Thursday’s Santas Day radiothon on 630 CHED raised $222,246.96 in cash and toy donations for 630 CHED Santas Anonymous.
“An incredible amount of support poured in literally through our doors, over the phones lines, online yesterday,” said Angel Benedict, executive director of 630 CHED Santas Anonymous, during a Friday morning appearance on This Morning with Stacey Brotzel and Daryl McIntyre.
The overall amount raised included $179,496.96 in cash and $42,750 worth of toys.
“Every year, we see the cash total go up, which has been remarkable to see,” said Benedict. “I think people are excited. They know it’s coming, they anticipate it, maybe they even plan for it.
“We continue to see that cash flow go up, but we continue to see that need go up too.”
When asked how the numbers compared to last year, Benedict said the figure was a little lower than Santa’s Day 2022, when the organization received two huge toy drop-offs during the day.
The long-running holiday event that helps bring toys to less-fortunate children in the Edmonton-area, was experiencing a slowdown in donations at the start of this holiday season.
Benedict reported earlier in December that donations were lagging some 40 per cent below last year.
However, the success of Santas Day and the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Teddy Bear Toss game at Rogers Place on Dec. 1, which brought in more than 14,000 stuffed toys for gift bags, has helped the cause.
“Inspired by a simple wish to see every child in Edmonton receive a new toy at Christmas, Santas Anonymous has been making Christmas wishes come true for 68 years and counting,” wrote 630 CHED director of talk & talent, Andrew Murdoch.
“Even with the current financial challenges families are facing once again, our listeners and community partners showed up with their wallets. And every time we aired emotional stories with past recipients and volunteers and board members, the phones and website were buzzing with donations.”
Delivery weekend will take place Dec. 16 and 17.