The Legion National Foundation board has agreed to disburse more than $350,000 in donations to support programs for veterans, service members and youth across the country.
“This is the first year significant donations have come in,” said Sam Laprade, the foundation’s development director. The foundation has raised about a million dollars by hosting the digital poppy campaign and through donations from individuals and corporations. The funds will be used to support projects across the country.
Veterans’ House, a new facility that provides supportive housing and rehabilitation services for 40 veterans in Ottawa, will receive $200,000. Victoria’s Cockrell House, which provides shelter, food and support services to homeless and under-housed veterans, will receive $100,000.
The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre in Ottawa will receive $25,000 for support of aging veterans.
Sea, land and air cadets across the country will receive a total of $15,000 for bursaries. The Salvation Army in Yellowknife, Ridgewood Veterans Comfort Fund in Saint John, N.B., and Caribou Memorial Veterans Pavilion in St. John’s will receive $10,000 each.
“Veterans still need help, and a lot of veterans are suffering more through COVID.”
The Legion National Foundation was established in 2018 to provide a vehicle for donors interested in supporting projects at the national level. A registered charity, the foundation can issue tax receipts for donations, while The Royal Canadian Legion cannot.
The foundation supports projects that promote the mental and physical well-being of military and RCMP personnel, as well as veteran housing initiatives and bursaries for universities, colleges, technical schools and vocational trade schools. It also supports pilgrimages of remembrance and other commemorative programs.
Donations to the foundation are up despite—or perhaps because of—the COVID-19 pandemic. “Veterans still need help, and a lot of veterans are suffering more through COVID,” said Laprade. “People who support veterans are incredibly loyal and they did not let COVID stop them at all.”