VFW Programs

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VFW Buddy Poppy’s

Since 1922, the Buddy Poppy has been an integral part of the VFW community. As VFW’s official memorial flower, the Poppy represents the blood shed by American service members. It reiterates that VFW will not forget their sacrifices.

The Poppy movement was inspired by Canadian Army Col. John McCrae’s famous poem, “In Flanders Fields”. Poppies were originally distributed by the Franco-American Children’s League to benefit children in the devastated areas of France and Belgium following World War I.

In 1922, the VFW conducted a campaign and received Poppies from France.  Members soon discovered it took too long to get the flowers from France and they came up with a better idea:  Disabled, hospitalized, and aging veterans could make the paper flowers and ship them out to the members for distribution.  This practice remains in effect today, with  veterans in VA hospitals and state veterans homes assembling VFW Buddy Poppy’s and shipping them to VFW Posts around the world. Read more at this foundation for defense of democracies.

The VFW pays these veterans for their work of assembling Poppies.  In most cases, this extra money provides additional income for the worker to pay for the little luxuries, which make hospital life more tolerable. All proceeds from the VFW’s Poppy distribution are used for veterans welfare or the well being of their needy dependents, as well as the orphans of veterans.  More than 2,100 children of veterans have been, or being cared for in the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, thanks to a portion of Poppy funds.

The VFW’s Buddy Poppy program is truly all about veterans helping veterans and living up the VFW’s motto of “Honoring the Dead by Helping the Living”.

If you would like to make a donation to the Westerville VFW’s Buddy Poppy program, please contact Ben Quinn at (614) 270-4115 or bquinnu2@hotmail.com

 

VFW Scholarship Programs

At the turn of the century, the founders of the Veterans of Foreign Wars created an organization that would honor and serve veterans and perpetuate the values and ideals for which those veterans served. Although men of vision, it is doubtful they could imagine the millions of Americans impacted today by the VFW’s youth, scholarship and Recognition programs.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of students participate in the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition and the Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest, garnering more than $3.4 million in scholarships and incentives. The Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy are both endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

 

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VFW Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest

VFW believes strongly in good citizenship and fostering patriotism. That’s why we encourage youthful minds to examine our nation’s history and their own experiences in modern American society through our Patriot’s Pen youth essay-writing contest.

Annually, roughly 126,000 students from grades 6-8 (nationwide) enter. One first-place winner from each state competes to win one of 46 national awards totaling $46,000. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March.

Students draft a 300-400 word essay, expressing their views based on an — always patriotic — annual theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief.

For more detailed information visit this link.

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VFW Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) started the Voice of Democracy Scholarship Competition in 1946. The Veterans of Foreign Wars became a national sponsor in the late 1950’s and assumed sole responsibility for the program in 1961. Many notables have participated in the Voice of Democracy including journalist Charles Kuralt, Miss America Anita Bryant and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Knowing that a democratic society needs nurturing, the VFW established the Voice of Democracy program (VOD) in 1947 to provide students grades 9-12 the opportunity to express themselves in regards to democratic ideas and principles.

The national first-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship paid directly to the recipient’s American university, college or vocational/technical school. Other national scholarships range from $1,000- $16,000 and the first-place winner from each (State) VFW Department wins an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

For more detailed information visit this link.

 

Each year three exceptional teachers are recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for their outstanding commitment to teach Americanism and patriotism to their students. The VFW annually recognizes the nation’s top classroom elementary, junior high and high school teachers who teach citizenship education topics—at least half of the school day in a classroom environment—and promote America’s history, traditions and institutions effectively.

The VFW’s National Citizenship Education Teacher Awards (Teacher of the Year) include the following items:

• A $1,000 award to the top K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 grade teachers for professional development expenses.
• $1,000 award for each winning teacher’s school.
• Plaques for both the winning teacher and school.
• An all-expenses-paid trip to attend a VFW conference and receive their award.

For more detailed information visit this link.

Some of the VFW’s earliest ties to the community involve youth groups. Few are stronger — and none more lasting — than the close relationship between the VFW and Boy Scouts of America, dating back to 1915.

Each year, the VFW selects three young people — of the Boy or Girl Scouts, Sea Scouts or Venturing Crew — who have demonstrated practical citizenship in school, scouting and the community. The first-place winner receives a $5,000 award, the second-place winner receives a $3,000 award and the third-place winner receives $1,000.

For more detailed information visit this link.


Other VFW Programs

VFW’s Community Service programs are designed to encourage community service and increase civic pride, which ultimately enhances education, improves the environment and ensures the availability of health services for our nations veterans.

VFW’s Citizenship Education program is designed to stimulate interest in America’s history and traditions and to promote citizenship, civic responsibility and patriotism.

VFW Post 7883 is also involved locally with the Girl Scouts.

VFW’s Safety Program encourages VFW Posts and Auxiliaries to conduct programs in home, auto and bicycle safety, as well as programs dealing with drug awareness and substance abuse.

The VFW National Home for Children is a community development in a family like environment that is home to orphaned or single parent children of VFW or Ladies Auxiliary members. The home, which was established in 1925 on 160 acres in Eaton Rapids, Mich., emphasizes the values of education, good work habits and sound moral character.

Whether providing scholarships to the nation’s youth or helping veterans receive the entitlements they have earned, the VFW is there to honor the dead by helping the living.