2019-2021 American Legion Auxiliary Poppy
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 you do?
1. Promote the Poppy program and increase poppy revenue.
Ideas for the Member:
- Contact local businesses for permission to distribute poppies on their premises. Make sure you have permission for liability purposes; in some instances, permits are required.
- Send a thank you to businesses that allow distribution. Consider using the Poppy Poster thank you cards, available through Emblem Sales, for your communication.
- Help local schools organize poppy drives. Make the drive competitive. Give a citation to the class raising the most money during their poppy drive.
- Wear a poppy to promote conversation and interest.
Ideas for the Unit:
- Educate your community about how funds collected help veterans.
- Contact local legislative offices to announce poppy distribution days, and request proclamations declaring Poppy Days in your community.
- Deliver poppies to local media outlets (television, newspaper and radio) along with facts about where and when poppies will be distributed in your community. Even if they are not visible “on air,” these people tend to be influencers in the community.
2. Increase the number of poppy makers in your department.
Ideas for the Member:
- Set up meetings with recreational and occupational therapists at local Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers (VAMCs), Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) or community hospitals to incorporate poppy-making into their therapy programs.
Ideas for the Unit:
- Distribute “How to Recruit New Poppy Makers” promotion information.
- Partner with The American Legion to recruit poppy makers within their post homes and departments.
- Post information on “How Veterans Can Make Money by Making Poppies” in local VA homes, medical centers, clinics, nursing homes and other community organizations that house and care for veterans.
3. Celebrate National Poppy Day and educate your community on the meaning and the history of the poppy.
Ideas for the Member:
- Search Pinterest.com for ideas of items you could distribute alongside red crepe paper poppies, like Spritz cookies.
- Send a bouquet of poppies and bookmarks to school with your child.
- Make a poppy wreath for the door of your home, office, or school.
- Collect donations at your workplace/hair salon/doctor’s office to donate to the Poppy program.
- Tell your story on Facebook of who your poppy represents or remembers on National Poppy Day. Don’t forget to tag with #PoppyDay #LegionFamily.
Ideas for the Unit:
- Talk to leaders of nearby post and units to make sure key areas in your community are covered, and organize a poppy distribution at local Memorial Day ceremonies. Make sure to wear your Auxiliary branded apparel.
- Invite a local dignitary to lay a poppy wreath at a memorial in your community and invite unit members to be present. Consider singing patriotic songs or other ways to involve your unit members.
Mid-Year reports reflect the program work of units in the department, and are intended as an opportunity for mid-year correction. Each Unit Poppy chairman is required to submit a narrative report by December 5, 2020 to the Department Poppy chairman.
Annual reports reflect the program work of units in the department, and may result in a national award for participants if award requirements are met. Each Unit Poppy chairman is required to submit a narrative report to the Department Poppy chairman by April 15, 2021.
As part of your Narrative Report, please include answers to the following questions:
- How did your members promote the Poppy program?
- How did your members increase poppy revenue?
- How did your members increase the number of poppy makers in your department?
- How did units promote the Poppy Poster Contest?
- How do units in your department promote Little Miss Poppy?
Poppy Contest and Awards Deadlines and Submission Requirements:
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.
The contest shall 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 11x14” 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.
Poppy Poster Contest Judging and
- Each department shall establish its own procedure for judging.
- A citation will be given for the most outstanding poster in each classification within the five divisions.
- Unit members should follow deadlines and process for the department.
- All department adjudicated entries must be sent by the department chairman to her national division chairman postmarked by the date found in the current supplement.
- While ALA representatives will do their best to return all posters, it is not guaranteed. We recommend participants take a picture or scan their poster for their records.
- Submissions become property of the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters. Through submission of artwork, contestants and their legal guardians grant nonexclusive 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.
B. National Miss Poppy Contest: Little Miss Poppy (Ages 6-12)
- Participant must be between six and 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 ubmitted.
- 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.
- 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.
Additional Resources You Can Use
2. Poppy Poster thank you cards, available through Emblem Sales
3. American Legion Auxiliary Unit Guide Book
4. Poppy seed packets for Poppies Across America can be purchased at American Meadows
5. For the following How To Sheets:
- How to Recruit New Poppy Makers
- How to Increase Unit Poppy Revenues
- How to be an ALA Poppy Production Manager
6. The national Poppy Facebook group, www.facebook.com/groups/ALAPoppy/