The Royal Canadian Legion officially launched this year’s poppy campaign on Friday, and Al Stuart, Sooke’s poppy fund chairman, is confident people will again give generously to the campaign.
Poppies are available until Nov. 10, the day before Remembrance Day.
“The funds raised allow us to provide services to veterans in need of help and to their families,” Stuart said.
Stuart offered services like Cockrell House, a transitional housing facility that helps vets in need integrate back into society and the veteran’s care services at Broadmead Lodge as two examples of the valuable services that receive money from the poppy fund.
“We also help fund the service dog program for vets, and we spend money on local vets, helping them with career transition after they leave the military,” Tom Lott, the past chairman of the poppy fund said.
Last year, the poppy program raised $28,000 locally, and Lott hopes this year’s campaign will top that number.
And while we’re all familiar with the poppy fund volunteers who will be in place in shopping centers and other public locations, the Legion also sends out appeals to individual residences.
“This year we sent out 6,402 envelopes, each with a poppy inside and a return envelope that we hope people will return with a donation,” Stuart said.
Donations are also possible by dropping cash into the poppy boxes located at TD Bank, Shoppers Drug Mart and a host of other businesses.
Supporters of the fund can also make an online donation by visiting legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign . A donation there will get you a digital poppy in appreciation of your support.
The Legion does not, however, do any telephone solicitation for donations
That particular scam has already resurfaced this year and Stuart wants to remind residents of Sooke not to be taken in by the fraud.
“The poppy fund is an important initiative of the Legion that allows us to continue to serve our veterans. Wearing the poppy is a way for all of us to show our appreciation for the brave men and women that have served our country,” Todd said.
Sooke’s annual Remembrance Day parade and ceremony takes place on Nov. 11.
The parade will form up at Evergreen Centre at about 10:30 a.m. and make its way to the Royal Canadian Legion on Eustace Road for a service of remembrance.