VFW Programs & Projects

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VFW Programs & Projects
Since its founding, VFW has been a staple in the community. Troop support, youth activities, volunteering and scholarship programs are a few of the ways VFW shines in the many communities and cities where Posts are located.

Voice of Democracy
This audio-essay competition annually awards more than $1.9 million in scholarships to students in grades 9-12. First-place winner receives $30,000 scholarship.
Patriot’s Pen
Each year more than 132,000 students in grades 6-8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC.
Scout of the Year
Three scholarships are awarded annually to outstanding scouts. First place receives $5,000, second place receives $3,000 and third place receives $1,000.

Echoes From the Wall
VFW partnered with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Fund to distribute a curriculum, Echoes From the Wall,
to 25,000 public and private high schools and donated
$50,000 to the project.
• Educational Brochures
VFW produces and distributes a flag brochure and
poster as well as background material for Memorial
Day and Veterans Day.
Veterans in the Classroom
November is officially known as VFW Veterans in the
Classroom Month. Members demonstrate flag etiquette
and share their wartime experiences with America’s
youth.

• Youth Activities
Locally, VFW Posts sponsor various youth sporting
programs such as baseball and ice hockey. In addition
many VFW Posts sponsor Boy and Girl Scout troops,
Junior Olympics, bike safety, JROTC units, drill teams,
color guards, and a variety of other programs to build
good citizenship and exemplary character in America’s
youth.
• Community Volunteerism
Each year, VFW members volunteer more than 8.6
million hours of service to various community
endeavors.
Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service
VFW was a charter member in 1946. On average, more
than 5,000 VFW volunteers donate 1 million hours of
service annually at VA medical facilities.
March of Dimes
VFW Posts raise an average of $100,000 annually for
March of Dimes (MOD).
Military Assistance Program (MAP)
The link between the VFW and the military community
has provided over 1,800 grants to VFW Departments
and Posts for morale-boosting events since 2005,
hosting more than 1.6 million military members and
their families at these events.
Adopt-a-Unit
More than 1,900 units and ships have been adopted
through VFW Posts since 2007. VFW National
Headquarters adopted the USS Cole in 2002.
Care Packages
Posts across the country show their support of
America’s military by collecting and distributing much needed personal items for troops.
VFW Operation 
Introduced in 1996, this program connects active-duty
personnel and hospitalized veterans with family
members through free phone time and VFW “Free Call
Days.” Since its inception, Operation Uplink has
provided millions of free connections, currently
averaging over 40,000 per month.
VFW Unmet Needs
This program administers emergency financial grants to
military families to help cover basic expenses like
mortgage payments, childcare, food and more. Since
2004, more than 3,200 grants have been issued totaling
more than $4.5 million.