(Shelley) The National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign strives to make a difference in the lives of those in need. In 2019, this translated into over $3.5 million in donated funds directed towards over 86,500 charities, including numerous organizations with strong ties to Canada’s military.
Today, I’m joined by campaign Champion and Commander of the Canadian Army, Lieutenant-General Wayne Eyre.
So, Sir, if you could tell us a bit about this year's National Defence Workplace Charitable Campaign.
(LGen Eyre) So the theme for this year's campaign is “Apart but together at heart”. And that speaks to the challenges we're facing during this COVID campaign as we've imposed physical distancing, but at the same time need to maintain that social support. So the vast majority of events for this year's campaign are virtual. They've gone online. But that being said, the foundations of it haven't changed. We can still choose what charities we want to donate to, the amount we want to donate, and the form of payment.
(S) This year's campaign started September 9th. Tell us a bit about what's happening.
(LGen Eyre) So we kicked off with the traditional VCDS Canoe Race which was a tremendous success. So it's been run for the last 20 years but this year had not only had the greatest number of competitors, but also raised the greatest amount of money. Now, so far, the campaign, we are just shy of half a million dollars. So progress is good. But this year, we're focusing a lot on wellness. Physical and mental wellness, which, at any time, is a challenge, but is particularly acute during this time of pandemic. The funds that we raise will make a difference. Will make a difference for Canadians in need, which include both Defence Team members and their families.
(S) So how can Defence Team members donate the campaign?
(LGen Eyre) So donating this year is easier than ever. We're using the ePledge system, which is online, so no physical contact necessary. And with ePledge, you can give a one-time amount or you can make monthly contributions. We've also brought in the FlipGive app, which is a team fundraising app that you can use with over 300 retailers, that gives a portion of a purchase back to the NDWCC, and again a charity of your choice.
(S) So how are Defence Team members getting involved?
(LGen Eyre) So every one of us can make a difference and they’re getting involved in any way they can. Every base and every level-one has got a rep, and many of them had great ideas as to how to carry on in this abnormal year. So most of the events have gone online, but we're seeing so tremendous creativity out there. Some examples include the Colours of Charity Drive, Virtual Trivia. Details for these are on the NDWCC website. We’re seeing some competition, which is excellent, but I have to say that any amount makes a difference, so please be generous.
(S) Thanks for joining us today, sir.