The Cranford VFW Post #335 announced that it’s annual Buddy Poppy Program in May were a great success. “It was a special month for Buddy Poppy Program” said Cranford VFW Post Poppy Chairman Lee Blowe. “We had a great turnout of our men and women to sell, but it was the public who really came through for us”. Blowe indicated that the donations for poppies this year was a whopping 40% over last year. “We canvassed in both Cranford and Garwood, at mostly the popular stores and we were met with such acceptance, it just made us feel great”, Viet Nam veteran Blowe added.
The VFW Buddy Poppy program has been around since the early 1920’s. The significance of the poppy is taken from a World War I influenced poem called “In Flanders Field” which referenced the poppies growing and blowing in the wind among the graves of fallen American soldiers in France.
The donations received by the VFW are deposited into a dedicated fund which can only be used directly for the benefit of veterans. “A great example of the use of these funds happened just last month”, explained Post Commander Jay Boxwell. “We were contacted by a veteran, a single mom now a member of our Post, that her house had burned down and she had no where to go with her children. Our post along with other veterans organization donated funds to see that she had a place to stay at least on a temporary basis, until she could get back on her feet.”
Additionally, the VFW Buddy Poppy program provides compensation to the disabled veterans who assemble the poppies in VA Homes and provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs.
“We just want to make sure the people of Cranford and Garwood know how much we appreciate their generosity”, said Commander Boxwell. “And we know they will be there again next year for us. We are so proud of our great community”.