Former commander in the Royal Marines, Bert Marrett was 20 years old when he went to war on March 4, 1940.

Nowadays, he's known as Kitsilano's poppy man.

"It comes once a year, but makes people remember," Marrett said.

Every year during the poppy campaign, Marrett stands for hours collecting donations. Last year he raised more than $9,000 -- but this year has been different.

"[Donations] are down," Marrett said.

As with many charities, the recession is having an impact on local legions trying to raise money for war veterans and their families.

Donations are dwindling.

At the Royal Canadian Legion in Point Grey counting has just begun, but the lack of donations is already painfully clear.

"We haven't counted money yet, just when you open containers, doesn't seem to be as much in them," the Point Grey legion's Lois Sadler told CTV News.

And with only a few days left until the 11th, legionnaires are reminding people it's not too late to recognize the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

"Even a small amount of money, every bit helps veterans and their families," Sadler said.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jina You