Legions see fewer donations to poppy campaign due to pandemic

CALGARY –

Royal Canadian Legions are expecting fewer donations to its poppy campaign this year, and the pandemic is partly to blame.

“We were hoping that (COVID-19) would be kind to us and we would be able to go out and do some more campaigning but unfortunately no,” said Tammy Wheeler, executive director of the Legion’s Alberta-NWT Command.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors that do most of our volunteering, especially throughout the day, so they’re a little concerned about going out, and rightly so.”

While no official donation numbers have been collected by the Legion, it says based on fewer poppy boxes being out, funds will likely be less.

“Getting poppy boxes into places where Plexiglass is sitting, you can’t really put a box there,” said Wheeler.

The campaign has adapted over the years to allow for digital donations. Some poppy boxes will have a tap-to-donate option where people can pay by card. Those who want to donate can also do so online or by texting POPPY4YYC to 20222.

“I want to remind people to remember, when veterans see the poppy on somebody’s jacket, it gives them hope and it gives them a feeling that they are appreciated for their sacrifices, as well as those who sacrificed their lives for us,” said Wheeler.

Donations from the poppy campaign help veterans access food, clothing, shelter and other supports.

The poppy is marking 100 years as a symbol of remembrance in Canada, being adopted after the First World War on July 6, 1921.

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