Back to top

Many Ways Poppy Campaign Volunteerism Can Lead to Benefits for Veterans and Growing Careers

Volunteers and members are the heart of the Royal Canadian Legion. — Submitted photo

Friday, October 25. 2019 marked the start of this year’s poppy campaign and remembrance season.

Leading up to Nov.11 poppy campaign volunteers will take part in defining what remembrance means for Canadians everywhere.

“Most Canadians have never sacrificed anything for the freedoms we enjoy. It was given to us by those who came before us. It is now our duty to honour our Veterans and never forget the service and sacrifices they made on our behalf. We also remember...the parents who lost children to war, the dads who never came home, the children and teenagers who grew up far too soon,” BC/Yukon Command President Val MacGregor writes for her latest volunteer presentation at a school in Collingwood School in West Vancouver, BC.

As both BC/Yukon Command President and a volunteer, Val has the pleasure of participating in the many ways Legion members benefit the local community.

Volunteering for the poppy campaign is a first taste of what those who volunteer at their local legion branch do throughout the year.

“Our volunteers and members are the heart of the Royal Canadian Legion. The range of skills and people needed to operate a branch demand responsibility. Our volunteers go above and beyond,” says John Scott, Vice-President and Membership Chair of the BC/Yukon Command of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Volunteers have the opportunity to:

1. Speak on remembrance at public and private schools

2. Create gaming and community building events

3. Visit and care for veterans

4. Be on their local branch’s board to give direction on finances and daily operations

5. Have a voice in the future of the Legion and veterans

6. Participate in veteran advocacy efforts

7. Fundraise with poppies to promote remembrance in Canada

Legion Veterans Village – an Example of Legion Volunteers at Work

In partnership with Lark Group, our volunteers are responsible for the creation and oversight of the new Legion Veterans Village construction project, which is set to open in Surrey, BC, in 2022.

The Legion Veterans Village is a $312-million combined two-phase social infrastructure investment in Surrey initiated by the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command (BC/Yukon Command), the Whalley Legion Branch 229, and the Lark Group.

Construction commenced in June 2019, with the first phase to be completed in Spring 2022.

The Legion Veterans Village two-phase project includes a 20-storey centerpiece, mixed-use building inspired by the forms of the Canadian

National Vimy Memorial in France, honouring the lives and sacrifices Canadians made during the First World War. This building will feature the Centre of Excellence for veterans and first responders focusing on PTSD and mental health, and the Innovation Centre for Rehabilitation, offering clinical rehabilitation services, research and the delivery of health care programs, services and trauma counselling for PTSD and mental health.

 It will also feature a new 10,500 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility for the Whalley Legion Branch 229.

This mixed-use building is intended to integrate programs to transform services for veterans and first responders, as well as bring housing resources to the community. It will include 148 market housing units, more than 48 affordable housing units, and temporary transitional and crisis housing facilities available to veterans, their families, and the community.

The second phase, and complement to the Veterans building, is a new 26 storey building that consists of 325 market housing units. The two buildings are symbiotic, as the value generated by the market housing project facilitates the new Veterans housing and treatment facility. The current phase designs are by Neil Banich of Wensley Architecture Ltd.

This poppy campaign is an opportunity for students who need volunteer hours, parents to teach their children about giving, professionals to find meaningful work outside of their day jobs and those who are retired to enter into the service of those who’ve sacrificed before them.

Experience promoting remembrance for yourself.

Volunteer at your local Legion branch today!