The Fourth of July was traditionally celebrated as America's birthday, but the idea of an annual day specifically celebrating the Flag is believed to have first originated in 1885. BJ Cigrand, a schoolteacher, arranged for the pupils in the Fredonia, Wisconsin Public School, District 6, to observe June 14 (the 108th anniversary of the official adoption of The Stars and Stripes) as 'Flag Birthday'. In numerous magazines and newspaper articles and public addresses over the following years, Cigrand continued to enthusiastically advocate the observance of June 14 as 'Flag Birthday', or 'Flag Day'.
On June 14, 1889, George Balch, a kindergarten teacher in New York City, planned appropriate ceremonies for the children of his school, and his idea of observing Flag Day was later adopted by the State Board of Education of New York. On June 14, 1891, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia held a Flag Day celebration, and on June 14 of the following year, the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution, celebrated Flag Day.
Following the suggestion of Colonel J Granville Leach (at the time historian of the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution), the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America on April 25, 1893 adopted a resolution requesting the mayor of Philadelphia and all others in authority and all private citizens to display the Flag on June 14th. Leach went on to recommend that thereafter the day be known as 'Flag Day', and on that day, school children be assembled for appropriate exercises, with each child being given a small Flag.
Two weeks later on May 8th, the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution unanimously endorsed the action of the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames. As a result of the resolution, Dr. Edward Brooks, then Superintendent of Public Schools of Philadelphia, directed that Flag Day exercises be held on June 14, 1893 in Independence Square. School children were assembled, each carrying a small Flag, and patriotic songs were sung and addresses delivered.
In 1894, the governor of New York directed that on June 14 the Flag be displayed on all public buildings. With BJ Cigrand and Leroy Van Horn as the moving spirits, the Illinois organization, known as the American Flag Day Association, was organized for the purpose of promoting the holding of Flag Day exercises. On June 14th, 1894, under the auspices of this association, the first general public school children's celebration of Flag Day in Chicago was held in Douglas, Garfield, Humboldt, Lincoln, and Washington Parks, with more than 300,000 children participating.
Adults, too, participated in patriotic programs. Franklin K. Lane, Secretary of the Interior, delivered a 1914 Flag Day address in which he repeated words he said the flag had spoken to him that morning: "I am what you make me; nothing more. I swing before your eyes as a bright gleam of color, a symbol of yourself."
Inspired by these three decades of state and local celebrations, Flag Day - the anniversary of the Flag Resolution of 1777 - was officially established by the Proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson on May 30th, 1916. While Flag Day was celebrated in various communities for years after Wilson's proclamation, it was not until August 3rd, 1949, that President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating June 14th of each year as National Flag Day.
REMEMBER THE OLD DAYS WHEN SOME OF US USED TO CLIP MANUFACTURER’S COUPONS AS A PHILANTHROPIC PROJECT?
WELL, YOU CAN STILL DO THAT THROUGH THIS PROGRAM.
And, if you look on the web, there are some sources where you can do this and send the coupons DIRECT to listed U.S. military bases abroad. I know of at least one Florida chapter that sends their coupons to a base in Tokyo.
Hope for Heroes - Did you Know?
ESA’s support for military personnel and their families began during World War II. After the war, ESA chapters were often organized near military bases and among military families whose membership assisted them in keeping connected as they moved to new assignments around the world. Much of ESA’s early international growth was a result of military members forming new chapters as they moved to new bases.
Hope for Heroes is specifically directed at providing membership support for military personnel and their families. The program recently evolved to include an annual ESA Hope for Heroes national event held each year in November, on or around Veteran’s Day. This week of celebration includes recognizing veterans, sending greetings to local military personnel who are serving abroad, and organizing additional activities to supply locally known troops with goods and materials to share with service personnel who are far from home.
Activities for ESA’s Hope for Heroes continue throughout the year. Individual members and chapters often partner with other veterans’ organizations, military support groups, and military hospitals to provide a variety of materials for families, returning soldiers, and wounded warriors. All of ESA's efforts are intended to assist in meeting the needs of the individual recipients, but also to lift their spirits and feel the gratitude that ESA members feel for their service.
The types of services provided by ESA vary by chapter and by the specific services that military support groups request. However, most often, ESA members send care packages to deployed troops, provide meals for homeless veterans, help families when they are away from their loved ones, stock base food banks, and much more.
Stamps for the Wounded Program
Are members of your chapter looking for another “easy-to-do” philanthropic activity? Something anyone can do? Something that can be done from Many wounded veterans find great enjoyment in stamp collecting. Thanks to the Lions’ Club and to many devoted volunteers, this postage stamp
program gives these hospital or wheelchair-bound vets something to do, and something to look forward to. Trading duplicates also connects them with other collectors.
What can stamps do? Miracles, almost. Stamps and covers can give bedridden patients long-treatment patients, and convalescent patients, a consuming interest. They can sort and mount stamps without effort if confined to bed. If they are ambulatory, or even in a wheelchair, they can pass happy hours soaking stamps and mounting them in albums. Even the far-withdrawn, mentally disabled patient can take pleasure in using the more common stamps to make fanciful greeting cards, or to cover decorative boxes in organized therapy sessions. Recycle the stamps from your own mail to “brighten someone’s day!”
Leave about a 1/2 inch border of envelope around the perforations of the stamp. Do not remove the stamp from the envelope it is glued to. The veterans prefer to do that themselves. It’s part of their fun.
Such a simple, easy way to give back to our service men and women who have given so much. Please tell your friends about this and ask them to save their stamped envelopes for you. For those of you who work in an office, perhaps handling your company’s mail, save those stamped (not metered ones) envelopes. Or, ask others in your office to save them for I’ll make this project easier for you… collect the stamped envelopes and bring them to me at an ESA state meeting (Mid-Year, Leadership, Convention, Board meeting…). Or, trim them from their envelope (leaving ½ inch space around each) and give them to me that way. I’ll include them with other collections and mail them to the Lions Club Stamps for the
Wounded program in Falls Church, VA.
It was started in 1942 to support our wounded warriors. Time is not of essence in this project! Postage stamps are not date sensitive.
See the Lions website for more information on this program (http://writealetter.org/main/
2011/04/20/stamps-for- the-wounded#comments) or contact me.
Janice Dietrich, Chair, Florida State Hope for Heroes email@example.com
LOOKING FOR EXPANDED REWARD IN YOUR PHILANTHROPIC PROGRAMS THIS YEAR?
WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT FISHER HOUSE?
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.
Today, there are 66 homes located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, in Germany and in the United Kingdom, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception 25 years ago, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $320 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
By the Numbers
Families served: More than 27,000 in 2015
Daily capacity: 931 families
Families served: More than 277,000 since inception
Number of lodging days offered: Over 6 million
7,000 students have received $11,000,000 in scholarship awards
Over 58,000 airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $88 million
SAMPLE WISH LIST
Bay Pines VAHCS Fisher House Wish List
Bay Pines Fisher House
10,000 Bay Pines Blvd.
Bay Pines, FL 33744
The Fisher House operates on donated funds. Items on the Bay Pines Fisher House wish list reflect items that are either one-time needs or on-going needs of running the house. Every donation helps make the Fisher House a home for our veteran’s families.
Donations are accepted Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please call the Fisher House Manager to make arrangements to drop off donations at 727-319-1350. Without the donations from the community the Fisher House would not be the success it is. All donations are appreciated by our families.
We do not accept “cash” contributions. Checks should be payable to Bay Pines VAHCS with the memo section of the check indicating: Fisher House GPF # 1093
Gift Cards allow ease in picking up items needed for the Fisher House. For the Fisher House consider Wal-Mart, Publix, Winn Dixie, Target, Kohl’s Home Depot, Lowes, Sam’s Club or general VISA or MasterCard gift cards.
Who doesn’t like dessert! I know I do that’s for sure! Guess who doesn’t get much during this holiday seasons? The troops! What can you do to help you ask? BAKE SOMETHING! Ami Tucker of Eta Rho Oldsmar. Her husband is in the military! She knows many things that can be done to help this year they are asking for any kind of baked goods to bring to the troops and give them something to smile about! Please contact me if you would like more information or contact her as well. She is listed in the yearbook and her email as well is Ami.Tucker@yahoo.com we will do anything to help! Maybe we can even find some place closer to where you live!
What will you be doing this Holiday season to honor your local heroes? any ideas? Need ideas? We need to be sure to not only support the vets and the men and women in the service but also our local heroes such as firefighters, policemen and first responders. Plan a day this Holiday season to show them how much we thank them for all they do. Send something as simple as a thank-you card or a Christmas card. Go to their place of work and bring them breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Make them care packages. Don’t forget to also say "thank you" to them as well.
The ESA website has a wealth of information on how to help our heroes. Check out the Make a Difference button for the details. And in case you missed it from the January Lamp:
www.Homesforourtroops.org constructs homes for the severely injured vets who served after 9/11. Donate equipment or help build a home.
www.Dav.org/volunteers provides free transportation to vets unable to travel to VA medical facilities on their own. You can volunteer to drive a DAV van.
www.loc.gov/vets Record a war story: conduct an interview of an old soldier with tales from the front lines. The Library of Congress wants to hear his voice. A field kit gives tips for the interview including biographical data and release forms.
www.coupsfortroops.com Coupons are needed after all. I checked and there are drop off spots in Holiday, Bell and Melbourne, Florida. And the military families can use them up to six months past their expiration date.
Hope for Heroesis a national program sponsored by ESA to support our military personnel. The primary purpose is to let the veterans know we are thankful for what they are doing. Here are some things you can do all year long:
Coupons for Vets
Make 9" x 12" pillows to send
Send Christmas Cards
Donate proceeds from sports events
Take books to VA hospital or a VA nursing home
Invite a veteran or military family to dinner
Wave flags outside a military base entrance
Contact VFW to see how you can help
Buy a grocery store gift certificate
Provide magazines or books
Find a soldier you can support
Send care packages
Take a vet to lunch
Have a yard sale and donate proceeds
Advertise your yard sale as supporting Camp Hope
Support Vets Helping Returning Heroes that trains service dogs for our broken heroes
Get local restaurants to give a portion of profits to vets
Go to "Welcome Home" celebrations when troops come home
Support the family left behind with house/yard work, take the kids out, take a casserole, etc.