Hundreds of Edmontonians braved the cold to ‘shuffle’ for a good cause on Saturday.

About 500 Edmontonians dressed up Christmas colours and costumes, to walk or run in The Salvation Army’s annual Santa Shuffle fundraiser Saturday morning.

“It’s always interesting to have a run in December especially in Edmonton we’re kind of at the mercy of Mother Nature but we have a phenomenal group of runners who come out every year and join us and we’re always in and around the 500-600 person mark and on a cold morning on this it’s terrific,” said Leslie Stuart, national Santa Shuffle race director for The Salvation Army.

The shuffle began in Edmonton 22 years ago, and there are now similar runs held in 39 communities across Canada – all raising money to support The Salvation Army programs and services, something that is especially needed during the holidays.

“We always see the needs of those that we help increase at this time of year especially when the cold weather hits and families start to realize that Christmas is going to be a little difficult for them this year,” Stuart said.

Participants collect pledges and all money raised in Edmonton, stays in Edmonton.

“It means we’re able to continue the work that we do in the community and helping the people that we need to be helping and the people who conversely need our help,” Stuart said.

“There’s a lot of work that the Salvation Army does in Edmonton.”

The Salvation Army helps people living in poverty and provides food hamper services, Christmas programming, adult and teen crisis assistance, counselling services, as well as addiction recovery programs and mental health services.

About 12,500 people took part in the Santa Shuffle fundraising event across Canada.