Ryan Reynolds ugly sweater campaign helps raise $640K for SickKids in 2021
Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds and his “aesthetically challenged” sweater have helped the Hospital for Sick Children raise more than $640,000 this holiday season—about double the amount from the previous year.
For the past three years, the Vancouver-born actor has been supporting the Toronto SickKids Foundation, using a real-life ugly sweater gag as inspiration.
This year, Reynolds took things to the next level, providing t-shirts designed to mimic the famous ugly sweater to about 5,000 front-line workers.
In a short 50-second video posted to YouTube in early December, the actor encouraged people to donate to the foundation.
"The past couple of years my beloved, yet aesthetically challenged, holiday sweater has become a symbol for how much we all care about children and SickKids hospital," Ryan says. "But this year, I want to recognize the doctors and nurses too."
"And that means that, with all due respect to a certain iconic trio from the 90s, I do want scrubs."
The video then shows frontline workers unwrapping boxes to find green t-shirts with a giant gold bow printed on them. They even had the sweater’s signature blank name tag.
The call out was a success, with numerous athletes, politicians and entertainers taking part.
Toronto Mayor John Tory posted a photo of himself in a similar shirt, writing that he hopes Reynolds “will stop making everyone wear this ugly holiday sweater one day.”
The Toronto Maple Leafs got into the holiday spirit, sharing a video of the team gathering for practice while wearing the sweater. In the video, the players are seen using cut-outs of Ryenolds’ face as target practice before encouraging everyone to donate.
Other participants include Andre De Grasse, Bianca Andreescu, and Hayley Wickenheiser, among others.
According to a news release issued Wednesday, the Sweater Love fundraising campaign raised more than $640,000. This included a donation from Samsung Canada, who pledged to match the first $100,000 raised.
In total, over three years, the campaign has raised more than $1.7 million for SickKids.
More than $3200,000 was raised in the 2020 campaign, which featured an animated video of a sweater Reynolds was tricked into wearing by his fellow actors Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal.