Cloverdale Legion member Earl Fraser sells poppies outside the Langley Walmart Oct. 29. (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)

Cloverdale Legion looks for volunteers

Surrey-area Legion covering part of Langley for annual Poppy Campaign

The Cloverdale Legion is looking for more volunteers.

The famous Poppy Campaign is well underway, but this year Cloverdale is covering part of Langley, so there is an increased need for volunteers of all sorts.

“We’re very busy,” said Earl Fraser, Poppy Campaign chairman for the Cloverdale Legion. “The campaign’s going quite well, but along with poppy taggers, we also need drivers.”

Drivers are needed to deliver poppies and to pick up coin boxes.

Fraser said now that the Langley Legion has closed, they’ve been stretched pretty thin.

“It’s been a strain on both the Cloverdale and Aldergrove Legions.”

“We have some of the Langley Legion members covering that area, so that’s good,” said Fraser. “They’ve been invaluable.”

Fraser added he’s generally on his feet 12 hours a day—from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.—passing out poppies and working with volunteers to ensure poppies are available across Cloverdale and the Langley area west of 216th.

“We are always looking for more volunteers, of course,” added Fraser. “Our Legion members are quite a bit younger than some of the other Legions, so most of them are at work during the day.”

Fraser said many locations remain unfilled and they are only asking for a few hours commitment.

Along with handing out poppies, Fraser has also been delivering them to volunteers and taking donation boxes to schools, coffee shops, and other businesses.

Fraser said one of the biggest changes he’s witnessed this year is the high number of people wanting to “tap” donations with their phones or credit cards.

“I stand there with the poppy tray and people dump money in,” he said. “Five-dollar bills are run-of-the-mill, people are very generous, but a lot of people don’t carry cash anymore. So, I think making something available for people to tap would be a great idea.”

Along with handing out poppies, Fraser said he also enjoys chatting with people.

“There is always great conversation. People are courteous and generous and I love meeting them. People are so fascinating.”

This year the Legion continues its Digital Poppy Campaign as well. Donors can visit mypoppy.ca to purchase a digital poppy that can then be shared on social media. The digital poppy has an option to include the name of a veteran, if one chooses.

The legion also has a store at poppystore.ca. where visitors can purchase poppy- and Remembrance Day-related merchandise.

“Our BC/Yukon Legion Branches provide over $3.8 million annually in funds donated for Veteran support, community groups, youth, individual emergency funding and hospitals. They are an integral part of the social fabric of our communities,” noted Veronica Brown, executive director of the BC/Yukon Command.

The Legion’s most recently-reported Poppy Campaign year was 2017. That year 19.8 million poppies were handed out and more than $16 million dollars was given to support veterans and their families between October 2017 to October 2018.

To volunteer with the Cloverdale Legion for the annual Poppy Campaign, call: 604-574-5300.

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