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Poppies to benefit veteran programs

POSTED May 7, 2013 11:02 p.m.

The red poppy is a symbol of the blood shed by American service members who fought on foreign soil. It is an emblem of willingness to serve — and sacrifice.

The American Legion Auxiliary will once again be offering crêpe paper poppies to the public in May as a way to pay tribute to the nation's honored war dead.

The ALA, a patriotic women’s organization focusing on volunteerism for veterans, young people, and the community, has been engaged in the poppy program every year since 1918.

Each nine-piece poppy the ALA gives out is hand-made by a disabled or hospitalized veteran, who is paid a small amount for each flower. For some veterans, this labor-intensive activity represents not only their sole source of income, but also a relaxing activity to help pass the time.

 The ALA provides the raw materials for the poppies and then purchases the completed flowers from the veterans. The organization then distributes the paper poppies, never asking for any form of payment, but merely accepting donations.

The ALA  will be distributing poppies at various locations throughout Turlock in the month of May. Donations will also be accepted at the American Legion Auxiliary, Rex Ish Post 88, P.O. Box 366, Turlock, CA 95381.

For more information on the poppies, call 669-0803.

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