Westmount, Quebec – 30 October 2020: Today marks the launch of the annual poppy campaign. In normal times, the comrades of Branch 14 (RMR Association) would assemble in front of the IGA at Place Alexis-Nihon in Westmount before 07h00 and ceremonially pin the first poppy of the annual campaign on either the Member of Parliament, the Honourable Marc Garneau, or the Mayor, Her Worship Christina Smith. A brief dignified ceremony would be conducted, the Act of Remembrance would be recited, and then the comrades of Branch 14 would set off to carry out their duties of promoting Remembrance at their designated posts for the coming weeks.
Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID 19 pandemic, the RMR Foundation is now accepting donations on behalf of Branch 14 (RMR Association) the Royal Canadian Legion for their 2020 Poppy Campaign in order to allow them to meet their obligations to those who depend on them. All funds donated will be transferred to Branch 14, however NO TAX RECEIPTS WILL BE PROVIDED – precisely as if you had made a donation in person at a Legion poppy kiosk.
Like pretty much every other facet of Canadian society, Covid-19 restrictions have hit the Legion’s annual fundraising efforts particularly hard. Branch 14 (RMR Association) – a Legion branch staffed entirely by volunteers and which has zero overhead or administrative costs – typically disburses more than $50,000 each year to worthy charities that depend on these donations to fund their activities supporting veterans. Given the social-distancing requirements, the 2020 poppy campaign is at serious risk.
Provisions to have a poppy mailed to donors have been made here.
Through your donations to the Legion Poppy Fund, the Legion provides financial assistance and support to veterans, and their families who are in need. Some examples of what Poppy Funds may be used for:
– Grants for food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance.
– Housing accommodation and care facilities, particularly for homeless veterans.
– Comforts for Veterans and their surviving spouses who are hospitalized and in need.
– Accessibility modifications to assist veterans with disabilities
– Promotion and administering of Remembrance activities to ensure Canadians never forget the sacrifices of Canada’s veterans
Branch 14 (RMR Association) will still be conducting a limited in-person poppy campaign, and will provide masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and visors to all volunteers. Poppy kiosks are planned in Westmount as follows:
- Outside of Place Alexis-Nihon (Alexis-Nihon is refusing entry, however the City of Westmount has given permission for the Legion to conduct poppy activities on the streets)
- Outside of 5 Saisons on Greene Avenue – their space limitations do not allow for safe social distancing.
- Metro Grocery on Victoria Avenue has generously allowed us to set-up a kiosk, complete with plexiglass protectors.
- Individual poppy trays will be issued to volunteers to avoid any potential virus spread.