The Yorkton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion handed out almost $10,000 last week from its 2013 Poppy Campaign and it is just getting started.
"We have lots of money to give out, yet," said Judy Stubenberg, manager of the local Legion.
The 2013 fundraiser brought in more than $29,000, an increase of 10 per cent over 2012.
"It was one of our best ever," Stubenberg said.
On March 26, at the Legion's regular meeting, cheques of $1,000 each were presented to the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps, the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron, the Navy League and the Sea Cadets.
The Legion also gave $2,000 to the Health Foundation to buy bedside monitors and $500 in continuing support the Yorkton Meals on Wheels program.
Previous donations of $1,000 had been levied to two RCL programs administered by the Provincial Command designed to directly help veterans.
The Leave The Streets Behind program provides immediate financial assistance to homeless vets or vets at risk of homelessness. The aid can take the form of helping them find shelter, providing food vouchers or warm clothing and any other basic necessities.
The Power in Me program provides transitional cognitive behavioural therapy to returning vets and their families to deal with operational stress injuries (such as PTSD) and the added stress of returning to civilian life.
The program is run almost like weekend retreat during which up to 17 veterans receive training in how to confront and overcome the obstacles to transition.
Cherilyn Cooke, the Legion's provincial services officer said donations such as the ones from the Yorkton branch are "immensely important" because the programs are funded strictly "by the support of our branches."
The Yorkton branch also put up $1,000 for the Canadian Military Family Resource Centre in Moose Jaw, which seeks to enrich "the lives of individuals, families and community through positive action, education and support." The facility provides programs and services that cover the gamut of family life to ease the unique stressors of a military lifestyle.
Stubenberg said more funding announcements are imminent, but would not divulge the recipients except to say there would be some direct support for returning Afghanistan veterens.
"It's time we got back to our roots and look after these people," she said.
Legion Donations, 2013 Poppy Campaign, to date
- $1,000 Leave the Streets Behind
$1,000 Power in Me
$1,000 Moose Jaw Canadian Military Family Resource Centre
$1,000 Navy League
$1,000 Sea Cadets
$2,000 Health Foundation
$500 Meals on Wheels