Orange sprinkles meant more than just a tasty garnish on your daily doughnut from Tim Hortons last month.
During the week of Sept. 30, 2021 — Canada's inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — Tri-City residents purchased the restaurant's special vanilla dip doughnut as one of many ways to show support for the Indigenous community.
In total, regional locations raised more than $4,700 for the initiative, in which 100 per cent of the retail price was donated to the Orange Shirt Society, as well as the Indian Residential School Survivors Society (IRSSS).
Nationwide, more than $1.6 million was the result of the week-long fundraiser from Tim Hortons' 1,500 restaurants, with upwards of one million orange sprinkle doughnuts sold.
"The Indian Residential School Survivors Society would like to express our profound gratitude to Tim Hortons and all the restaurant owners across Canada for their commitment to reconciliation by taking action to initiate their Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign," said IRSSS executive director Angela White in a news release.
"We are working tirelessly to support survivors of residential schools and their families through programs and services for the youth, 2SLGBTQ+, elders and families. This donation will allow us to ensure the quality of programs are enhanced in providing safe cultural spaces, and build capacity in offering additional counsellors, therapists and knowledge keepers."
In B.C., Tim Hortons' Kamloops location sold the most doughnuts in a single day during the campaign at more than 2,300 — and that was on Sept. 30.
Its co-owner is Shane Gottfriedson, who is a former chief of Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation where 215 unmarked graves were discovered earlier this year at the former Kamloops residential school and sparked a search of other sites across the country.
The Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign was organized by Gottfriedson and several other Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners
"We can’t say thank you enough to everyone across Canada who supported this campaign – it’s such an amazing result and we are so proud," said Gottfriedson.
"I also want to thank Tim Hortons and my fellow Tims owners across Canada who stood beside us in launching this campaign and put their hearts into making it such an incredible success story."
A 24-hour National Indian Residential School Crisis Line is available at 1-866-925-4419 to provide emotional support and crisis referral services to former residential school students and others affected.