VS American Legion Auxiliary poppy sales help to sustain disabled veterans

Noelle Bonjour, Charles R. Doman American Legion Post 131 Auxiliary

“In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row.”

Some people may recognize this as the first two lines of the poem, “In Flanders Fields,” written by John McCrae. The poppy has a long history of being associated with remembering the sacrifices of the military.

In 2018, the Friday before Memorial Day became officially designated as National Poppy Day. This year, National Poppy Day is Friday, May 22. While the pandemic has changed many things in 2020, one thing that hasn’t changed is how much our disabled veterans need our help.

Every year, American Legion Auxiliaries across the country offers red crepe paper poppies in return for donations. Please note that the Auxiliary does not “sell” poppies. Rather they collect donations. There is no price put on a poppy, although the current recommended amount for a donation is $1 per poppy. Here in South Dakota, these crepe paper poppies are still made by veterans as part of their therapy, and 100 percent of the proceeds from the poppies goes back to our veterans. The American Legion Auxiliary cannot use the donations for anything except helping veterans.

As stated, the coronavirus has not changed the fact that disabled American veterans still need help. They need the money to buy more poppy kits so their therapy can continue. Actually, all veterans still need help. The Valley Springs American Legion Auxiliary has chosen to give the poppy money to the Sioux Falls VA hospital for their Christmas gift shop. That allows veterans to select Christmas presents and ship if necessary, at no cost to the veteran.

Even if you had a poppy last year, please donate again this year. Veterans are still here. The Valley Springs American Legion Auxiliary is making it easy for people to donate for poppies amid the pandemic. All you need to do is send your donation, the number of poppies you would like, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Valley Springs unit poppy chair: Gloria Bonjour, 47860 US Hwy 18, Canton, SD 57013.

Our American veterans were willing to sacrifice their lives for us. How much are we willing to sacrifice for them?


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