People gather to honour the fallen during a Remembrance Day ceremony at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, November 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

Royal Canadian Legion adjusts to pandemic with electronic poppy sale pilot

You likely won’t be seeing volunteers with poppy tables out front stores this year

Amid COVID-19, the Royal Canadian Legion is making some changes to this year’s poppy campaign.

Set to begin on Oct. 30, the legion will be piloting electronic donation boxes at 250 locations across the country, allowing people to donate and receive a poppy with tap and pay technology.

“We want to be at the forefront of new technologies and provide several options for donors, given that fewer people are carrying cash and we remain in the midst of a pandemic,” dominion president Thomas D. Irvine said in a statement earlier this week.

Meanwhile, traditional poppy boxes will be set up and accepting coin donations at thousands of other locations.

Most legion branches will not be setting up donation tables or place volunteers at store entrances amid the pandemic, the legion said.

In addition to the poppy, the national legion branch is selling non-medical masks online and some branches are selling them locally.

Close to $20 million is donated during the national poppy campaign each year, and goes directly into supporting veterans. For more details visit poppystore.ca.

Founded in 1925, the legion is Canada’s largest veteran support and community service organization, operating as a non-profit.

Remembrance Day to look different this year

Adjusted to the ongoing pandemic, the legion is discouraging spectators from attending in-person ceremonies on Nov. 11.

Instead, the national ceremony will be livestreamed to the public through CBC.

“At a time when we have all been isolated for months by the pandemic, ensuring the symbolism of the Legion and community leaders paying homage to our Veterans is more important than ever,” Danny Martin, national ceremony director, said back in September.


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