AMHERST - Members of the Amherst branch of the Royal Canadian Legion are out in full force once again selling what is the most recognized symbol of remembrance.
The legion's annual Poppy Campaign kicked off late last week and continues through Veterans Week until Nov. 10 with funds going to support veterans in need as well as various community projects.
"You wear a poppy to pay tribute to all those veterans who fought in the wars and have passed on since then," campaign chair Dorothy Goodwin said. "All the money we raise goes to a fund that is specifically for the veterans to help them if they need help. We have helped quite a few."
Goodwin said the community has been very supportive of the poppy campaign over the years with several thousand poppies purchased every year from veterans manning boxes at local stores.
However, as the number of veterans declines and their health prevents them from helping out, the legion has turned to other community groups for help. Volunteers from the air, sea and army cadets have helped out in recent years and Goodwin said there's always room for more.
"We still have quite a few of the veterans coming out to help, but it has been getting really hard to find people to help out," she said. "Anyone who'd like to donate some time can call me at 667-8536. We can definitely use the help."
Poppies are available at almost every store in the Amherst area and they are also located in the schools.
The tiny red floral sympbol, trademarked by Dominion Command, is the national symbol of Remembrance Day and is distributed through legion branches to raise funds in support of veterans across the country.
The poppy has been used as the national symbol of Remembrance Day since 1921 when it was first used by the Great War Veterans Association.
Volunteers from 1,500 branches will be distributing poppies and collecting donations through the end of Veterans Week.