Celebrating Legion Member Volunteers for National Volunteer Week 2019
This year’s National Volunteer Week runs from April 7-13 with the theme: “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities”. We couldn’t think of a more perfect theme for Royal Canadian Legion volunteers, who lift Veterans and communities across Canada every day with hard work and dedication.
That’s why we want to thank and celebrate our Legion member volunteers by highlighting their great work, and want you to get involved!
If you are a Legion volunteer, tell us what you love best about being a volunteer or share a story from your Branch that highlights how you are lifting Veterans or your community. Submit your story here or on social media using the hashtag #MyLegion.
All submissions received before May 1, 2019 will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a gift basket from The Poppy Store valued at $1,000.
Let’s show what your Legion branch and volunteers do for Veterans and communities!
This is… #MyLegion
How does volunteering for the Legion make a difference?
For members of The Royal Canadian Legion, volunteering offers meaningful opportunities to help Veterans and show their support.
From supporting homeless Veterans, to helping ill and injured Veterans get the care they need, to visiting Veterans and their families in long-term care facilities, to volunteering in the Poppy Campaign, organizing commemorative ceremonies and teaching youth about the importance of Remembrance, our members make a real difference for those who gave so much for our freedoms.
Volunteering through the Legion also offers the chance to give back to the community, meet neighbours, learn new skills, expand horizons and have fun!
Here are just a few great examples of our branches and volunteers lifting Veterans and communities across Canada:
Abbotsford Legion volunteers supporting Veterans and growing Branch membership
The Abbotsford Legion’s volunteers have taken part in many community events over the last year, including Vimy Ridge ceremonies, Remembrance Day events, hosting dinners for Veterans and luncheons for first responders.
They also made donations to Honour House Foundation to help Veterans and their families cover the cost of living expenses while in hospital. Member volunteers are assisting Veterans with service dogs and their volunteers were very active in making the 2018 Poppy Campaign successful.
As a result of their hard work,these dedicated volunteers were able to grow their membership in 2018 and help support Veterans in their community. Read the story here: https://www.abbynews.com/community/abbotsford-legion-grows-its-membership-and-celebrates-other-successes/
Legion members at the Prince Albert Legion are helping homeless Veterans
After seeing a need in Regina for more funding towards a Legion program that helps homeless Veterans and those at risk called “Leave the Streets Behind,” Poppy and Wreath Committee Chair Colin Riese from Legion Branch No. 2 in Prince Albert put the wheels in motion to help the program out. At their executive meeting, the committee agreed to donate $20,000 from the Branch’s Poppy Fund to the program.
Donations to the Poppy Fund are made possible by Legion volunteers who spend countless hours volunteering during the Poppy Campaign , and by Canadians from coast to coast who make a donation and wear a Poppy.
Thank you to all the Legion volunteers at Branch No. 2 in Prince Albert for supporting homeless Veterans through the Legion’s Leave the Streets Behind program!
Read the full story here: http://paherald.sk.ca/2019/03/08/prince-albert-legion-branch-makes-20000-donation-to-keep-saskatchewan-veterans-off-the-streets/
Veteran and Legion member raises awareness about the Legion and reaches out to Veterans in need
Legion member and Afghanistan war Veteran, Cpt. Bryce Talsma (ret.) organized a screening of Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old at the Cochrane Movie House to fundraise for his Legion Branch and shed light on the bravery of those who have served, as well as those who continue to suffer from mental injuries from their time in service.
The event was organized as a community outreach event – to let people know about the “jewel” that the Legion is with its many fundraisers and events running throughout the year.
Bryce is also on a mission to help fellow soldiers make the difficult transition to civilian life, and held the event as a way to raise awareness that Veterans and their families can reach out to the Legion at any time.
“Because it’s life or death for them … I lost a couple of very good friends overseas violently and now I’m losing friends here violently,” explained Talsma.
Thank you Bryce for volunteering your time for an important cause.
Read more about the event and Bryce’s service story here: https://www.cochraneeagle.com/article/afghanistan-war-veteran-reaches-out-to-military-greater-community-with-legion-fundraiser-20190314
Legion members are helping Veterans heal through hobby and social support
It’s called Operation VetBuild and Legion member and Branch Service Officer Craig Hood is leading the way by working towards a pilot launch at Branch 322 in Ajax, Ontario this April.
Operation VetBuild is a Royal Canadian Legion initiative run by the Legion’s Operational Stress Injury Special Section (BSO Legion OSI). Operation VetBuild is a peer to peer program by Veterans, for Veterans and includes RCMP and allied Veterans. The objective is to help improve mental health through hobby and in this case, model building. The program is receiving model kit donations every day and we can’t wait to see where it goes!
Thank you Craig and the rest of the volunteers for getting this program off the ground. Legion member volunteers like you make a real difference in the lives of Veterans.
To learn more and to find out how you can help Operation VetBuild head to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/opvetbuild/
Honouring Veterans with Quilts of Valour
Over the holidays, half a dozen members from Legion Branch 228 in Sterling gathered at two local retirement homes to present unique hand-made quilts from Quilts of Valour to seven retired Veterans.
Quilts of Valour™ Canada is a registered non-profit charitable organization. There are some 1,771 members producing quilts all across Canada and, to date, more than 12,000 quilts have been presented to those who served.
Branch president, Judy Heasman says “The gift of these quilts is to provide warmth and comfort to our injured armed forces members and to our veterans. As well as expressing a very small ‘thank you’ to them for the sacrifices they have made so that we are able to live in peace and freedom in this wonderful country.”
Recipient Les Hunter was touched by his gift, “I just can’t believe it. This is just wonderful that the Legion is thinking of us and remembering us… especially at this time of year. This is a very special Christmas gift.”
This experience would not have been possible without the public’s donations to the Poppy Fund and the Legion volunteers who helped gather those funds. Thank you Legion volunteers at Branch 228 in Sterling!
Read the full story here: https://www.intelligencer.ca/news/local-news/keeping-veterans-covered-with-quilts-of-valour
Legion volunteers organized Bells of Peace commemorative ceremonies across the country
On November 11, 2018, bells rang 100 times across Canada in Remembrance of the signing of the Armistice that ended the First World War – A Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs Canada Remembrance initiative that was called Bells of Peace.
Legion member volunteers across Canada helped get the word out and make the events happen through community outreach to schools, churches and city halls. Legion Branches also organized their own ceremonies, and together, the country Remembered.
The Beaverton Legion Branch, with Poppy Campaign Chair Blair Kelly, was one Branch with volunteers who coordinated with town halls and churches to ring for the ceremony.
Thank you to all the Legion member volunteers who helped Canada Remember with Bells of Peace.
A big THANK YOU!
Legion member volunteers help us provide the essential services and supports to help Veterans and their families, seniors, youth and those in need. Our members ensure Canada never forgets the sacrifices made by so many.
Thank you Legion members for spending millions of volunteer hours every year and being our boots on the ground and the backbone of the organization!
Let’s continue the great work throughout the year and into the future.
How can you get involved?
Visit your local Legion Branch:
Legion branches have many opportunities to volunteer so you’re sure to find something that is a perfect fit for what you are looking for. Visit your local branch to see how you can get involved!
Share a story on social media with #MyLegion:
Help us celebrate Legion volunteers and the great work they’re doing for Veterans and communities across Canada by sharing why you volunteer for the Legion or a story from your Branch. Submit on social media using the hashtag #MyLegion or on our website to be featured in the Membership newsletter and other communications. Submit yours before May 1 for a chance to win!
Become a Legion member:
Membership is your first step to making a difference in the lives of Veterans. Join online today and transfer your membership to your local Branch to get more involved.