The Salvation Army and Prince George Cougars teamed for the Un-teddy bear toss this past weekend.

A spin on the classic teddy bear toss idea, warm clothing was asked as the main donation to help keep people warm through the winter.

“Teddy bears, as cute as they are, and as much as they bring a smile to people’s faces, it’s hard for teddy bears to keep people warm on a cold winter day,” said Salvation Army Captain Neil Wilkinson of why the tradition was altered.

“Having hats, mitts, toques, coats, and different winter clothing to be able to support people has a much different impact than a teddy bear does.”

In total, 3,822 pieces of warm winter clothing, as well as 738 teddy bears, were donated during Sunday’s game. This bodes well for the Salvation Army, which, according to Wilkinson, sees an increase in the number of people needing assistance year over year.

“That’s always a cause for concern for all the front line social services providers because we’re not government funded so we always need to be mindful of how we can best match the need of the community with the resources the community supplies.”

Wilkinson said about 500 to 600 households are taken care of by the Salvation Army in Prince George. Across the city, he estimated between 1,500 and 2,000 households are helped by various organizations during the holiday season.