Poppy Program Action Plan 2017-2018
22756 Pickarts Lane
Box Elder, SD 57719-9320
What is this program and why do we have it?
Using the image and story of the Flanders Field poppy to educate people about the sacrifices of our military service members helps us raise awareness of The Legion Family and link us to our mission in the eyes of the public.
What can members/units do?
1. Promote the Poppy Program and increase poppy revenue.
· Distribute informational material and make it available to members.
· Include the Legionnaires, Sons of the American Legion, American Legion Riders, Miss/Little Miss Poppy pageant winners and Junior members when organizing a poppy drive. Encourage them to be active in the poppy program.
· Contact local businesses for permission to distribute poppies on their premises. Permission is needed for liability purposes. Take necessary information, poppies and/or cans to these businesses. Give poppies to staff to wear during the poppy promotion. Send a thank you to businesses that allow distribution.
· Foster positive relationships with organizations and businesses; encourage owners/staff to promote the poppy.
· Contact local legislative offices to announce poppy distribution days and arrange media coverage of a Poppy Day Proclamation.
· Deliver poppies to local media outlets (television, newspaper, radio) along with facts about where and when poppies will be distributed in your community.
· Educate your community about how funds collected help veterans.
· Post poppy information in visible areas of your town.
· Donate poppies to school children to wear during veterans’ programs on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Help local schools organize a competitive poppy drive, giving a citation/award to the class raising the most money.
· Make “In Flanders Fields” and Poppy Program bookmarks available during poppy distribution.
· Use poppies to decorate all Legion and Auxiliary events throughout the year.
· Encourage participation in the Poppy Poster Contest. Get local schools, kids’ clubs and junior members involved. Present awards to winners.
· Encourage your Miss/Little Miss Poppy to display the poppy and become active in community events. Make poppy tiaras and sashes for the girls to wear.
· Wear a poppy to promote conversation and interest.
· Use poppies in all corsages, bouquets and wreaths created during the year. Wear or display them proudly.
· Give poppies to veterans in your community as a way to say “thank you.”
· Sponsor a hat decorating contest with judges from your local Legion organizations.
2. Increase the number of poppy makers in your Department.
In South Dakota, poppies are made by the dedicated veterans at the Hot Springs VA and in the local community. The Department poppy chairman:
· Contacts the recreational therapist and the Voluntary Services specialist to let them know when the poppy program begins each fall and provides monthly schedules.
· Posts notices on the Poppy Room door, in the Voluntary Services hallway, and other appropriate areas at the VA. Notices include dates and times that the Poppy Room will be open and the amount that is paid to poppy makers for each poppy completed. All notices need to be in plastic sleeves.
· Prepares treats for veterans and visitors to the Poppy Room.
· Makes overhead announcements at the VA regarding Poppy Room hours.
· Contacts past poppy makers with poppy kit distribution information.
· Arranges for poppy making lessons.
· Writes thank you notes to poppy makers.
· If necessary, partners with the Hot Springs American Legion Family to increase production.
3. Celebrate National Poppy Day and educate your community on the meaning and the history of the poppy.
· Organize and participate in a local poppy distribution. Make sure to wear your Auxiliary branded apparel. Remember to include the American Legion Family and contact businesses.
· Lay a poppy wreath at Memorial Day ceremonies.
· Submit a news article to local media.
· Search Pinterest.com for ideas about items you can distribute along with poppies. Bookmarks are available at www.alaforveterans.org.
· Send a bouquet of poppies and bookmarks to school with your child/grandchild.
· Make and display a poppy wreath at your home, workplace, school, etc.
*Poppy orders are due to Department Headquarters by 11-01-17.
*Unit reports are due to District Presidents by 11-15-17 (mid-year) and 4-15-18 (end-of-year). District reports are due to me by 12-01-17 and 5-01-18.
*In January, plan ahead for the Poppy Poster Contest and Miss/Little Miss Poppy pageant. Create your masterpieces for the Senior Poppy Contest that is held during the MidWinter Conference.
*Poppy Poster Contest entries should be addressed to me and must be postmarked on or before 5-01-18.
*Submit Miss/Little Miss Poppy pageant winner’s name, address, Unit, and Department to me by 5-12-18.
*Remit 25% of poppy proceeds to Department by 6-10-18.