In 2005, with just 30 days, the Foundation created Santa’s Traveling Workshop™ with Santa and his Elves to spread the magic and spirit of Christmas to the victims of the Katrina and Rita hurricane ravaged Gulf States of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The Tour traveled over 2,800 miles, visited over 60 Gulf communities and distributed over $14 million of gifts to over 300,000 children who otherwise would not have had a Christmas or a visit from Santa.
To accomplish this mini-miracle, the Foundation created a custom-built semi-trailer that was converted to be a “real” Santa’s workshop complete with a snow maker. With the support and invitation from each of the Governors of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the Tour traveled for 25 days giving over $14 million worth of toys to children who would not have had a Christmas.
The Tour was supported by the NBA, NFL, WNBA, NASCAR and over 100 celebrities and most importantly, the First Lady, Laura Bush, who flew to Louisiana for a day to help Santa give toys to the children.