American Legion Auxiliary

Poppy Program

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. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies, all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation, are distributed across this country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.

The Poppy Program raises community awareness and respect for our veterans by educating Auxiliary members and the public about the symbol of the poppy, taken from a line in the poem "In Flanders Fields" written on the battlefront during World War I by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D.

Facts about the program:
  • Although run by the American Legion Auxiliary every poppy is handmade by a veteran.
  • Posts that do not have an Auxiliary with them can also work the program, and many do.
  • Post and units never sell poppies, instead they offer them as a thank you for a donation of any amount.
  • All donations collected in conjuntion with the poppy program goes to veterans programs.
  • Veterans who hand make the poppies all recieve a small stipend for their work.
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