Rain or shine, every Memorial Day weekend, members of Edmonds Post 8870 of Veterans of Foreign Wars — combat veterans all — stand outside of area supermarkets offering passersby a small replica of a poppy and inviting them to wear it.
Each poppy is free. “We just want people to wear it as a way to let others know that they appreciate the sacrifices that have been made on their behalf,” said Past Post Commander Jim Blossey.
Very often, people choose to leave donations anyway — which are used to help veterans in need. This year, however, due to COVID-19 restrictions, post members are unable to give out poppies in person. So they are inviting those interested to donate online.
Blossey notes that the post uses the funds to support veterans in many ways: Holiday gifts for residents of local veterans homes, temporary housing for families of hospitalized veterans, placing wreathes on veterans’ graves, and many more activities.
Locally, Post 8870 is a major supporter of post member Michael Reagan and his Fallen Heroes Project. Over the years, Reagan has drawn over 4,500 large portraits of deceased servicemen and women —most of whom died in action — and sent them free of charge to the widows or families of the victims. He donates his talent and thousands of hours of work, but through Edmonds and Mukilteo poppy donations Edmonds Post 8870 is able to offset much of the expense of packaging and shipping them.
And there’s the rub, Blossey says. “With the social distancing prohibitions this year, our veterans can’t be out there. As a result, Memorial Day donations are likely to drop to zero and sadly our ability to continue to help worthy veterans will come to a halt, too.”
You can donate via the post’s website at VFW8870.org — just hit the donate button. “It doesn’t have to be a lot; anything will help,” Blossey says. “It is amazing how quickly the dollars accrue.
Another way you can help is by sharing this information on your Facebook page. You can click here to share the VFW post with your Facebook friends.
“Everything you do helps us help those that did so much for us,” Blossey says.