By Justin Flynn
Christine Waite and Denise Milich will again brave rain, hail and blazing sunshine to sell poppies in the lead up to Remembrance Day, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thousands of volunteers, such as Christine and Denise across the country will donate their time as we pause to remember our fallen Diggers on 11 November.
“My reason for joining the RSL is to give back to the ageing veterans in appreciation for their sacrifices they made in the defence our of nation and to assist the war widows and their dependents as they also struggle as they age and have had to cope with life without their partners,” Denise told the Voice.
You’ll find Denise and Christine either outside the pharmacy on The Terrace or just outside Liquorland from next week. They say they never have to actively push the sale of poppies.
“We don’t have to sell, we’re just sitting there minding the goods,” Denise said.
“People in this town are incredibly generous,” Christine said.
“It’s not always a pleasant day weather wise, but it’s always a pleasant experience.”
Both women enjoy seeing the younger generation embrace the day, along with Anzac Day.
“With more publicity about what happened at the bombing of Darwin, it’s made us much more appreciative of what the Diggers did,” Denise said.
“I love it when the young kids and teenagers come up,” Christine said.
“A lot of parents will come up and not even take a poppy – they’ll throw in 10, 20, 40 dollars from themselves and their kids.”
Denise and Christine encouraged others to donate their time to volunteer.
“I love working with some of the old veterans if I can get a gig there,” Christine said.
“I always put my name down.”
“It’s wonderful – I find it very rewarding just hearing and sharing stories,” Denise said.
“Anyone thinking about volunteering, just give it a go.”
Money raised from the poppy appeal goes to the RSL, which then assists war veterans and their families through food vouchers, hospital and home visiting, household utilities bills, medical equipment, transport, pension and entitlement advice, home maintenance and aged care.
Remembrance Day services will be held on 11 November at 10.45am at Ocean Grove Park and at Barwon Heads Community Hall.