Ottawa legions set-up drive-thru poppy fundraising campaign during COVID-19 pandemic
OTTAWA -- For 99 years, the poppy has been worn to remember Canada's fallen.
For the Royal Canadian Legion, the poppy is a symbol of one of its largest annual campaigns.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced legions across the county to adapt and find new ways of connecting with donors. The Orleans legion branch 632 has found a solution that seems to be working.
They have created drive-thrus, where you can donate and pick up your poppy at four locations in Orleans:
- Superstore Parking Lot on Innes Road, between Superstore and LCBO
- Royal Bank on St-Joseph Blvd at the corner of Place d’Orleans Blvd in the mall parking lot
- GoodLife Fitness on Tenth Line Road in Parking Lot
- Mandarin Restaurant on Tenth Line Road in the parking lot adjacent to JYSK
The drive-thru donation locations will be open on weekends leading up to Remembrance Day.
"I refused to put any of my volunteers inside stores. I was not comfortable with the safety aspect, so we came up with this way which is outside," retired Capt. Wyn Fournier said. "It is only with the funds we collect through the two weeks of the poppy campaign that we are able to support veterans and their families."
Richard Coney was happy to pull up and donate after picking up a few items at the store.
"I think it’s a great idea. First off you don’t have the older veterans out in the cold and wet, obviously it’s keeping then safe from the people in the stores and malls," Coney said. "It supports veterans, the real veterans who’ve gone to war."
Last year, the Orleans Royal Canadian Legion Branch 632 raised a record $116,000 for veterans programs. This year, they hope to be able to collect at least half that amount.