A literal army of volunteers helped serve Veterans, their families, and communities across Canada in 2022. Volunteer dedication enabled the Legion to pull through ongoing pandemic challenges that would otherwise have been insurmountable.
The Legion’s strong membership base is its foundation; its 250,000 members once again allowed the organization to do and achieve some amazing things.
Last year, Legion membership also grew year over year for the first time in over three decades. The organization welcomed over 35,000 new and reinstated members – it’s the kind of growth that hasn’t been seen in many years.
Underpinning the varied accomplishments at a national level were member engagement, public relations, new project innovation, and advocacy efforts. This collective work helped produce public and media interest, membership growth, and ultimately it helped facilitate actions across the country to support Veterans.
The dedication of many colleagues was central to introducing initiatives that helped modernize and strengthen the Legion nationally – from biodegradable Poppies to new membership tools.
In 2022, the Legion welcomed many positive stories about how individuals or family members were helped by its work, such heartwarming stories were a testament to the dedication of thousands.
SERVING VETERANS & THEIR FAMILIES
The Legion exists primarily to help serve Veterans and their families. This is accomplished through a range of actions at the national and local levels.
Making a difference
Legion Service Officers at all Branches across the country, and at the provincial and national levels are always ready to assist thousands of Veterans each year.
Veterans do not need to be Legion members to receive assistance, and once again last year it was provided at no cost to them. Canadians made this possible because of their yearly generosity during the National Poppy Campaign. Over the course of 2022, Dominion Command Service Officers helped with disability applications, appeals, and provided individual grants for essential items like food, fuel, clothing, medication, and emergency shelter.
The Legion’s Veterans Services department heard excellent feedback last year from Veterans who were happy to finally receive disability benefits after years of rejection – primarily after being alerted to changes in polices at Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). Service Officers shared new benefit information with Veterans who may not have been aware, helping them receive what they were entitled to. These included things like additional pain and suffering compensation, and additional claims related to PTSD medications.
Veterans Services became involved in some new initiatives last year such as The Burns Way project to help ensure Indigenous Veterans receive the mental health care they deserve, and the department participated in the planning of the 2023 Women Veterans Forum.
Programs supported by the Legion such as BSO Legion OSI’s Operation VetBuild continued to hold an increasing number of group meetings for Veterans in the wake of the pandemic. These activities were another important means of helping support Veteran mental health and well-being in 2022.
To read the full story visit: https://www.legion.ca/news/2023/02/15/2022-in-review-legion-end-of-year-report by Nujma Bond