Poppy Days

ALA Poppy Distribution

Poppy Days have become a familiar tradition in almost every American community. Many people wish to donate in exchange for a poppy, yet they don’t know when or where a local distribution is taking place. To find out more information about a poppy distribution in your area, email Poppy@ALAforVeterans.org

The distribution of this bright-red memorial flower to the public is a big component of the ALA’s Poppy Program, one of our oldest and most widely recognized programs. The poppy symbolizes the sacrifice made by our veterans, servicemembers, and their families. However, many people do not know how the funds received from poppy distributions may be used or where the money can go.  

Poppy funds support mission outreach activities

Poppy funds are used to support three major national mission outreach activities. The first is the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, which the Auxiliary has proudly co-presented for over 20 years. For more information on the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, click here. If you wish to donate to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, please donate here. The second mission outreach activity is to support aspects of the Honor Flight mission. For more information, please scroll down to the “Honor Flight” section below. The third mission outreach activity is food insecurity among servicemembers nationwide. Please watch this video to learn more about this urgent issue. 

Using Poppy Funds to Support Honor Flights

Beginning in 2021, the American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters entered a formal partnership with Honor Flight Inc. to support their mission to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in a day of honor at our nation’s memorials by enabling our units and departments to directly donate funds generated from the distribution of our poppy — the symbol of the sacrifice of service made by our veterans, military, and their families.

There are three ways poppy funds may be used to support our veterans participating in an Honor Flight. First, money may be donated directly to Honor Flight hubs in your area or to Honor Flight Lone Eagle program. To locate a hub, please visit www.honorflight.org/find-a-hub. For more information on the Lone Eagle program, please visit loneeagle.honorflight.org. Your poppy funds may be used for any of the following items:

For the veterans

  • Food and nutrition
  • Oxygen
  • Wheelchairs
  • Medical teams on each flight (one medic per bus — and there are sometimes up to six medics per flight — funds cover the medic’s food, identifying apparel, medical supplies, travel expenses, and hotel)
  • Wheelchair-accessible buses

For the guardian (companion/caregiver who attends with the veteran)

  • Airfare to accompany veteran on the trip
  • Food and nutrition
  • Hotel accommodations to remain with veteran during the trip
  • Guardian training and associated needs to execute necessary tasks — food, room rental, medical training, and identifying articles of clothing
  • When required — transportation to the airport with veteran
  • When required — hotel for the night before the flight with veteran

The second way poppy funds may be used for the above listed items is by donating directly to Honor Flight Inc. by visiting www.honorflight.org/donations. Once on that page, you may click on “Poppy Funds from The American Legion Family” located on the bottom right.

A third way to utilize poppy funds to support Honor Flight Inc. is by purchasing items from the above list directly. You will first need to coordinate that effort with your local hub or with the Lone Eagle program. Regardless of which method your unit chooses to donate their poppy funds, please know the money will go to the support of veterans and guardians attending an Honor Flight in the ways listed above.

Food Insecurity PSA

Armed Services YMCA

The American Legion Auxiliary is joining forces with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) to combat food insecurity. By supporting the existing network of food pantries and food distribution events offered by the ASYMCA with the donation of Auxiliary poppy funds, we can win the war together in this ongoing need.

In 2013-2014, The American Legion expanded the use of poppy funds to include the assistance of active-duty servicemembers and their families. Now is the perfect time to help join the cause and fight against food insecurities experienced by so many military members in our Armed Forces by donating a portion of your poppy funds to support servicemembers in your area. Please select from the list below for the ASYMCA food pantry near you. Don’t see a listing in your local area? You can still help — visit National Donations at ASYMCA.org

Armed Services YMCA food pantry locations