Santa's signature mode of transportation is a sleigh, but seemingly hundreds of them could be seen running the streets of Ottawa Saturday for a record-setting fundraiser.

The Salvation Army's 21st annual Santa Shuffle drew out a record 830 people to raise money for thousands of Ottawans living in poverty.

"You want everyone to have the best Christmas they can," said Michelina Teti. "If running in a Santa outfit can let us help that happen, it's a great thing to do."

"It's so important, especially at Christmas time, to raise money for people that are not as fortunate and we just wanted to come do our part," said Tammy Blackmore, who came from Pembroke to participate.

The Salvation Army said the run is to help the 17 per cent of Ottawa residents (around 20,000 people) who have hard decisions to make in the winter.

"You struggle with everyday items that you and I take for granted, such as housing, food, paying the hydro bill, buying gifts for your children at Christmas time or warm snowsuits when weather turns cold," said Michael Maidment with the Salvation Army. "People who struggle in poverty really make choices between those things."

Louise Lavoie said she can relate to those choices.

The 48-year-old said she's almost done earning her high-school diploma while working a part-time job at the same time.

"It's hard to make ends meet," she said. "I'm making, and I don't like to say, $140 a week driving a school bus and it's tough."

Maidment said this fundraiser made about $30,000 for local families.

"Roughly 6,000 different families come to us for help," he said. "We deliver 22 programs and these can be as simple as a snowsuit, backpack or food for a family who is struggling, help with the hydro bill or help paying rent."

The Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Campaign is also underway, running until Christmas Eve.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Vanessa Lee