Its been reported that a previous member veteran, who was a manager of the program is being banned, and will be forbidden from having anything to do with it, participation or contact. Now was this J or a previous person? It is rumored that a past veteran who left the home 2 years ago, who temporarily took it over, stole a lot of money from the program.
We need to find out about this so we can report what is really going on.
The American legion Auxiliary poppy program allows veterans to make poppies and get paid for them, giving the veterans some extra spending money. For guys in the Dorm unit, who can do it, it is a very needed and appreciated resource.
Update: Today I was told the person they are referring to is in fact J. J ran the program for years, and was reported to be a bit uncooperative in recent months. Now TS is running the program. Haven't been able to catch TS to find out more, but we will in the next few days.
TS writes about the poppy program
My name is Tad Such, and I oversee the American Legion Poppy Program here at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. I, also along with fourteen other men and women, assemble poppies.
I am very proud to have the privilege of doing this service, along with the other veterans that do it. Without this program we have very few ways to make money. In my case, this is the only way that I have been able to pay child support and help out my children and grandson. This program means to me and to others freedom in many ways.
This program provides purpose in our lives and helps us to have self-esteem and self-confidence that we can be productive in some manner. The Auxiliary VA&R program also provides a Christmas holiday shop that allows members to pick gifts for their loved ones and removes some of the shame and guilt of not being able to afford those gifts. Also there is a hygiene cart that comes around to the units once a month and supplies members with various products, a smile, a warm hug, and a chocolate bar. This may not seem like much to the average person but it means the world to our members.
I would like to thank you, and I hope that you realize what a single little poppy can really do and how much your volunteer and monetary contributions to the home means to everyone who lives here. I am grateful for the privilege of doing this, as helping others means so much to me and gives me a legacy that I can pass on to my family of helping others.
Update April 18, 2014. I have been informed that it was J, the previous person who ran the program that has been banned from it. And Tadd who is running it now, is doing ok. But with a limited number of veterans now living at the home, the output of poppies has been cut in half and the program may be ended.