The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poppy campaign is facing many challenge this year, causing some concern that they may raise significantly less money than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the years, the Legion has relied on many volunteers, including Legion members, veterans and military cadets, to collect donations in exchange for poppies.

But the Legion says they’re hearing many older volunteers are not comfortable participating during the pandemic.

Larry Lynch, president of the Brach 69 Lancaster in Saint John, says there are several empty spots remaining on volunteer boards, adding non-legion member are welcome to step-up and help.

“It’s hard, the board is more empty this year than it has been last year,” says Lynch. “In fact, we have two less locations, there are two locations that didn’t want us in their area this year, so we have two less locations but we are still having a hard time.”

“Close to $20-million is donated every single year during the national poppy campaign, and that money goes into a full range of programs across the country and that can range from helping veterans in an emergency time. Sometime veterans find themselves in the midsts of homelessness and we help with that,”

There will be roughly 25,000 traditional poppy boxes across the country this year.

As well, about 200 electronic boxes are being tested, where donations can be made using a tap-enabled credit card or mobile phone.