VFW “BUDDY”® POPPY PROGRAM
Our oldest and perhaps most historically significant program is the VFW “Buddy”® Poppy program. Before Memorial Day in 1922, we conducted our first poppy distribution, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, as it remains today.
During our 1923 encampment, we decided that VFW "Buddy"® Poppies would be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with financial assistance. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time.
In February 1924, we registered the name Buddy Poppy with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting our organization all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. We've 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 legally use the name Buddy Poppy.
Today, our Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.
The VFW Buddy Poppy program 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 Children.
If you would like to donate to this amazing cause please contact Brian Strickner or any of the other VFW Officers at our Post.
VFW OPERATION UPLINK
As the largest organization of combat veterans, we understand the importance of keeping military families in touch. That's why in 1996 we launched the VFW Operation Uplink™ program - a calling program for deployed service members that provides free phone time to active-duty military personnel and hospitalized veterans.
Operation Uplink initially provided calling cards to deployed and hospitalized troops, but on Mother's Day in 2006, due to the growing popularity of the program, and thanks to the generosity of corporate donors like Sport Clips Haircuts and Harleysville Insurance, the program began hosting "Free Call Days."
The program is the only one of its kind, providing at least three designated days each month when deployed service members can make FREE phone calls home to the U.S. from their Morale, Welfare & Recreation (MWR) center or military DSN line.
Free Call Days have provided more than 7.6 million free connections for service members and their families.
If you have questions or would like to request phone time for your loved one, contact Operation Uplink today.
VFW UNMET NEEDS
We understand the challenges veterans, service members and military families can face and believe that experiencing financial difficulties should not be one of them. That's the premise behind the VFW's Unmet Needs program.
Unmet Needs is there to help America's military families who have run into unexpected financial difficulties as a result of deployment or other military-related activity or injury. The program provides financial aid of up to $5,000 to assist with basic life needs in the form of a grant -not a loan- so no repayment is required. To further ease the burden, we pay the creditor directly.
Since the program's inception, Unmet Needs has distributed more than $6.75 million in assistance to more than 4,300 qualified military families, with nearly half of those funds going directly toward basic housing needs.
The needs of our veterans, service members and their families should never go unmet. Let us offer you a hand up when you need it!
Please review the Unmet Needs eligibility criteria to see if you or someone you know qualifies for a grant through the Unmet Needs program.
VFW MILITARY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
Our Military Assistance Program (MAP) is the outstretched hand between the local VFW and military community, offering support around the world.
Since 2005, MAP has sponsored events supporting over 2 million service members and their families.
A large part of MAP is the Adopt-a-Unit program, providing VFW Posts and their Auxiliaries the opportunity to adopt hundreds of military units around the world. Adopt-a-Unit's goal is to develop supportive relationships with units before, during and after deployments to help deliver the vast network of resources the VFW has available to the military.
If you are a service member or a Family Readiness Group leader interested in participating in this program, contact us today.
VFW "SPORT CLIPS HELP A HERO SCHOLARSHIP" PROGRAM
The VFW's "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship" provides service members and veterans with the financial assistance they need to complete their educational goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. It’s just another way for us to say “thank you” to those who fought for our freedoms.
Scholarships of up to $5,000 will be awarded to qualified applicants.
Awarded scholarships are limited to one per family per semester.
Applications for the fall semester will be accepted January 1 through April 30.
Applications for the spring semester will be accepted August 1 through November 15.
Fall semester scholarships will be awarded in August, and spring semester scholarships will be awarded in January.
Scholarships must be used by the end of the school semester for which the veteran is applying or they will become null and void.
Scholarships are restricted for tuition and fees only and will be paid directly to accredited schools.
Eligible Applicants Must:
Be a citizen of the United States.
Be retired, honorably discharged, active duty, or a member of the National Guard or Reserve.
Have completed Basic Training and follow-on training (Advanced Individual Training, technical school, etc.).
Separated with or currently hold a military rank of E-5 or below.
Demonstrate a need for financial assistance.
Participate in, be accepted to or currently enrolled in a VA-approved program or school at an accredited post-secondary institution.
VETERANS & MILITARY SUPPORT PROGRAMS
Veterans & Military Support is part of the VFW’s never-ending obligation to assist members of the active-duty military, National Guard and Reserves, as well as their families. These programs were established to keep the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the forefront of patriotism as the organization and its members find innovative way to show support for America and her armed forces.