People can create a personalized poppy through an online site mypoppy.ca which allows them to also donate to the Royal Canadian Legion national organization. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

People can create a personalized poppy through an online site mypoppy.ca which allows them to also donate to the Royal Canadian Legion national organization. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

REMEMBRANCE DAY: Poppies available but in different ways around Langley

More emphasis is on electronic or online donations but some poppy boxes are still out there

The blood-red flower that has come to symbolize Remembrance adorns many lapels this time of year.

But given the global pandemic, it can be tougher to find sources for poppies, typically available through local Royal Canadian Legion branches and their army of volunteers who could be found on the streets and at local stores. That’s not possible in the current situation.

Another factor affecting the community’s ability to obtain poppies is the loss of the Langley legion branch due to financial difficulties a few years ago. The Cloverdale and Aldergrove branches now over the territory formerly overseen by the branch that was in Langley City.

The branches have worked to find ways to hold the annual poppy campaign.

Cloverdale branch president Earle Fraser noted that several businesses, including London Drugs, Princess Auto and Starbucks outlets in Langley, will be offering poppies at checkouts, with store cashiers, who already work with coronavirus precautions in place, able to safely collect donations.

“It’s a new way to offer poppies for donation, through point-of-sale,” he said.

The Aldergrove branch, 26607 Fraser Hwy., has poppies available for a donation or people can look for poppy boxes at local businesses.

The branches rely on the poppy drive to raise funds that stay in the community to support veterans.

People are invited to go to local cenotaphs to leave their poppies on or after Remembrance Day but there are not mass gatherings planned due to COVID-19.

The legion’s national organization has expanded what is available to the public. On the legion website there is an array of poppy merchandise is available. Funds from online sales go into general legion revenues to support the work of the organization and promote Remembrance.

As well the legion has partnered with HSBC to allow the public to make their contributions using the latest technology. Pay Tribute Poppy boxes enable people to donate and receive a poppy using tap and pay technology – such as Apple Pay* – on cards, smartphones, and devices.

“Funds donated through the new Pay Tribute boxes we are piloting in 250 locations, go directly into the Poppy Trust Fund to support veterans,” said national legion command communications manager Nujma Bond.

To make an optional donation of $2, just place a tap enabled payment card or tap-and-pay technology device on the glowing poppy, and take a poppy to wear.

The HSBC branch at 200th Street and the Langley Bypass has a tap-enabled poppy box. The boxes are available for use Oct. 30 to Nov. 11.

People can make personalized poppies at mypoppy.ca where they can also donate to the national legion.

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Remembrance Day