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Tim Hortons’ Orange Sprinkle Donut returns to support Indigenous communities

Tim Hortons’ Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign is returning on Friday, September 30. The campaign raised more than $1.6 million in 2021.
 Tim Hortons’ Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign is returning on Friday, September 30. The campaign raised more than $1.6 million in 2021.

Tim Hortons and its 1500 restaurant owners across Canada have announced the Orange Sprinkle Donut fundraising campaign in support of Indigenous charities is returning on 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.

This year, proceeds raised in Quebec will be donated to the New Pathways Foundation, while proceeds raised in the rest of Canada will go to the Orange Shirt Society and the Indian Residential School Survivors 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 several other Indigenous Tim Hortons restaurant owners were part of a working group guiding 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 Donut, 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 Donut 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 September 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 told 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 September 30 as the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation.

“Tim Hortons is helping to start important conversations with the Orange Sprinkle Donut,” said Webstad. “We cannot heal what we don’t talk about, and I hope the campaign will help bring about plenty of conversation across Canada on September 30.”

The Indian Residential School Survivors Society has a more than 20-year history of providing services to residential school survivors, their families, and those dealing with intergenerational traumas. One of the Society’s goals is to continually expand support to partner organizations and maximize access to culturally sensitive, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual care.

“The Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign helps us provide better services to communities where it’s very much needed. The support from Canadians last year was incredible, we had never received such a big donation from any organization,” said Rick Aleck, co-chair of the Indian Residential School Survivor Society.

Founded in 2010 and the result of a regional strategy driven by First Nations chiefs to combat poverty and social exclusion, the New Pathways Foundation works for the future and well-being of First Nations youth in Quebec.

“We thank Tim Hortons for partnering with us for their impactful Orange Sprinkle Donut campaign and helping spark conversations about Indigenous history and why we commemorate September 30,” said Marie-Claude Cleary, executive director of the New Pathways Foundation.

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