New poppy campaign initiative seeks to modernize mourning tradition

The shift to eco-friendly materials and a new digital engagement strategy are among the new initiatives the Royal Canadian Legion hopes to breathe new life into people’s lives in 2022. poppy motion.

The annual War Memorial Campaign will officially begin on Friday and will continue through Memorial Day. Organizers say they hope the feature introduced this year will help Canadians re-engage in acts of honoring past and present veterans. .

Legions reduced their traditional numbers poppy Boxes at locations nationwide where people can donate and receive cash poppy Pins were just over 27,000 compared to about 34,000 in 2021. But the new campaign will feature biodegradable poppies and wreaths made from natural materials like paper, moss and bamboo.

Also,”poppy Stories, an initiative that allows people to scan their collars poppy Shows information about real Canadian veterans using smartphones. This includes anecdotes about their lives, their role in the military, where they worked and their passions.

“The various initiatives are a way to engage more Canadians across generations and engage young people in acts of remembrance,” said Nujima Bond, Communications Manager at the Corps’ National Headquarters.

“By modernizing the way we remember and the materials we use to remember, we hope to continue the Canadian memory tradition.”

For the third year in a row, organizations will also have boxes that can accept payments from any tap-enabled device or card. He will have 1,000 boxes installed this year, according to the Corps, which is largely under public health restrictions aimed at curbing his COVID-19 pandemic. The same number as in 2021 when it was still operational.

Canadians can also donate to the campaign at poppyadd a customized keepsake to your veteran and share it on social media.

Fewer public health measures mean more volunteers will be physically present, although there are still regional restrictions to be aware of. poppy A box to engage passers-by and encourage donations.

“It’s an opportunity for people to meet veterans, have positive conversations, and share more stories to learn a little more about the people who have served us,” Bond said.

This year’s supply of poppies consists of both traditional and eco-friendly versions, Region said, hoping to deplete old stock before switching to only sustainable materials for future campaigns. said.

The organization doesn’t have final figures on how much money was raised from last year’s campaign, but Bond said the corps typically raised nearly $20 million from its campaigns. poppy We run an annual campaign to support veterans, their families and communities.

Brent Craig, veteran services officer at the Legion’s Westborough branch in western Ottawa, said these funds will go directly to a variety of programs to help veterans with their various needs. program.

“I have had the privilege of working with many veterans. poppy Join the campaign, come to the box, they all poppy Campaigns exist,” said Craig. His father served in the Air Force and his grandfather served in Europe during World War II.

Ron Anderson, 78, has served in the Canadian Armed Forces for over 38 years, serving in Europe as an artilleryman and as a member of the Air Force. 22nd year this year. poppy A campaign for the Legion’s St. James Chapter in Winnipeg, it hopes to see a surge in total volunteer numbers, public participation and donations by the end of the campaign compared to the previous two years.

he said the revival of tradition poppy Box is particularly welcomed among veterans, and he and his fellow ex-soldiers have more meaningful interactions with the general public, and when they don their uniforms and volunteer for campaigns, they are more likely to be rewarded for their service. Receive more thanks.

“It means a lot to me to be able to support these veterans who need our help,” said Anderson. “No one likes being in need, but out of necessity, circumstances make people in need. We are happy to help our veterans. poppy money we earned. ”

canadian press