Established in 2007 by then Chief of Defence Staff, General Hillier, the Support Our Troops Fund (formerly the Military Families Fund) was set up to assist military families faced with unforeseen and often immediate needs resulting from conditions of service. This Fund allowed the chain of command to quickly respond to the unique, unforeseen and often immediate needs of military members and their families.
During its first year of operation, Canadians, businesses and CANEX donated almost $1.6 million to the Fund and some 80 families were provided with assistance totalling $190,000.
In January 2016, Military Families Fund and Canadian Forces Personnel Assistance Fund (CFPAF) amalgamated into the Support Our Troops Fund to provide a single official source of charitable support to the Canadian Armed Forces Community.
Support Our Troops merchandise
The Support Our Troops line of merchandise was introduced in 2005. During the NHL playoffs in June 2006, renowned CBC "Coach's Corner" host Don Cherry made a plea to Canadians to show their support for our troops by purchasing Support Our Troops products available through CANEX, a division of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, known then as Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA).
Shortly after Don's request, the website crashed due to the Canadian public’s overwhelming support. Don’s genuine appeal helped turn Canadians’ pride into tangible contributions for the military community. That year, CANEX’ Support Our Troops merchandise totaled one million dollars in sales! By 2008, the Support Our Troops line of merchandise had grown to include clothing, with new items being added frequently. In 2013, the Soldier On collection
was launched to support the Soldier On Fund.