American Legion Auxiliary
Department of Florida

Poppies

  Ruth Sovern
Poppy@alafl.org
2019-2020 Poppy Program Action Plan
2019-2020 Poppy Unit Mid Year Reporting
2019-2020 Poppy District Mid Year Reporting
2019-2020 Poppy Unit Year End Reporting
2019-2020 Poppy District Year End Reporting
Poppy Program National Annual Supplement 2019-2020
Poppy Day News Release template
Fall Conference Poppy Contest Flyer

poppyhats

From The Chairman

 From the Chairman:

What is the Poppy Program, and why do we have it?

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, handmade by Veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation, are distributed across the country I exchange of 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 Crae M.D.

National Poppy Day is the Friday before Memorial Day (May 22, 2020) The American Legion Family recognizes the importance of honoring the fallen and supporting the living who have worn our nation’s uniform. That is why The American Legion Family called upon Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day. After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe and quickly became a symbol of the sacrifices made by Americans and allied servicemembers around the world. Soldiers returning from WWI brought home the flowers in memory of the barren landscape transformed by the sudden growth of wild red poppies among the newly dug graves — unforgettably described in a memorial poem by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae: If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields. National Poppy Day broadens a tradition that dates back to the American Legion Auxiliary’s first National Convention in the early 1920s when the red poppy was adopted as The American Legion

Family’s memorial flower. Today, it remains an iconic symbol of honor for the sacrifice of our veterans. ALA members distribute millions of poppies annually across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.

The Department of Florida normally distribute poppies on Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. If another distribution date is desired, permission must be granted by the Department President. Once a permanent distribution date is approved by the Department President, it stands as being approved until such time as another new distribution date is requested.

Plan ahead for Poppy Day.

Order your poppies from Department of Florida at least 3 months prior your planned Poppy Day.

Publicity for Poppy Day

Because our poppy is an emblem of sacrifice, those who love it must make every effort to teach the public the true meaning of the flower. The success of the poppy distribution depends upon the advance publicity. If, in the season of Memorial Day, the poppy can make the indifferent public recall the sacrifices which have been made by the men and women who gave their lives that our country might be saved, the first and greatest mission of the poppy has been fulfilled.

The second mission is to win the confidence of the public through knowledge of the purposes to which the American Legion and American legion Auxiliary expend the money derived from the poppy distribution. By means of publicity on the expenditure of the poppy proceeds, public confidence can be won. The public has the right to this information. Every Post ad Unit should see that the poppy proceeds are so spent that publicity will bring honor and reward to our organization.

The public should also be reminded that the disabled men and women in hospitals, and their families are assisted by our poppy funds. The public will then know that The American Legion and The American Legion Auxiliary are continuing to keep faith with those who gave their all for our freedom.

Each year suggested publicity stories are prepared by National Headquarters and supplied without charge in sufficient quantity to Departments for distribution to each Unit. The stories are designed to be localized by the insertion of local names or to be rewritten from a local angle. This publication is entitled “Poppy Preview.”

Suggested Activities

The following is a suggested outline of activities to precede Poppy Day: Start a campaign of newspaper publicity which will educate the public about the significance of the poppy and the purpose for which the money is spent: organize a Poppy Speakers Bureau through which speakers will be available for meetings of all community organizations to acquaint them with the value of the

poppy program, both from the standpoint of therapeutic value to the maker of the poppy and to the community itself.

Supplies for Poppy Day

Conduct a Poppy Poster Contest in the local schools and give attractive prizes to the winners. Feature a poppy window display. Window cards, windshield stickers, poppy stamps, poppy lapel streamers to identify American Legion and Auxiliary workers. “Thank You for Caring” poppy leaflets, and offset printing repro sheets can be purchased through The American Legion National Emblem Sales. A list of available supplies is furnished by national Headquarters to every Department each fall.

Poppy Facts (It is suggested that all poppy workers memorize these facts.)

Do You Know-

That in the spring of 1919, amidst complete devastation, the poppies bloomed in abundance on the battlefields of France where so many of our men had fallen in battle, and that a replica of this poppy has become the Memorial Flower of the American Legion Auxiliary?

That The American Legion was the first national organization to adopt the poppy as its Memorial Flower, having taken this action at the national Convention in Cleveland, September 27-29, 1920?

That the American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as its Memorial Flower at its organizing convention held in Kansas City, in October 1921?

That at the time the American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy, it pledged 100% of the profits from the poppy distribution to welfare relied for servicemen and servicewomen and their families, thus fulfilling the true meaning of the poppy, and emblem of faith; faith which is being kept with all who died through service to the living?

That the American Legion Auxiliary, in order to protect the memorial poppy from the inroads of commercialism, adopted a national poppy program at the St. Paul Convection in 1924 which eliminated the commercial poppy?

That the memorial poppies are made of red crepe paper, by hand, by disabled veterans in hospitals and poppy workrooms in forty states, and that the workers receive pay for each poppy made, the material being furnished free by the Department in the state in which the hospital is located?

That the more than 25,000,000 poppies made by disabled veterans are distributed on the streets under the supervision of the American Legion Auxiliary by approximately 125,000 volunteer workers who receive no compensation?

That through the American Legion Auxiliary poppy program, more than $300,000 is paid annually to needy and disabled service men and service women for making the poppies?

That proceeds from the distribution of over 25,000,000 poppies annually under the guidance of the American Legion Auxiliary amount to more than $2,000,000, every penny of which is devoted to Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation work by both The American Legion and Auxiliary, which includes aid to needy veterans and their families? The method of distribution varies in each Department, depending upon the nature of the demands for help. Each of our 10,500 Units in communities scattered all over the United States , its territorial possessions, and in foreign countries where veterans reside, maintains a Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Committee working under a chairman, and a Children and Youth Committee with its chairman. These Unit chairmen are assisted by Department chairmen of similar committees, who in turn, work under the guidance of a National Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Chairman and a National Children and Youth Chairman.

That the public is given an opportunity each year to help in the significant work of The American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary, as well as an opportunity to pay tribute to all who died in service, by wearing a poppy on Poppy Day?

Poppy Reporting*

Mid-Year and Annual reports reflect the program work of units. Each Unit Poppy chairman is required to submit a report to the District Poppy Chairman with the required information.

Mid-Year Reports:

  • Units to District due December 1st

As part of your report, please include answers to the following questions, please expand as needed:

  1. How did your unit members promote the Poppy program?
  2. How did your unit members increase poppy revenue?
  3. How did units promote the Poppy Poster Contest?
  4. How did units promote Little Miss Poppy?
  5. What are the numbers of poppies or poppy items distributed?
  6. What were the dollars raised in the unit from poppies?

District to Department due December 15th.

As part of your report, please include answers to the following questions, please expand as needed:

  1. How did your District units promote the Poppy program?
  2. How did your District units increase poppy revenue?
  3. How did District units promote the Poppy Poster Contest?
  4. How did District units promote Little Miss Poppy?
  5. What are the numbers of poppies or poppy items distributed in the District?
  6. What were the dollars raised in the District from poppies?

Year-End Reports:

Units to District due April 1st

As part of your report, please include answers to the following questions, please expand as needed:

  1. How did your unit members promote the Poppy program?
  2. How did your unit members increase poppy revenue?
  3. How did units promote the Poppy Poster Contest?
  4. How did units promote Little Miss Poppy?
  5. What are the numbers of poppies or poppy items distributed?
  6. What were the dollars raised in the unit from poppies?

District Reports to Department due April 15th

As part of your report, please include answers to the following questions, please expand as needed:

  1. How did your District units promote the Poppy program?
  2. How did your District units increase poppy revenue?
  3. How did District units promote the Poppy Poster Contest?
  4. How did District units promote Little Miss Poppy?
  5. What are the numbers of poppies or poppy items distributed in the District?
  6. What were the dollars raised in the District from poppies?

Poppy Contest and Awards Deadlines and Submission Requirements:

➢ Due at Year End Report Dates

  • Poppy Poster Contest
    • Units shall sponsor contests in local schools. When schools do not conduct activities, other youth groups, including Junior members, may participate under direct supervision of the unit.
    • This contest should have seven classes:
      • Class I: Grades 2 and 3
      • Class II: Grades 4 and 5
      • Class III: Grades 6 and 7
      • Class IV: Grades 8 and 9
      • Class V: Grades 10 and 11
      • Class VI: Grade 12
      • Class VII: Students with special needs defined as:
      • Those in special education classes;
      • A student recommended for special education classes but who has not been admitted due to a waiting list or various other factors;
      • A child identified as having a disability, but not in a special education class due to lack of facilities. Identification contingent upon discretion of school officials.

Poppy Poster Requirements:

  • Each poster shall have a fitting slogan not to exceed 10 words. Articles – “a,” “and,” “an,” “the” – are not to be counted as words. The words “buddy” and “buy” cannot be used.
  • The words “American Legion Auxiliary” must be used in the design of the poster and will not be counted in the 10-word count.
  • Each poster must include a picture of the red Flanders Field poppy.
  • The department shall determine the closing date for the unit contest. The poster shall be on 11×14” poster board. (Drawing paper will not be accepted).
  • The United States flag may be used as long as there are no infractions of the flag code.
    • Posters will be judged using the following criteria:
        • 50% – poster appeal (layout, message, originality)
        • 40% – artistic ability (design and color)
        • 10% – neatness
  • Media used shall be watercolors, crayons, powder or oil paint, handmade paper cutouts, ink or textures, acrylics, pencils and markers.
  • Written in ink on the back of the poster (not attached) shall be the class in which the entry is submitted, the name, address, age and grade of the contestant and the name of the department.
  • Submissions become property of the American Legion Auxiliary. Through submission of artwork, contestants and their legal guardians’ grant non-exclusive reproduction and publication rights to the works submitted and agree to have their names and artwork published for commercial use without additional compensation or permission.
  • The poster shall be the work of only one individual.
  • The label “In Memoriam” from the veteran-made poppy may not be used.
  • A certificate will be given for the best poster in each classification within the seven classes.

Little Miss Poppy Contest: (Ages 6-12)

  • Participant must be between 6 to 12 years of age and be a Junior member in good standing of the American Legion Auxiliary.
  • Promotional activity of the Poppy story must occur through the American Legion the American Legion Auxiliary and the community.
  • Selection of Little Miss Poppy is at the discretion of the unit.
  • For National Little Miss Poppy consideration, participant must submit a Little Miss Poppy scrapbook (8½” x11”) containing photographs and clippings illustrating how she promoted the American Legion Auxiliary poppy in her department. Only those scrapbooks that contain a self-addressed envelope with postage will be returned. Although every effort will be made to return the scrapbook, accidents do happen, so all entrants must allow for that risk.

Criteria for judging Little Miss Poppy Scrapbook entries:

  •  Costume (there is no specific dress code or particular dress color for Miss Poppy).
  •  Promotion of the Poppy program: What did you share and do?
  • Publicity of poppy activities (newspapers, radio/TV, etc.).
  •  Narrative report on “What I Have Learned Being Little Miss Poppy.”
  • Essay on “Memorial Poppy” not to exceed 100 words.
  • The memorial poppy must be visible in all promotion and publicity submitted.
  •  Neatness and creativity.
  •  Cover page to include member name, unit name, state, age division and year.
  • Judging scale should be 1 through 10 for each area of judging for entire entry.
  • The Little Miss Poppy (age 6-12) winner will be invited to appear at the ALA National Convention, immediately following her selection, and if she so chooses, will travel at her own expense.
  • Winners of the National Little Miss Poppy contest each will receive a citation plaque.

Please follow department guidelines for submitting entries.

  • If the Poppy scrapbook is to be returned, members must include a self- addressed, stamped envelope. Although every effort will be made to return the scrapbook, accidents do happen so all entrants must allow for that risk.

Taking the time to share a favorite story about the positive impact you or someone you know has had on our mission is worth doing! It helps us tell the world who we are, what we do, and why we matter. Just three simple steps to add your part to our national success story:

1) Please follow instructions as you fill out the National Report and Awards Cover Sheet found in the awards section of the Programs Action Plan.

2) Provide details/examples about the activity as outlined in the award’s materials and guidelines section.

3) Submit as indicated in the Annual Supplement to the Programs Action Plan. • Award: Citation Plaque

  • Materials and guidelines: ▪ The entry must be typewritten in narrative format not to exceed 1,000 words.

▪ The report should cover all areas of emphasis and any relevant information involving program activity and describing your use of the poppy throughout the year.

National Report and Awards Cover Sheet, deadlines, and Poppy committee contact information may be found on the Poppy committee page on the national website, www.ALAforVeterans.org.

National Award

C. Unit Awards: Most Outstanding Unit Poppy Program

• Award: Citation Plaque
• Presented to: One unit in each division (5) announced by the national Poppy committee at the pre-convention meeting.
• Materials and guidelines:
▪ The entry must be typewritten in narrative format not to exceed 1,000 words.
▪ The report should cover all areas of emphasis and any relevant information involving program
activity and describing your use of the popppy throughout the year.

Department Award
Shirley Harbour Award- See Auxiliary Department Unit Guide for rules
Due 30 days prior to Department Convention

Department Chairman Award:
Most Outstanding Unit Poppy Program (Year-End)
Presented to: One unit in each Membership Grouping The winning entry will be sent on to National

Materials and guidelines:

The entry must be typewritten in narrative format not to exceed 1,000 words. The report should cover all relevant information involving program activity describing your use of the poppies throughout the year. Pictures are encouraged with your report. Due Date for all entries April 15, 2020. Must include Awards Cover Sheet.

Legal Unit Name with address
District #
President’s Name
Chairman’s Name
Unit Membership Grouping

Send to: Department Poppy Chairman
Ruth Sovern
355 Carriage Lane
Lady Lake, FL 32159

Special Chairman Award – Fall Conference

Design a Poppy Wall or Table Decoration
➢ Not to exceed 12” X 12” X 12”
➢ Bring to Fall Conference.
➢ All entries will be displayed for raffle; all proceeds will be donated to Honor Flight
➢ Judging will be based on number of raffle tickets deposited for each item.