Tim Hortons and its 1,500 restaurant owners across Canada are proud to announce that over $1 million was raised for Indigenous charities through the Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign on Sept. 30 in support of residential school survivors.
“I am humbled and honoured that Tim Hortons has once again chosen to support the Orange Shirt Society by selling the Orange Sprinkle Donut,” said Phyllis Webstad, founder of the Orange Shirt Society. “These funds assist in our operations, dreams for expansion, as well as planning for our 10th year anniversary in Williams Lake, B.C., in 2024.”
The concept for the Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign was developed last year by a group of Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners and after consulting with a number of Indigenous leaders.
100 per cent of all Orange Sprinkle Donut sales are being donated to Indigenous charities including the Orange Shirt Society, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and the New Pathways Foundation.
Sales of the Orange Sprinkle Donut in Saskatchewan also supported a $28,000 donation for the James Smith Cree Nation Community Fund, which is being established for the community that suffered a horrific tragedy last month that left 10 people dead and 18 others injured.
“For the second year, Tim Hortons has been a true partner in supporting truth and reconciliation,” said Angela White, Executive Director of the Indian Residential School Survivor Society (IRSSS).
“Going beyond the donations, the Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign also brings awareness and visibility of the cause and services of the IRSSS.”
The idea for the Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign originated last year after the discovery of unmarked graves on the grounds of the former residential school in Kamloops, B.C. Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners Shane Gottfriedson and Joe Quewezance operate a Tims restaurant located a short distance from the site of the former residential school, which became an impromptu gathering place for people who visited the site to pay their respects.
Gottfriedson, Quewezance and a number of other Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners were part of a working group that came up with the concept for the Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign.
“We’re both intergenerational survivors of Indian residential schools, so it really hit home for us,” said Gottfriedson, former Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation chief and former B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
“When we heard the amount of money that was eventually raised, it gave us a huge sense of accomplishment. The Orange Sprinkle Donut I believe will create a better quality of life for a lot of our families and a lot of our communities.”
This year, proceeds raised in Quebec are being donated to the New Pathways Foundation, while proceeds raised in the rest of Canada are going to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors Society. In Saskatchewan, 50 per cent of the proceeds raised are also supporting the James Smith Cree Nation Community Fund, which is being established for the community that suffered a horrific tragedy last month that left 10 people dead and 18 others injured.
Orange Shirt Day has been observed on Sept. 30 since 2013, when Phyllis Webstad told her story of her first day of residential school. She was six years old in 1973, excited to be wearing her new clothes and going to school for the first time, only to have her shiny new orange shirt ripped away and learn that she didn’t matter. Her organization, the Orange Shirt Society, and the Every Child Matters movement she created continue to raise awareness about Canada’s history of residential schools, along with honouring the survivors and their families and the children who never returned home.
The Indian Residential School Survivor Society is an organization providing essential services to residential school survivors and students, their families and loved ones, and Indigenous people experiencing intergenerational trauma.
“The donations from Tim Hortons allow for continued quality programs and services with opportunities to build or strengthen capacity. Recently, IRSSS has supported students and survivors with triggering issues, including the uncovering of unmarked graves at Indian Residential Schools across the province and nation, providing emotional and spiritual support as needed.”