The Atlanta Santa Run has been held annually since 2009, choosing different charities every year as the beneficiary. Temporary Accommodations has participated three years now and has raised tens of thousands of dollars each year. This year, the TA team raised the most money out of all the running teams, bringing an astounding $22,560.00 to the 2017 charity: Bert’s Big Adventure. This organization works to take children with terminal or chronic illnesses to Disney World for the first time, along with their families. These children suffer from illnesses ranging from Leukemia and Cystic Fibrosis to Stage Four Neuroblastoma. The funding from the Atlanta Santa Run goes towards paying for the all-inclusive vacation, a small reprieve in these children’s and their family’s lives. Additionally, Bert’s Big Adventure has several programs, including their Fairy Godparent Volunteer Program, which sends volunteers to visit the children and their families every day that they are in the hospital. Currently, they are visiting about 160 families, providing gifts, food, and necessities on every visit.
All participants must raise a minimum of $250.00 to be able to run in this event. The course makes a loop around midtown Atlanta, starting and finishing at Hudson Grille. The participants run in the frigid temperatures in speedos, Santa hats, and Christmas garb. The Santa Run originally started in Boston, where the temperature is usually much colder. However, Atlanta had a surprise snowstorm the night before the run, lowering the temperature and raising the heart rates of our runners. Some teams, like Temporary Accommodations, chose to dress in themes. This year, TA dressed up as The Guardians of Childhood, from the book and movie series Rise of the Guardians. In the years prior, our team has dressed as The Island of Misfit Toys and other matching outfits.
Temporary Accommodations’ Vice President, Tommy Chapman, initiated the company’s involvement with the Santa Run in 2011. Every year that he ran, he was the highest fundraiser on our team, bringing in $10,250 last year and $12,400 the first year. However, this year our Office Manager, Lee Pigliavento, was not only our team’s highest fundraiser but the fundraising champion of the whole run, raising an impressive $13,825 for Bert’s Big Adventure. “What I like about the Atlanta Santa Run is that they choose a different charity organization every year and they are always local charities; which is nice because it not only gives the charity an extra boost, but it also gives back to our community,” Lee said. “TA participates in a lot of charities events every year, and we try to do something fun that people want to join in on but is also meaningful—this is a great choice for both reasons.” With over $62,730.00 raised in the years Temporary Accommodations has run, we here at TA are proud to help the children who need it the most. Bert’s Big Adventure takes donations throughout the year, and their website can be found here.