A surprise gift from members of the local homeless population took the head of the poppy campaign for Branch 88 off guard as she was counting this years donations.
Sherry Boudreau, poppy chairman for Royal Canadian Legion Branch 88, was surprised to find a piece of art made by members of the local homeless population dropped off at the legion, along with a cash donation for this years poppy fund.
A large red poppy made out of tissue paper was fixed onto a large black cardboard background, that contained the signatures of those that live on the city’s streets.
“Grateful for your service,” signed Aiela.
“Papa I love U,” wrote Sandra and P.J..
“Great Uncle Frank we love you,” wrote Robert.
Others wrote “Thank you”, “I will always remember you”, and “We remember”.
“I was not expecting a donation from the homeless whatsoever,” said Boudreau, who was touched by their thoughtfulness.
She explained that although she was not available at the time to accept the donation in person, the poppy is now on display in the sports lounge at the legion branch.
Their donation was put towards this years poppy campaign total that is currently sitting at $83,824.14, with only a couple more donation boxes from businesses to come in.
“I’m thrilled,” Boudreau exclaimed about the total – that is looking to be on par to what was raised last year.
Last year $84,529.73 was raised locally, a little more than in 2020, when about $82,000 was raised, which was $4,000 more than in 2019.
Locally money raised goes to support veterans and also the local charities within communities that have a legion branch.
The legion already made a $43,000 donation to the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation from this years campaign – money that will go towards the purchase of three high-priority health care needs in the community, said hospital foundation executive director Laura Butler.
It will specifically be used to purchase a blood component freezer for the hospital’s laboratory, a vein viewer for the operating room, and two wheelchair scales for Baillie House.
“We are so grateful for their ongoing support as a community partner for better health,” Butler wrote online.
The local legion also donated $5,000 to the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society.
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