Wear a Poppy to Honor Veterans
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 637 distributing poppies in front of Sam’s Club in Citrus Heights. Left to right: Virginia Hicks - Treasurer, JoAnne Schuster - President, Sheila LaPolla, Teressa Schuster - Vice-President. --Photo courtesy CA State American Legion Auxiliary
Bright red crepe paper poppies are created by disabled veterans to honor our fallen warriors and help with the continuing needs of our active service and retired veterans. --Photo by Virginia Hicks
May is Poppy Month. During the month of May American Legion Women’s Auxiliary units throughout the country have been providing bright red poppies available for a donation to honor our fallen warriors and to help with the continuing needs of our active service and retired veterans.
Poppy Days has become a familiar tradition in almost every American community. Distribution of the bright red memorial flower to the public is one of the oldest and most widely recognized programs of the American Legion Auxiliary.
Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by our veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. During the month of May, prior to Memorial Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies — all hand made by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation — are distributed across the country.
Auxiliary members gather and spend hours each year opening and preparing hundreds of poppies for their unit’s fundraising programs. Donations for the flowers go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities. Nearly 3.5 million poppies were distributed by units last year, raising $2; one in 2014.
The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red crepe paper flowers. Creating the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans and their families through the donations collected. In addition, Unit 637 auxiliary members create a beautiful funeral wreath made with the poppies to honor their member who has died.
Remaining distribution days in Citrus Heights are on Sunday May 22nd, Monday May23rd, Sunday May 29th, and on Memorial Day, May 30th, 2016 from 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Sam’s Club 7147 Greenback Lane Citrus Heights. Members of American Legion Auxiliary Citrus Heights Unit 637 are distributing the bright red poppies for Memorial Day in exchange for a donation.
American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of more than $3.1 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism.
To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org or meet the ladies of the Citrus Heights Unit 637 at their website: www.ALA637.Weebly.com.
Source: CA State American Legion Auxiliary