Aldergrove’s legion, which closed mid-March to curb COVID-19 spread, recently received $1,000 in emergency funds from Royal Canadian Legion headquarters.
On April 3, dominion command executives released $3 million dollars from its national reserves to provide grants to volunteer-run branches across the country.
“Normally in hard times, the Legion is the one providing assistance. It is unusual for all of us to find ourselves in the position of having to ask for the assistance. But, nevertheless, the ask must be made,” said dominion president Thomas Irvine in an April 24 press release.
READ MORE: Legion thanks RCMP with free memberships
Secretary manager Madeline Roach said the $1,000, non-repayable grant came just in time.
“We received our six-month water and sewer bill that same week” and $1,800 needed to be paid, she said.
Hundreds of legion branches nationwide have been closed due to the pandemic. This has put a stall on hall and lounge rentals for the Aldergrove legion, located at 26607 Fraser Hwy.
With no revenue coming in now for a month and a half, the legion has been hard pressed to cover incoming bills.
“We are doing OK for now and are looking forward to following the reopening guidelines established by Worksafe BC for our industry so we can welcome back our members,” Roach said.
In 2018, Langley legion branch #21 was forced to shut its doors after it couldn’t amass enough revenue to cover the cost of operating its building.
“Despite the current challenges, our incredible members and branches are doing incredible volunteer work,” Irvine said.
“Our communities need them and we want to do everything we can to help them help others.”
Out of Aldergrove’s 691 members, Roach approximates 70 per cent to be seniors; those most vulnerable to complications upon contracting COVID.
For the local legion, this has meant extra measures being taken to ensure its oldest members are able to safely receive essential supplies, including food.
Aldergrove Veterans and Seniors Society, at 27247 Fraser Hwy., created a senior’s take-out program to help feed seniors during the pandemic.