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By Eryka Forquer 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 3801 is asking for public donations throughout the month of May as it shifts its Buddy Poppy distribution to a virtual format amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Buddy Poppy distribution began in 1922, when the VFW first distributed poppy flowers before Memorial Day. Shortly thereafter, the poppy was adopted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary as its official memorial flower and the Buddy Poppy distribution became a staple fundraising event for the organization. 

The fundraiser goes toward the VFW Relief Fund and provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies in VA hospitals. The VFW also dedicates a portion of the funds that it receives to donate socks, underclothing and personal hygiene products for state and national programs for veterans.

“Last year, our auxiliary donated to the VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan (providing a home for veterans and their families in transition), the Fisher House of Southern California (providing military and veteran families housing near their loved ones while they are hospitalized) and local veterans in need,” the group said in a press release.       

Donations can be sent through PayPal at vfwauxiliary3801@gmail.com or by a check addressed to Treasurer Tony Bordeaux at 34052 La Serena Drive, Dana Point, 92629.  

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