SASKATOON – The poppy room at the Nutana Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion has been lined with boxes and Tupperware containers since August, as members coordinate the 220,000 poppies in Saskatoon.
Diane Robson has been volunteering with the Legion for five years, and as the chair of the poppy committee, she’s been stationed in the poppy room since August.
“Both of my parents were veterans,” Robson said. “Mom was in the army and Dad was in the air force – the RCAF.”
The poppy is not only a symbol of remembrance, but also the insignia of the Legion’s largest fundraising initiative of the year. While some might only see it as a place to grab a beverage or play darts, the Legion is more than just a building.
With proceeds from the poppy campaign, the Legion helps veterans through grants for necessities like “food, heating costs, clothing, prescription medication, medical appliances and equipment, essential home repairs and emergency shelter or assistance,” according to its website.
“We’ve got what we call the poppy trustees. They’re the ones who sit down and make the decisions as to who, how and where the moneys are going,” said Rosemary Ferguson, president of the Nutana Legion Branch #362.
Families of veterans are also eligible for funding.
Regulations for how poppy funds are spent are laid out in the Legion’s 54-page poppy manual.