The Poppy – Some frequently asked questions

1.  What does the Poppy represent?   The Poppy represents the symbol of remembrance.

2.  Why should I wear a Poppy?  When you wear a Poppy or display a wreath you honour the war dead and help ex-service personnel and their dependents. 

3.  How do I help needy ex-service personnel and their dependents?  The basic purpose of poppy funds is to provide immediate assistance to ex-servicemen and women in need.  This may include food, shelter or medical attention for them and their families.  Also bursaries are granted to children and grandchildren of ex-service personnel.

4.  Are there any other uses for poppy funds?  Yes.  Poppy funds can be used for low-rental housing and care facilities for elderly or disabled persons and their dependents, community medical appliances, and medical research, day care centers, meals-on-wheels, transportation and related services for veterans, their dependents and the aged.  Donations may be given for relief of disasters declared by the federal or provincial governments.

5.  Aren’t ex-servicemen and women eligible for government pensions?  Yes.  Many ex-servicemen and women do get pensions, but many others, although handicapped, do not;  however, no pension can provide for eventualities such as fire, a long illness on the part of the breadwinner, or other medical expenses.

6.  Do you have to be a Legion member to get help from the poppy fund?  No.  Any ex-serviceman or woman or dependent is eligible to apply for financial aid from the poppy fund.  The poppy funds also support the Legion service bureaus, and a large number of service bureau cases involve people who are not Legion members.

7.  What are Service Bureaus?  Throughout the Legion, in some 1,720 branches in 10 provincial commands, and in Ottawa there are service officers whose job it is to assist ex-service persons or dependents with problems relating to disability pensions or other veterans’ legislation.  The national and provincial offices not only provide advice but act on behalf of the individual.  Every year thousands of representations are place before the federal government on behalf of  “clients”.  There is no charge for this service which is available to any ex-serviceman or woman or dependents who can qualify for such assistance.

8.  Does all the money raised through the distribution of poppies and wreaths go into poppy funds?  After expenses, such as the cost of poppies, wreaths and other supplies are deducted, all remaining monies are placed in trust to be used on those purposes authorized in the General By-Laws of The Royal Canadian Legion.

9.  Can poppy money be used for anything else?  The Legion’s constitution stresses that poppy funds must be held in trust.  They are subscribed to by the public.  They are held in a bank account separate from that of the Legion branch, and cannot be used for any purpose other than those stipulated. 

10.  Are campaign expenses high?  Campaign expenses are unusually low because most of the work is voluntary.

11.  How much should I give?  We suggest that you give according to the dictates of your conscience.  You might remember that the cost of all the things the poppy fund provides is much higher today, therefore it takes more money to do the same job.  When you give to the poppy campaign you remember the war dead and help the living and the dependents of those who have served our country.