The result is £181,834.63
, which will be shared across Samaritans'
201 branches to help fund the work they do in their local communities, lending a listening ear to anyone who is going through a tough time.
Sarah's fans were all the more generous after hearing her own story of calling Samaritans when she hit rock bottom after the break-up of her first marriage.
"I expected it to be like when you ring the bank with a bit of music and some options.
"Nope, they answer super-quietly and they just let you talk. And they're there twenty-four hours a day every single day of the year for anyone who needs them."
Sarah Millican on combating loneliness at Christmas
Bob Howe has been a Samaritans volunteer for more than eighteen years, based at its branch in Leeds.
As well as answering calls, he's put in a shift organising the bucket collections, 193 in all.
"Life is tough, and anyone can feel overwhelmed. We listen and we don't judge.
"I can say from experience that, whether it's the middle of the night or the middle of the afternoon, if people share difficult thoughts or feelings with us, it can change their lives – they realise that they can carry on."
"Donations help to keep our branches running and our volunteers ready for that next call."
Sarah will be staging her annual #joinin event on Twitter on Christmas Day when anyone in need of company and light-hearted cheer can just hop on the hashtag – and join in.
You can call Samaritans for free in confidence any time from any phone, even a mobile without credit, on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your phone bill). Or email email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteer face to face.