You probably know The Royal Canadian Legion as an organization that supports Canada’s Veterans and honours their sacrifice. You may have seen us hosting your hometown’s Remembrance Day ceremony or distributing Poppies during our annual Poppy Campaign. Perhaps you heard or read stories about the Legion supporting local Veterans and their families.
What you might not realize is that we do so much more, and once you learn more about us, you may find you have a much stronger connection to the Legion than you might have thought!
Yes, a key focus of the work we do is to honour and support our Veterans, but we also are a grassroots organization with volunteer community-based activities that help build a stronger Canada from coast to coast to coast.
While many Legionnaires are Veterans, our members also include families of Veterans and members of the public with no military connections. Their common goal: to support Veterans and help their community. In fact, with over 1,400 Branches and more than 275,000 members across Canada, the Legion provides one of the largest volunteer bases in the country.
Legionnaires contribute millions of volunteer hours each year. They are probably best known for distributing Poppies during the Remembrance period, helping raise money for Veterans and their families and ensuring Canadians ‘never forget’. Yet behind the scenes, Legionnaires also volunteer in their Branches, providing essential programs and services for Veterans, seniors and families in need, supporting youth education and leadership programs, hosting Branch activities and fundraisers, and more.
Legion branches are the cornerstones of many Canadian towns and communities, providing central places for people to gather and feel connected to their neighbours. In many places, they serve as the primary community centre, hosting weddings, town meetings, community BBQs, memorial services, and other important events and activities. And in times of local or regional crisis, Legionnaires are there to support those who have been adversely affected by an emergency.
Branches are almost entirely run by volunteers, and Legionnaires are the lifeblood of the organization. From service to the country to service to the community, Legion members impact the lives of their fellow citizens, in particular Veterans, seniors and youth. Chances are, you or someone you know has volunteered with or has been involved in programs and activities offered through your local Legion branch. All this good work we do would not be possible without the support of our hardworking and dedicated volunteers.
This National Volunteer Week, we send a special thank you to our Legion Members for your support and dedication. We encourage all Canadians to learn how they can get involved and make a difference too!