Thanks to the generosity of donors and supporters, The Salvation Army’s 2023 Christmas fundraising efforts were a resounding success. In total, the  annual kettle campaign raised $22.8 million, surpassing the territorial fundraising goal and marking a significant increase from the previous year’s campaign.

Of these donations, the Army’s iconic red kettles collected $21.9 million, with $2.8 million coming from almost 300,000 tiptap donations, a cashless option for donors to tap their credit or debit cards to donate. Additionally, National Recycling Operations (NRO) made a valuable contribution through its Goodworks@Work campaign, which raised more than $330,000 for local ministry. In doing so, NRO surpassed its goal by five percent and engaged almost 80,000 donors in the campaign through Army thrift stores.

The Army's
Shieldy greets runners at the Santa Shuffle in Ottawa (Photo: Kimberly Hoy)

All of the funds from The Salvation Army’s Christmas kettle campaign are circulated back into the communities in which they were raised, helping the Army to continue providing essential social services to local residents.

“Throughout 2023, the cost of living in Canada continued to be at an all-time high, and more people required our services than ever before,” says Lt-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications, as he reflects on the work of The Salvation Army in 2023 and the dedicated support of donors and mission partners. “Thanks to the generous contributions of donors, volunteers and supporters, we are giving hope to the millions of people across Canada whom we serve daily.”

Santa Shuffle Supports Local Ministries

Along with the kettle campaign, the territory's Christmas appeal was boosted by the success of the Santa Shuffle, as communities of Salvationists and supporters came together for a display of holiday spirit across Canada in December. The annual 5-kilometre fun run and 1-kilometre Elf Walk, organized in partnership with the Running Room, brought out thousands of runners and families, many dressed in festive outfits, to raise money for the Army’s local ministries.

“The money raised from the Santa Shuffle through registrations and donations stays in those communities,” explains Katie Marshall, special events, initiatives and marketing specialist, and national race director.

In Ottawa, close to 800 runners registered for the Santa Shuffle at Lansdowne Park, where The Salvation Army’s mascot, Shieldy, came out to greet runners, and the emergency disaster services (EDS) team served hot chocolate from the EDS truck.

A woman receives some food from a Salvation Army emergency disaster services truck
The EDS truck at the shuffle in Calgary (Photo: Maria Silva-Dean and Zack Dean)

“The Ottawa shuffle was fun, festive and full of Christmas cheer,” says Stacey Alexander, Ottawa race director and resource and development co-ordinator at The Salvation Army’s Bethany Hope Centre. “Shufflers were encouraged to dress up in their favourite Christmas outfits, and I assure you, they did not disappoint!”

More than 400 participants gathered at the Eau Claire Market in Calgary for the Santa Shuffle, sponsored by Grimms, Save On Foods and Planet Fitness. “People were excited to be there,” says Jamie Rose, events co-ordinator, Prairies and Northern Territories Division. “The Santa Shuffle supports Red Shield dollars and spreads awareness of our work in the community. This was also the first year we put a toy bin out to collect for our toy drive.”

This year’s Santa Shuffle also included 10 locations exclusively offering virtual options, where racers were encouraged to take part by running on a treadmill, at the gym or by getting out in the neighbourhood with friends.

Nationwide, the Santa Shuffle raised more than $125,000 in pledged donations, as well as more than $100,000 in registration revenue. “There are people who get really excited about it and they register in April,” says Marshall. “We get a lot of Salvationists and people who want to support the Army, but the event also attracts people who are just interested in helping others in their community. That’s the whole point of The Salvation Army, isn’t it?”

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