This year, for the first time in Canada, British Columbians can use their mobile phones to text donations to the Legion’s Poppy Funds.
“For many years, British Columbians have been proudly wearing their poppies and showing they remember,” says Jim Howard of Vancouver’s Poppy Fund.
“This year we’ve added a new and easy way for you to give.”
“You simply text the word POPPY to 20222, reply YES to confirm, and a $5 donation will be added to your mobile phone bill,” explains Howard. “We receive 100 per cent of the donation.”
The mobile giving program, made popular by disaster relief efforts in Haiti and Japan, is part of a brand revitalization project at the Royal Canadian Legion BC/Yukon Command.
Newly-appointed Executive Director Inga Kruse says the legion is giving their brand a facelift that includes the introduction of new technology and new, more modern ways for supporters to remember, join and give.
“We want people to know we’re more than a social club,” explains Kruse.
“Any Canadian over the age of 18 can join the legion – you don’t have to be ex-military.”
The legion in B.C. has 65,000 members, contributes $6.5 million to community programs each year and legion members volunteer over 600,000 hours annually.
One of the key programs that benefits from poppy fundraising is the Veterans’ Transition Program at the University of British Columbia, where returning veterans can receive free support, counseling and trauma relief as they transition home and back to civilian life.