Schitt’s Creek actor helps ramp up donations for Yellowknife organizations

An actor best known for his part in Schitt’s Creek shocked several Yellowknife organizations this week, after they received a sudden influx of donations.

Dustin Milligan, who plays the affable veterinarian Ted Mullens on the CBC comedy series, celebrated his 35th birthday on Tuesday.

He asked fans over social media to donate to three Yellowknife organizations.

“It’s always a strange thing when through social media you have hundreds of people sort of wishing you a happy birthday, mostly just based on a character that you play on TV,” he told the CBC.

“For a long time, I was always quite uncomfortable, I think, with that dynamic and that relationship … but lately … things have really changed in the world.”

The actor said he wanted to use social media to do some good.

It’s definitely a very welcome surprise. ​​​​​– Neesha Rao, Yellowknife Women’s Society interim executive director

“I decided that it’s appropriate and it is my responsibility in some ways to use this small platform that I have … to try to bring some awareness to these great organizations in my hometown,” he said.

Milligan said there were many organizations he wanted to highlight, but narrowed it down to three.

“Growing up in Yellowknife, there’s the reality of what life is like there and it’s not always easy, especially for anyone in the Indigenous community,” he said.

“Luckily, Yellowknife is filled with a bunch of great groups that are just looking to help the members of the community that need it most.”

This came as a welcome surprise to organizations like the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, the Yellowknife Women’s Society and the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.

Chelsea Thacker, the executive director of the coalition, said someone alerted her to Milligan’s social media post.

That’s when she decided to check on the donations the organization was getting.

“I saw it and it blew up overnight,” Thacker said, adding that the coalition received roughly $300 from multiple people.

The donations triggered by a post from Milligan took some charities by surprise. (Facebook Screenshot)

“It definitely was a massive influx compared to what we’re used to. I would say we receive a donation once a month and we received over 10 in the span of a few hours,” she said.

Thacker said she reached out to Milligan to thank him.

Meanwhile, Neesha Rao, the interim executive director of the Yellowknife Women’s Society, said the organization received about $200.

“It’s great to be recognized for the work that we do and to have Dustin say such nice things about our services and what the organization does,” Rao said.

“It’s definitely a very welcome surprise and really touching and we’re very grateful.”

Wilbert Cook, the executive director of the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation, said the organization received somewhere between $300 and $500 worth of donations from multiple donors after Milligan’s post.

“It was really greatly appreciated,” Cook said.