Post by Category : Buddy Poppies

Raising Funds for Veterans Relief

We are dusting off our outside chairs, checking the rigging of our VFW Service Canopy, and scheduling fall events at the Franklin Street downtown Post Office.  We will be on site September 7, 21st and 28th.  We return on October 26, and in November we will be there on the 2nd and 23rd.


Our focus this year is the VFW Buddy Poppy Program and recruiting local veterans.


Chapel Hill’s Post 9100 members gather at the Franklin Street Post Office Plaza to “meet and greet” passersby and veterans.  We do this for several reasons.  

  1. To engage the public and share the mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
  2. To share the programs of the VFW; for example: Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen Scholarships
  3. Share the mission of the VFW Buddy Poppy program and its benefit to local Veterans’ Relief.
  4. To assist those seeking information on VA resources, claims, and the services of the Orange County Veterans Service Office.

Annual Tar Heel Men’s Basketball Raffle Winner

UNC BasketballIt gives us great pleasure to announce the winner of our 2016 raffle.  Margaret Hutchins of Carrboro, a good personal friend of Rusty Edmister’s (a member veteran and member of the post), had her stub drawn from the hermetically sealed container this afternoon before three witnesses.  Rusty will deliver the basketball tickets and take some photos so we can post them to the website.


We thank the purchasers of the 350 tickets for their support of our Veterans Relief Fund.  At just ten dollars a ticket for a chance to win two season tickets for every at home basketball game (including Duke vs. UNC) is a great value.


See you again next fall as we setup our kiosk by the Historic Chapel Hill Downtown Post Office three hours before every Tar Heel home football game.

VFW Buddy Poppies

World War II Vet Elmer Hughes passes out Buddy Poppies
World War II Vet Elmer Hughes passes out Buddy Poppies

Each year our post members brave wind, cold, rain, and maybe even a little snow as they hand out Buddy Poppies in downtown Chapel Hill.  They do it to raise money for programs that benefit veterans, their families and homeless.  Watch for us on each Carolina game day at the Old Chapel Hill Post Office on Franklin Street.  Our first date is September 17th and we will be there from noon to about 3:30 pm.


buddy-poppy-handout-for-driveWe are asked about the story behind the Buddy Poppy and we are getting pretty good at sharing the history of the VFW Buddy Poppy. We found a video on the Buddy Poppy that can be viewed by you, shared in a school class or assembly, or viewed at a civic function or other event.  We want to remind everyone that over 400,000 men and women of these United States have perished in wars since, and including, World War I.  Many hundreds of thousands returned home with war wounds.  You can help us share America’s story.  Afterall, how can we understand who we are, if we do not share, remember, and honor the sacrifices of American men and women?


Won’t you share the story of the Buddy Poppies in your community?  And, when you see a veteran giving away a Buddy Poppy, thank them and proudly wear the Buddy Poppy.  If you can, make a donation to their Veterans Relief Fund.


YouTube Preview Image

Basketball Raffle Winner Announced

Each year our post holds a raffle to raise money for our Veterans Relief Fund. The raffle has two purposes. One is to raise money for veterans assistance. The other it to show the local community that we have an active and vibrant group of veterans by meeting and greeting passersby in beautiful downtown Chapel Hill.

World War II Vet Elmer Hughes passes out Buddy Poppies
World War II Vet Elmer Hughes passes out Buddy Poppies

We are proud to announce that our raffle was a great success. We sold every available ticket and we thank everyone who participated, especially our Carolina Alumni.


The drawing for the pair of season tickets for Tar Heel Men’s Basketball for the 2015-2016 season was held this afternoon. There were 300 tickets in the tub from which the winner was drawn. The winner was Lee Heavlin, a career Navy veteran from Carrboro who finished his career as the Administrative Officer for the Navy ROTC Unit on campus at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


$3000 was raised from our raffle ticket sales. We can’t begin to tell you how important it is for our Chapel Hill VFW Post to help needy veterans who come to us for financial assistance. The fund into which the raffle ticket money went is our source for that help. We call it our Veterans Relief Fund.


Other money that goes into that fund is what we raise from our Buddy Poppy efforts. This is a nationwide VFW program to raise money for veteran assistance. You may see men and women in front of grocery stores or “big box” retailers, especially around Veterans Day, giving away small red and green flowers. These poppies are made by disabled veterans and are given to people by VFW members to remind them of the sacrifices made by members of our military. Donations are gladly accepted but not requested from those to whom the poppies are given. Again, every penny raised goes into the fund from which assistance is provided to veterans in financial need who approach the local VFW Post.

Carolina Basketball Cheer

Some veterans are sitting home on a Saturday morning trying to decide what to do.  Should they cut the grass, go shopping, have lunch, or just mellow?  It has been a hard week.  Not our post members.  They are looking at ways to raise awareness of veterans in the Chapel Hill area.  


You will find them passing out Buddy Poppies in Downtown Chapel Hill on every Carolina Football home game.  Several members will spend hours meeting and greeting college students, out-of-towners, and Carolina Alumni.  They hear family stories about fathers, mothers, brothers, uncles and more having served.  They start new friendships as they exchange the years of service in Vietnam, Korean War winter stories, and theaters of operation during World War II.  Hands are shaken and hugs exchanged.  Kids smile and mother’s snap photos.  There is a common bond and new Carolina game day memories are born.


The Chapel Hill Post also offers everyone an opportunity to win two season tickets to Carolina Basketball for every home game after the last home football game.  Tickets are just $3 or two for $5 and all of the money raised joins Buddy Poppy donations in our Post Veterans Relief Fund. The seats are great seats.  Not too high, but just about right.  They are seats that give one lucky winner a season of excitement watching Carolina Basketball with family or a friend.


It only takes one $3 donation to win!
It only takes one $3 donation to win!

Here’s a picture of Leigh McLeod of Carrboro, NC, who was ecstatic at winning our Tarheel Basketball Season Ticket raffle last year (2013).  She is holding two sets of 15 Carolina Basketball home game tickets!


Marv McWherter, our Post Quartermaster, reported last Fall, “When I dropped off the tickets today she was already attired in the CAROLINA sweatshirt. One of her children is a student there, and the other, a senior in high school, has applied for the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.” Marv takes great delight in delivering the tickets to the annual winner. “I will deliver anywhere in the state, and maybe a little further,” he said.


Are you a Carolina Basketball fan?  Then drop by the old downtown Chapel Hill Post Office on Franklin Street on any Carolina home game day.  We will be there with lots of Buddy Poppies and raffle tickets.  You can’t miss us.  Just look for our bright canopy.  We are the proud Veterans of Foreign Wars members with service caps, big smiles, and warm handshakes.  Come on down and support local veterans and our Veterans Relief Fund.  And, if you are an eligible veteran, sign up for membership!  Make a difference.

Basketball Season Tickets Delivered  0

A beaming Leigh McLeod
A beaming Leigh McLeod

“Ding Dong, Ding”  Our post quartermaster, Marv McWherter, rang the doorbell of an excited and still surprised of our 2013 VFW Tarheel Basketball Raffle.  He was holding two sets of Tarheel basketball tickets for every home game played at the Dean Smith Center after the Duke-UNC home football game (that’s when we hold the drawing).

Marv McWherter wrote, “Leigh McLeod of Carrboro was ecstatic at winning our Tarheel Basketball Season Ticket Raffle. When I dropped off the tickets today she was already attired in the CAROLINA sweatshirt.  One of her children is a student there, and the other, a senior in HS (high school), has applied for the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy. ”

This year’s winner just happened to be a customer in a store Elmer Hughes went into to solicit support for our program.  “How fortuitous for her!!, ” Marv said.

We don’t hold this raffle each year just to raise a lot of money.  True, we can always use more for our Veteran’s Relief Fund to support our special projects for veterans.  But, we use this annual event to raise the flag, salute veterans, give away VFW Buddy Poppies, create awareness of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, gain new members, and share stories with those who stop at our VFW canopy.

We often get comments about parents, grandparents, and other family members who have served.  They tell their stories of family members in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and other conflicts.  Mention the Marine Corps and the Pacific Campaign and Major Bud Hampton, an Iwo Jima survivor, will stand up and shake their hand and share a personal story.  If they flew during the great war, Elmer Hughes will share his tales of service in the Army Air Corps.  You name the event, we’ll have someone at the ready to brighten their day with a tale or memory that makes them smile and say, “Thank you for your service.”  They also walk away feeling proud of their family’s service to our country.

Yes, we are proud of our time of service and we are proud of our community.  We are also proud and honored to  represent those who can not speak for themselves as they are still serving somewhere, “Over There!”


Veterans Day Post Events  0

We don’t sit around our post home on Veterans Day.  It is a day for the living and celebration of the many and continued contributions of our veterans.

Veterans dayWant to know what is going on in the Chapel Hill area to commemorate Veterans Day?  Just scan through the current news stories on this site.  However, there may be a few more!  We have compile a list of all events for both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion.  Click here: Veterans Day events 2013

Need to speak to a veteran about anything for a news story? You are invited to visit our Speakers’ Bureau page for people to talk to or interview.

Have a question about Veterans Day?  Visit our national site for more information and news about the VFW.  Click here

Want to help a veteran in need?  Give us a call or email us.

Buddy Poppies on Veterans Day  0

As our nation celebrates Veterans Day today, honoring those who have served in the military, our local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post will be distributing the traditional Buddy Poppies at the Peace and Justice Plaza in front of the Franklin Street Post Office on Veterans Day, November 11th,from 3 to 6 PM.

buddy poppy handVFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled, needy, and aging veterans in VA Hospitals across the country. The majority of donations received by VFW Posts is retained locally to provide for veteran services and welfare. The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assembled the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs, and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation’s veterans.

Buddy Poppy proceeds represent no profit to any VFW unit. All the money contributed by the public for Buddy Poppies is used in the cause of veterans welfare, or for the well-being of their needy dependents and the orphans of veterans.

Please come by the downtown Post Office between the hours of 3 PM and 6 PM. This is one of the major annual fundraisers for our Chapel Hill Post, and it is an opportunity for citizens in our community to express their support for local veterans in need. Thank you.

Carolina Game Day Fun  0

Older veterans are active veterans.  Why is that?  Sure, young vets are active too, but older veterans seem to be very active in their communities.

None of them earn a salary, compensation, or special benefits for their work.  They get up early in the morning and head out to visit other veterans, work helping others, fix a vets’ home, visit the sick, and raise money for their churches, schools, local teams, and veterans.


Elmer Hughes on station
Elmer Hughes on station

An each University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill home game you will find a 92 year-old Army Air Corps World War II veteran sitting on a street corner downtown.  “Have a Poppy, Wear a Poppy…  Wear a Buddy Poppy for a Veteran…”  He repeats this over and over again.  No he doesn’t sell them, he just gives them away.  The VFW never sells a Buddy Poppy.  We do, however, pay hospitalized veterans to produce them.


Quite often a gathering from a nearby sorority will see him and the young ladies will gather around him.  Many times they poise for personal pictures.  Elmer Hughes has a ball.  You never see him without a smile.  Come rain or shine he is there.  His reward is the sound made when canister emits the sound of a dollar or two ruffling as it is pushed into the can.   Sometimes it is a $20 bill.

Sitting just across from Elmer, on the other side of the walkway, is his son, Elmer.  He is a veteran who served during Vietnam.  He drives 35 miles to join his dad on game day.  He watches him draw a crowd and just  smiles.  They have a friendly competition and dad seems to always do better.  It must be his smile, his kind word, and or maybe his pleasant voice.


We watch in awe.  We can’t figure it out.  Could it be his fancy western boots?  While we ponder, the girls keep coming, gathering, chatting, and posing with the Buddy Poppy guy.


The Hughes family raised over a thousand dollars for the Chapel Hill Post’s Veterans Assistance Fund last year.  That money put a new roof on a house for an aged Korean War vet and a laptop in the hands of a recent sand box vet as he entered college.  Elmer also motivates our younger veterans to get out and about where they can make a difference.

That’s what we do best–help others.   If you are a returning vet, give the Veterans of Foreign Wars a look.  We need you and our North Carolina veterans need you too.  Give us a look.  Stay awhile.  Maybe you will get a chance to watch Elmer in action on game day.

NC Cottage VFW National Home for Children  0

Our homes are warm.  Our fireplaces are flickering with fall logs and our Christmas trees are going up.  Our home is safe and we are together, but not all families of veterans are doing quite as well.  That is why the Department of North Carolina and the many posts throughout the state sponsor and support the VFW National Home for Children in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. We have our own cottage sponsored by the Department of North Carolina.

If you are looking for a worthy charity, please consider the VFW National Home for Children.  You will be helping the children of veterans and maybe even a veteran and their family.

A veteran with child(ren), who is approved for VA Vocational Rehabilitation, may be eligible to live at the National Home and receive supportive services. When his or her unique situation prevents the veteran from taking advantage of VA Vocational Rehabilitation, the National Home can help make participation a reality.

Since its founding in 1925, the VFW National Home for Children has grown from an old frame farm house to a sprawling campus with playgrounds, park areas, and multiple buildings, including single-family homes, a community center and gymnasium, child care center, guest lodge, chapel and administrative offices.  We have our own cottage sponsored by the Department of North Carolina.  Learn more

Post contributions are made through the Department of North Carolina.  Checks should be bear the notation “North Carolina Cottage” to ensure post donations go to the North Carolina Cottage.  This ensures that the donation will go to maintenance of the North Carolina cottage and not the general home fund.