VFW Programs & Projects
Since its founding, the VFW has been a staple in the community. Troop support, youth activities,
volunteering and scholarship programs are a few of the ways the VFW shines in the many communities and
cities where Posts are located.
Youth Scholarship Programs
• Voice of Democracy
This audio-essay competition annually awards nearly $2 million in scholarships to students in grades
9-12. First-place winner receives a $30,000 scholarship.
• Patriot’s Pen
More than $1.2 million is awarded annually to students in grades 6-8 in this essay contest. First-place
winner receives $5,000.
• 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.
• Teacher of the Year
The VFW annually recognizes one exceptional elementary, junior and high school teacher for their
outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism to their students. Awards include
$1,000 for professional development, $1,000 for his/her school, and an all-expense-paid trip to attend
the VFW National Convention. In addition, the top 10 high school Teacher of the Year recipients will
have an opportunity to attend a graduate level Medal of Honor Character Development program at
• Echoes From the Wall
The 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
The VFW produces and distributes a flag brochure and poster.
• 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.
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.
VFW members volunteer over 9 million hours of service to various community endeavors.
• Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service
The VFW was a charter member in 1946. VFW volunteers donate millions of hours of service
annually at VA medical facilities.
• Military Assistance Program (MAP)
More than 2.3 million service members and their families have been hosted at morale-boosting events
sponsored by the VFW since 2005.
More than 2,900 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 adopted units.
• 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, 10,194 grants have been issued
totaling more than $11.6 million.
• VFW "Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship”
Introduced in 2013, this program awards scholarships of up to $5,000 to qualifying veterans and
service members. The program has provided 1,606 scholarships totaling $7.2 million.
• 1 Student Veteran
Enacted in 2013, this program offers direct assistance to student veterans who have questions or are
experiencing problems accessing their VA benefits.