainly a tall order, it is always good to pull from all our strengths including kindness, love and patience. It’s helpful to remember that we’re in this together – show your family and friends you love them and create the space for them to love you in return.
“There are three stages of man: he believes in Santa Claus; he does not believe in Santa Claus; he is Santa Claus.” – Bob Phillips
Which are you?
May love and light fill your home and heart this holiday season.
Candy canes, googly eyes, red candies and pipe cleaners are used to make adorable reindeer with candy cane bodies. If you want these to last for several years, you can use small red pom-poms instead of candies for the reindeer noses. These reindeer make cute Christmas tree decorations, too.
- Craft glue or hot glue
- Large candy canes
- Red candies (like red hots) or red pom-poms
- Small googly eyes
- Brown pipe cleaners
- Blank 5X7 cards and envelopes
- One “Buddy”® Poppy per card
How to Make Candy Cane Reindeer
- Place a dab of craft glue or hot glue on the end of a wrapped candy cane’s hook and press a red candy or red pom-pom onto the glue. Repeat until all your candy canes have red “noses.”
- Smear a strip of glue about 1 inch above the nose and press two googly eyes onto the glue.
- Twist a brown pipe cleaner at the top of the candy cane, right where it starts to curve. Pinch each side several times, so that it bends to resemble reindeer antlers. If your pipe cleaner seems to slip around, add a dab of glue to the underside so that it doesn’t slide.
- Your candy cane reindeer is now finished. Although the candy canes are edible, the small parts and glue on the canes make these more appropriate for decorations than eating. If you want entirely edible candy cane reindeer, you could unwrap the candy cane, use royal icing to glue on the candy nose and use it to make the reindeer’s eyes.
How to make the card
- Position candy cane on a 5×7 card and adhere with glue.
- Put two marks with a pencil on either side of reindeer for placement of a “Buddy”®
- Write or enclose your own message or gift.
- Place the completed card in the envelope. It may be a snug fit; if you can’t seal it, tie a ribbon around it.