TORONTO — Tim Hortons and its 1,500 restaurant owners across Canada are again hosting a Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign in support of Indigenous charities beginning Sept. 30.
More than one million Orange Sprinkle Donuts were sold and more than $1.6 million was raised in last year’s fundraising campaign in support of residential school survivors. The concept for the Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign was developed by a group of Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners and after consulting with a number of Indigenous leaders
This year in Saskatchewan from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, half of the proceeds from Orange Sprinkle Donut sales will go to the James Smith Cree Nation Trust Fund and the other half of the proceeds will be donated to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society and the Orange Shirt Society.
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. A Tim Hortons restaurant co-owned by Shane Gottfriedson and Joe Quewezance is located a short distance from the site of the former residential school and 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 guided the launch of 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 doughnut I believe will create a better quality of life for a lot of our families and a lot of our communities.”
“I also want to thank Tim Hortons and my fellow Tims restaurant owners across Canada who stood beside us in launching this campaign and are supporting the cause again this year,” added Quewezance. “Last year, it was really important to hear from them right away, they asked what the brand could do at that time and that’s where the orange sprinkle doughnut came into play. We’ve opened the door here for an opportunity for everyone to find a way to help.”
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.
Last year, the federal government also designated Sept. 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.