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‘There’s a great need’ for Edmonton Poppy Fund services

EDMONTON – With just a few days left until Remembrance Day, the Edmonton Poppy Fund has collected nearly $200,000 in donations.

Between Oct. 30 and Nov. 7, $199,715 has been donated via mail or through in-person poppy donations.

“I’ve always supported poppies and they do wonderful work,” said Marguerite Perry, who joined the Canadian Navy in 1943. “There’s still a lot of veterans that need help.”

On average, the Edmonton Poppy Fund helps about 30 veterans or their dependants every month.

READ MORE: Donations down for Calgary poppy fund 

“People still do not understand what the poppy is for, what we do with our money, and that it is used for veterans and veterans families,” said June Greig, who served in the Navy and is the current chair of the Edmonton Poppy Fund.

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The poppy funds are put into a public trust fund and used to provide assistance to veterans in need and their families.

“We have people coming to the poppy fund office almost every day for one reason or another,” she added. “Sometimes it’s for food vouchers because they don’t have enough food.”

“Sometimes it’s housing, sometimes it’s moving to an assisted care facility, sometimes they have to have a special bed or any kind of special equipment.”

This emergency fund is used for shelter, food, fuel, clothing, prescription medicine or necessary transportation. The Edmonton Poppy Fund also runs bursaries for veterans’ children and grandchildren who would not be able to attend college or university without that assistance.

READ MORE: Poppy drive highlights changing face of Canada’s veterans

Last year, between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, $617,213 was donated to the fund. It doesn’t only support World War II veterans, but also those who served more recently in tours like Afghanistan and Bosnia.

For Perry, collecting donations for poppies has been a positive experience.

“I’ve had many people come to me and thank me for my service and that’s a really nice feeling.

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“It’s really nice to know that you’re being recognized by the younger generation,” she said.

Liam Peabody is a second year cadet. He’s also a poppy volunteer. Why does he do it?

“To remember people in the wars who fought for us.”

“It feels awesome. It’s kind. It’s fantastic.”

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