Gloucester, Virginia- The Village Blacksmith announced today its cooperation with Gloucester County VFW Post 8252 in its Semi-Annual Buddy Poppy Drive. Buddy Poppy’s Are made and assembled by disabled veterans and 100% of the proceeds generated from their donations goes back to help veterans and veterans programs. Buddy poppies are available for pick up At the village Blacksmith Shop located at 6641 Gloucester St., VFW post 8252 and many other locations throughout the county. A donation is encouraged. Those that wish to make a donation online may do so on the Village Blacksmith website via this link: Buddy Poppy DRIVE. 100% of the proceeds raised at the Village Blacksmith and their website will be disbursed directly to VFW post 8252.
About the Buddy Poppy-
Twice annually Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Posts from throughout the nation and overseas offer Buddy Poppies to the public for any type of donation. These donations are used for the VFW’s Relief Fund. The money donated can only be used for only eight different reasons.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was the first veteran’s organization to promote a nationally organized campaign for the annual distribution of Poppies assembled by disabled and needy veterans.
The Poppy movement was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field” written by Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces before the United States entered World War I. Selling replicas of the original Flanders’ Poppy originated in some of the allied countries immediately after the Armistice.
No definite organized sale of Poppies on a nationwide basis was conducted in America until 1921, when the Franco-American Children’s League sold Poppies ostensibly for the benefit of children in the devastated areas of France and Belgium.
Madam Guerin, who was recognized as “the Poppy lady from France”, sought and received the cooperation of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. early in 1922, after the Franco-American Children’s League was dissolved. The VFW conducted a Poppy sale prior to Memorial Day, 1922, using only Poppies that were made in France. In the 1923 Poppy sale, due to the difficulty and delay in getting Poppies from France, the VFW made use of a surplus of French Poppies that were on hand and the balance was provided by a firm in New York City manufacturing artificial flowers.
It was during the 1923 campaign that the VFW evolved the idea which resulted in the VFW Buddy Poppy fashioned by disabled and needy veterans who were paid for their work as a practical means of providing assistance for these Comrades. This plan was formally provided for adoption to the 1923 encampment of the VFW at Norfolk, Virginia. Immediately thereafter the VFW Buddy Poppy factory was established in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where all Buddy Poppies for the 1924 sale were assembled by disabled veterans.
General Frank T. Hines, Director of the U.S. Veterans’ Bureau, endorsed the plan and pledged the cooperation of his department. All men employed in the assembling of the Buddy Poppies for the 1924 sale were sent to the VFW Poppy workshop in Pittsburgh. The designation “Buddy Poppy” which originated with the men themselves was adopted at that time. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name “Buddy Poppy” with the U.S. Patent Office, and a certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of “Buddy” under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all Poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can make legal use of the name “Buddy Poppy”.
The National Buddy Poppy Committee has maintained a close check on the making of Buddy Poppies and has supplied VFW Buddy Poppy labels, which must be used on all Poppies sold by any unit of this organization. The VFW has steadfastly adhered to the policy of veteran assembled Poppies.
From the very beginning, the Buddy Poppy project of the VFW has received the endorsement and cooperation of the Director of the Veterans Administration, and the support of administrations and medical officers of government hospitals. All Presidents since Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) have conveyed to the nation at large, endorsement and recognition of this VFW effort.
Today, VFW Buddy Poppies continue to be assembled by disabled, needy, and aging veterans in VA Hospitals and domiciliaries across the country. The majority of the proceeds derived from each sale conducted by VFW Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries is retained locally to provide for veteran services and welfare. The minimal cost of the Buddy Poppies to VFW Posts provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the Poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs, and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.
Buddy Poppy proceeds represent no profit to any VFW Post. All of the money contributed by the public for Buddy Poppies is used in the cause of veteran’s welfare, or for the well-being of their needy dependents and the orphans of veterans.
Gloucester County’s VFW Post 8252 offers Buddy Poppies around Memorial Day, at the end of May, and near Veteran’s Day, around Nov. 11. One hundred percent (100%) of all money collected goes into the Post’s Relief Fund. All VFW members collecting money for Poppies are volunteers and are not paid and the VFW takes no money for administrative fees.