Ready, Set, Shuffle!

Santa shuffle participants stand with Santa and Salvation Army mascot
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Coming Together Virtually to Shuffle Because Everyone Needs an Army

Traditionally held on the first Saturday of December, the Santa Shuffle is a 5k Fun Run and 1K Elf Walk that supports local Salvation Army initiatives. In partnership with the Running Room, and what began as a single race in Edmonton in 1990, the event is now held in 35 cities across Canada.

With the impact of COVID-19, the Santa Shuffle was transformed into a virtual event. In 2020, Santa Shufflers were able to:

  • take the Santa Shuffle in their community at their own pace and enjoy a week-long event from December 5 to 12;
  • tune into virtual ceremonies hosted on the Santa Shuffle’s official Facebook page with a special appearance from Running Room founder, John Stanton;
  • participate in best-dressed contests with categories in individual, group and pet-edition;
  • join the top runner contests in either their province or for the country.

Although aspects of the Santa Shuffle changed in 2020, the commitment of participants to helping vulnerable neighbours remained as strong as ever. Together, thousands of individuals from across the country rallied together to help fight poverty in support of The Salvation Army. From Toronto, where funds from the Santa Shuffle provided support to The Salvation Army’s Gateway Shelter, a 120-bed emergency shelter drop-in for men, to Moncton, N.B., where funds assisted The Salvation Army’s Community and Family Services with their breakfast and Christmas hamper program, the impact the Santa Shuffle had on communities was limitless.

The Santa Shuffle is only able to help lift communities out of poverty thanks to their dedicated volunteers, sponsors, employees and most importantly, their participants.

“We wanted to help those in need in our community during Christmas.”

For some individuals, the Santa Shuffle has become a yearly tradition, like the Lakeview Manor team from New Brunswick. For many years, their group of 10 had a desire to give back, that’s when they joined the Santa Shuffle. “We wanted to help those in need in our community during Christmas, and the Santa Shuffle was perfect,” says Mona, Lakeview Manor team member.

For others like Dennis, the Santa Shuffle holds a much deeper meaning. As an avid runner, Dennis joined the Santa Shuffle to run in a cheerful event during Christmastime. But that’s not his only reason. To Dennis, the Santa Shuffle brings a glimmer of hope to those in need. When his father was in the hospital, Salvation Army volunteers gave him a “goodie” bag filled with small Christmas trinkets and chocolates. This gesture, although small, brought joy.

“Although this may seem insignificant, it brought joy to my father during a difficult time. To me, The Salvation Army is a quiet hero,” says Dennis.

No matter the circumstance, whether we are in-person or together in spirit, the Santa Shuffle is committed to giving hope and making a difference in the lives of thousands of Canadians.

For more information about the Santa Shuffle, visit