VFW joins WW1CC Poppy Program
By Chris Isleib
Director of Public Affairs, U.S. World War One Centennial Commission
WASHINGTON, DC: One of the largest veterans service organizations in the world, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. (VFW), has officially partnered with the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission for the Commission's innovative new veterans-awareness program.
The WW1CC rolled out the WW1 Poppy Program two weeks ago. Details on it can be found here: ww1cc.org/poppy.
Founded in 1899, the Veterans of Foreign Wars is the oldest major veteran’s organization in the nation, and its membership, combined with that of its Auxiliary, stands at nearly 1.7 million people. They fund and manage programs that support veterans, service members and their families, as well as communities, worldwide.
Poppies are a familiar symbol for VFW members -- since 1922, the VFW has sold its own "Buddy" Poppies, in memory of the America's veterans. The poppy flower became a veterans remembrance symbol during World War I, stemming from the famous poem "In Flanders Field" by Canadian medical officer, Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.
With this new WWI poppy program, a partner organization can provide WW1CC with a $64.99 donation and get a poppy seed kit, containing 60 poppy seed packets. The partner organization can, in turn, distribute the poppy seed packets for $2 a piece -- and the partner organization can keep that second dollar.
In this way, WW1CC raises money for the National World War I Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, DC, and we also help our partner organizations to raise money for their own programs.
WW1CC Commissioner Debra Anderson, who also serves as Quartermaster General for the VFW, was pleased by the partnership. “It is great to see these two organizations work together for the common cause of remembering the First World War. The VFW has long advocated for our veterans, and we hope that the WW1 Poppy Program will raise awareness of the sacrifices made by hundreds of thousands of veterans in one of the most awful wars in world history.”
Other groups are invited to help tell the WW1 story, while raising money for their own organization. Details can be found at ww1cc.org/poppy.