Donation boxes for the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual poppy drive will be secured this year, in an effort to deter thieves from taking the donations.
On Saturday, at the Summerland Legion, Daniel Kroffat showed the design of the new donation boxes.
The boxes are metal and have a cable so they can be secured.
Kroffat introduced the boxes in Alberta last year. He said between 300 and 400 donation boxes are stolen across Canada each year.
Two years ago, when 40 boxes were stolen from Calgary alone, he developed the theft-proof boxes.
“I find it outrageous that someone would steal a poppy box,” he said.
The secure boxes were introduced in Cochrane, Alberta last year.
Kroffat said donations to the Legion’s poppy drive increased after the secure boxes were in place.
In past years, the community’s poppy drive took in around $32,000, but when the new boxes were in placed, that total rose to around $48,000. The boxes contained $20, $50 and $100 bills.
Kroffat believes the donations increased because donors knew the money would go to the Legion.
“The poppy boxes will raise awareness of the ongoing needs of the veterans,” he said.
The boxes are manufactured in Cochrane, Alberta by EGB Manufacturing and are distributed across Canada.
Kroffat said the box promotion is a grassroots initiative. He said he does not receive money or other benefits from the boxes.