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Remembrance Day Poppy (selling symbols)

This is a scheme that is popular in Commonwealth countries and U.S.A. War Veterans sell these red Poppy-symbols around Remembrance Day each year. Sale of the symbol raise money and creates awareness and to help not forgetting about the cause.

Photo of Johan Löfström
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the Poppy is chosen as the symbol by the Veterans themself, from a very popular poem written by a corporal in WWI
The symbolic Poppy is most often hand made by veterans, so there are variations in the design and material used (2 or 4 petals, cut from colored paper to textiles/felt) The maker can sell it themself, and it is not sold at a fixed price, it is expected the buyer does a donation. And the proceeds goes to welfare for the veterans, and helping them with medical expenses, legal assistance for disablement pension cases and so on...
My guess about why this is so popular is the combination, the Veterans themselves are so linked with each part of the whole chain

A story about the origin of the Poppy symbol

There is also a similar scheme in Sweden since 1907, where 10-year old school children sells a small "may-flower" in 2-3 weeks of april each year, however these are factory-produced (and with a specially selected new 2-tone color each year), children learns a bit about entreprenurship, they receive a percentage of the sales, and gets small symbolic awards depending on how much they sell. At the startup it was aimed at curing Tuberculosis, but nowadays the majority of the income goes to paying for underpriviliged childrens summer holiday or eyeglasses and clothes for winter...children helping children
(in 2009 this scheme made 5 milion Euro, or 7.7million US$) the buyer pays 1 Euro or 1,5US$ per flower.

There is also started a type of ribbon with different colour for different types of Cancer awareness (and raising funds for medical research). (but i guess it started with a Yellow Ribbon and a marching song in WWI) (and also followed up by several popular songs through the 1960's and 70's)

My belief is that any charity or health organization can initiate similar popular scheme to create income and awareness IF you mix a lot of different parts to the wholeness of a complete scheme: the group needs to choose and vote for what symbol to use/make, they need to be able to design and produce it themselves, and if they are clever to use appropriate types of sales channels, from personal contacts to international web shops. Perhaps they can write a song and produce radio- and tv-advertising spots themselves?

The income does not have to be limited to just the sale of the symbol, there is possibility to franchise out the symbol to t-shirt-printers and put it on refridgerator magnets, keychains and so on. If the symbol is possible to use in many different colours, it can have a new colour each year, so that some people will start to collect them as a serie, to make continuity and more attachement to it.

And i just stumbled upon this novel way to getting participants and donators help spread the word :
(just leaving the address here for later use)
I will be delivering this as a concept, but i will appreciate your feedback, any details and add-ons and further ideas to help improve this concept.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Luz Gallo

Colombia has a huge tradition in handcraft products. There was a time were the son of an expresident sold hand-made bracelets in a handcrafted fair. Here is an article: This bracelets became famous among the young people who feel identified with the product as a Colombian.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great local insight, Luz!

Photo of Johan Löfström

the link works if you remove the dot at the end of it. But it is only a page with text. Are there any images of these bracelets? I am curious about it, and can also add a pic to this inspiration.