The Royal Canadian Legion is short on volunteers this year for their annual poppy campaign.
Volunteers are responsible for delivering poppy boxes to businesses and schools around town as well as collecting funds from local businesses who regularly donate additional funds to the Legion.
Each year from the last Friday in October until Remembrance Day Legions across Canada conduct poppy sales, with donations going to support the services provided by the legion.
The Poppy campaign also serves as a way for Canadians to show their recognition of the debt owed to veterans and those who lost their lives to give the country freedom.
A number of local legion programs benefit from the poppy campaign, the majority of which are geared towards assisting veterans and their families as well as 15 local non-profit organizations who receive annual contributions from the Legion.
Bob Osmond, Legion member and chair of the local poppy campaign stated the shortage perpetuates a current issue facing Legions across the country – a lack of volunteers and members.
“We are entering a time where WWII predates most people alive,” explained Osmond. “Fewer and fewer people, especially young people, have personal ties and connections and there are fewer veterans of WWII around to connect us with that time and tell their stories,
“My children and my grandchildren’s generations have a vague memory of the sacrifices veterans have made – the poppy campaign is a fundraising campaign yes but it is also a profile raising initiative involved with Remembrance Day to keep those sacrifices in the minds of people.”
Osmond added how in the past veterans of the first and second world wars would visit schools and tell their stories and attempt to register with students the importance of the wars and the sacrifices those who served made. However with fewer and fewer veterans able to share their stories Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout schools are slowly changing.
He encourages members of the community to take the time this season to volunteer and help to keep the connection between our veterans and the community an active one.
To get involved with the Legion and the poppy campaign contact the local Royal Canadian Legion at 403 887 2601.