With less than two weeks to go, the RSA Franklin is preparing for their local Poppy drive.
On Friday 21 April, volunteers will be situated around Franklin, raising vital funds to support the needs of local veterans and their families.
The key theme of this year’s national Poppy Appeal is to recognise and respond to the needs of veterans, especially those members of the military who have served in recent deployments around the world.
“The Poppy Appeal is a time for us to have the opportunity to give back to those who have made sacrifices and put their well-being at risk for others,” says Vice President, Teresa Cousins.
The RSA Franklin has completely evolved over the last two years. From almost having to close their doors, the RSA Franklin has just hit 240 member mark, and is continuing to grow.
“It is about educating our community to what we are actually about, and what we do. It has become family orientated, and supports our younger generation of service men and women,” says Teresa.
This year marks the 95th running of the annual appeal, and RSA Chief Executive Jack Steer, says the longevity of it reflects New Zealand’s long-service to assisting countries near and far in times of conflict; in peace-time missions and other deployments in aid of others.
“While for most 20th Century New Zealanders knew that the Poppy Appeal was a key part of providing support to our former servicemen and women and their dependents, that is not so well understood today. The Poppy Appeal funds can only be used to provide help and support veterans and their families, regardless of whether they are RSA members or not. All funds collected by clubs locally is also deployed locally, providing care to those servicemen and women and their families living in your communities.”