Supporting military families, rehabilitation, trauma education and promoting Remembrance… these are some of the many ways your donations through the Legion’s Poppy Campaign are supporting Veterans and their families and honouring those who served.
This past April, The Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Executive Council approved over $645,000 in Poppy Funds through the Legion’s Veteran Support Partnership Program to help four organizations improve the lives of Veterans and their families or promote Remembrance. “Through generous donations to the Poppy Trust Fund, the Legion is able to provide funding to organizations that provide crucial supports and services to Veterans and their families, and educate Canadians on the importance of Remembrance,” says Dominion President Thomas D. Irvine. “We are proud to support these incredible initiatives.”
Supporting resilience in military families
Military families may experience stressful events including frequent separation and re-engagement with a parent/partner who was exposed to high risk, hostile environments. Heroes in Mind Advocacy and Research Consortium (HiMARC), through the University of Alberta, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, is developing early intervention resilience training programs to support and strengthen resilience within military families and within the supporting community. Delivered through Canadian Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC), HiMARC’s programs will focus on training the MFRC service providers supporting the families, as well as providing parents with skills to be more resilient and to model resilience to their children.
The Legion is committed to supporting the families of those who serve. A donation of $599,700 to HiMARC, divided over a three-year period, will support the development and evaluation of this important initiative.
Recreation and leisure activities can be an important component of physical and mental healing and wellbeing. Heroes Mending on the Fly Canada is dedicated to the physical and emotional rehabilitation of ill and injured Veterans and active military service personnel through fly-fishing. The organization provides training and educational activities to help ignite and rekindle participants' appreciation for the outdoors, and provides a safe space to connect with other Veterans.
The Legion presented a donation of $25,000 to support this rehabilitation program. Donations such as this means there is no cost to Veterans who attend the program for the first time.
Sharing the journey through trauma
Psychotherapist and trauma specialist Angela Vandommele from Ways to Wellbeing is filming the Healing Trauma Documentary aimed at defeating the stigma around mental injuries and illness and helping people gain a better understanding of what trauma is, the barriers people face when trying to get help and what healing truly looks like. With a focus on uniformed professionals, this project will be filming conversations with Veterans like Mike D. Mike was involved in several helicopter crashes which contributed to his PTSD. He shares his journey and his new focus on supporting other Veterans who have been injured in their services. Watch the trailer
The Legion donated $15,000 to the development of this documentary – a unique opportunity to help educate Canadians on what trauma looks like, and to let Veterans who are struggling know that they are not alone, and that there is help.
Engaging youth in Remembrance
Operation Veteran, founded by Dr. Paul Kavanagh in 2009, ensures that any Veteran visiting the Canadian War Museum receives a complementary meal. He then began to invite students from across Canada to Ottawa, on November 11, to learn about the importance of Remembrance. With the onset of the pandemic, Paul teamed up with Mr. Kevin Lakes and Mr. Patrick LePoidevin, two teachers from King’s-Edgehill School, NS (Black Watch #254 Cadet Corps) to develop a web based video series that could be shared in schools.
This year, the team is developing a new video series titled The 11 Days of Remembrance that runs over 11 days, with each day highlighting a significant component of Remembrance and our military history. The series also features the ‘Passing of the Poppy’ between each presentation, to honour the 100th anniversary of the Poppy. The project further includes the participation of schools across Canada as they share the series with their students, and ‘Pass on a Poppy’ from school to school.
It is important to engage youth in Remembrance, and the Legion is proud to donate $6000 in support of the development of The 11 Days of Remembrance initiative.
Legion’s Veteran Support Partnership Program
Organizations providing similar programs for Veterans can consider applying to the Legion for financial support through its Poppy Trust Fund.
Learn more: https://legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy-campaign/funding-for-organizations