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.
Near Memorial Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies, all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation, are distributed to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities. This is a opportunity to raise money for our local Veterans. In these economic times, our Vets face increasing financial woes due in part to an aging population, medical expenses and diminished earning potential.
The financial benefit realized by our nation's veterans as a result of poppy distribution is huge. Nearly 3.5 million poppies were distributed by units last year, raising $2.1 million.
Locally, the Auxiliary was able to help a family going through a loss of a loved young veteran, as well as help with another family with hail damage and no insurance.
The Auxiliary also has helped throughout the year with medical expenses for some families. The Cherokee Auxiliary is proud to be meeting the continuing needs of our veterans and should be the concern of every Americans who values their freedom. The Auxiliary promotes the poppy as a symbol of the sacrifices our military have made, a symbol to open people's hearts and inspired them to donate.
Each nine-piece poppy is made by veterans for veterans in Auxiliary-sponsored Poppy Shops that supplement physical and psychological therapy needed by hospitalized and disabled veterans. The Auxiliary provided the materials and the volunteers. The veteran makes the poppy and is paid a small amount for each painstakingly made flower. For some it is his or her only income.
No matter what the cost of maintaining and supplying the Poppy Shops, the memorial Poppy is never sold, but given in exchange for a contribution.
The Poppy program has been part of Auxiliary program for more than 70 years. It has been estimated that approximately 25 million Americans wear the Poppy to honor America's war dead and veterans, contributing over $2 million for rehabilitation and welfare programs.
Contact Sharon Godfrey, Unit President at 225-0716 if you have any questions.