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Tribute with a tap: Legion hopes fast-pay machines will boost annual poppy campaign


If you haven't picked up a poppy yet, you might find it a bit easier this year.

The Royal Canadian Legion's annual campaign is in full swing, and this year includes the addition of a number of tap-and-go machines at some distribution sites.

After a rough go last year because of COVID-19, officials are hopeful the convenience will help donations recover.

"They've moved us all into the 21st century," said Somme Legion Branch 31 Treasurer Kathy Julien.

"Because there was a lot of people that would walk by you doing the old pat-downs, saying 'Oh, I don't have any cash on me.'"

Julien was hard at work in the basement office of the branch Tuesday, as a steady stream of volunteers came and went for supplies.

Acting branch president John Stone said early indications suggested the campaign is going well so far.

"Seems to be going on pretty good.  We've got about 30 cans back in already from the distribution system, and they seem to be pretty full," he said, adding he was responsible for 10 of the tap-and-go machines.

Introduced as a pilot project last year, the Pay Tribute Program has been expanded across the country to include a thousand machines in all.

Beyond the instant donation, they also record the postal code where the card was tapped.

"When all the funds are tallied, National Command will then disburse those funds directly to the branches in that postal code area," said Valerie Mitchell-Veinotte, the executive director of the legion's Nova Scotia/Nunavut Command.

The campaign launched Oct. 29 and nationwide, the Royal Canadian Legion expects to distribute 20 million poppies this year through 34,000 locations coast-to-coast. Top Stories


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