JIS News

Organizers of the National Poppy Appeal are seeking to raise the level of public awareness and support for the campaign this year.
The appeal will raise funds for Jamaican war veterans who fought in World Wars I and II. According to Chairman of the Jamaica Legion Poppy Appeal, Lt. Col. Rocky Meade, the campaign has not received the attention it deserves, in recent years. “We’re hoping to sensitize the public to the importance of recognizing the effort that was put in by our service persons in these wars and to give back a little,” he told JIS News.
“Although these wars appear far removed, our very existence today is based on the service and sacrifice that they made and so this is very important,” he stressed.
The effort to raise funds will take place across the island, beginning in October, with parish representatives collecting donations in cans. Custodes in the parishes will also assist, Lt. Col. Meade pointed out.
Further publicity for the campaign would be bolstered by posters displayed in public places, he informed. “We make it clear on the posters, that even if a can is not available, donations can be sent to the parish representatives or to Curphey Place in Kingston,” he said.
Schools would also be targeted, he noted. “We are planning to push the appeal in the schools. It’s really important to sensitize the children,” he emphasized.
“In addition to providing the cans and the posters, we have our team of experts who, from time to time, will go to the schools and address students and answer questions,” Mr. Meade said.
Media workers, especially those seen on television, are also being encouraged to wear a poppy to give prominence to the appeal. According to President of the Royal Air Force Association, A. Keith Levy, himself a war veteran, “what will make our collections better. is participation.” He explained that the involvement of radio and television stations would aid the public education effort.
Lt. Col. Meade said it was important to recognize that the Jamaica Legion welcomed donations all year, not just during the period of higher visibility, when the cans and poppies are being distributed.
The Poppy Appeal drive begins on October 2 and ends on November 13.