Although it continues to serve veterans' needs, the Prince George Legion has closed its doors during the COVID-19 crisis and ceased regular operations.
Branch #43 is now fundraising through a GoFundMe campaign to offset the impact of the current crisis and keep operations going.
“We’ve had to close our doors which means we are not making any income from sales of food or beverages and we can’t host events which is a large source of income for the Legion,” says Legion communications executive Naomi Kavka.
“Donations of any amount are really helpful,” she adds, “Even if we don’t make our goal anything helps us make sure that it’s a little bit easier for us to keep operating.”
As the Legion’s operating costs are around $7,700 per month, the GoFundMe aims to raise $20,000 to help pay rent, utilities, insurance, and allow the organization to continue serving veterans during the current crisis which could last until the end of July.
Kavka says the Prince George clubhouse, which officially closed on March 17, is a source of camaraderie and support for many of its members.
“That’s one of the ways the legion supports veterans by giving them a space to hang out and be understood,” says Kavka, adding that, even though the Sixth Avenue clubhouse is closed, there are still staff working regular office hours.
“There’s members from our executive who are trying to make sure that if there are vets who need help there’s still someone they can speak to.”
The Legion will also be seeking grant opportunities and other financial aid, as well as trying to defer some payments.
Even with those, it will still need help to continue operating once this pandemic is over so it welcomes donations of any amount.
Kavka says that becoming a member of the Legion is more helpful than anything. You can find more information on becoming a member through the Royal Canadian Legion website.
Donating to the campaign can be done directly through the GoFundMe website, but you can also make a donation by cash or cheque, by contacting the branch office from Monday to Friday between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. at 250-562-1292.
If you are a veteran that’s in need of support, you can also call the office for assistance.