BIKERS FOR KIDS ILLAWARRA
This is an organisation that is local to my area, so for people living outside that area – which is most of you reading this – you might think that it holds little interest for you. But, as the title suggests, this is a story about an organisation that exists for the sole purpose of helping children: and I think that is something we can all take an interest in. As regular readers will know, I like combining my love of motorcycling with doing some good in the community. I have organised several charity rides, held displays at a local nursing home, and have taken part in toy runs for many years. So an organisation that was set up solely for doing good in the community has to be of great interest to me. Hopefully it is of interest to you too. I'm not an active member of this group, but I've been intending to write a story about it for quite some time now. Firstly, I should mention that this isn’t the only local organisation of bikers doing good in our local community. A riding group, Slow & Easy Riders, has been active in charity work, and spawned another group called Loud Pipes & Big Hearts. They are doing some wonderful work in our community, helping the needy, handing out warm clothes and food to the homeless and lots of other great things. Another group that kind of grew out of these two is a local division of Riders Against Discrimination. That last one is more about bikers than the community, but any fight against discrimination is a fight for a better society, so still comes under the banner of “doing good in our community.” Another group that is active in the local area is Bikers Against Child Abuse. That is an international organisation that was set up to, as the name indicates, try to eliminate child abuse; or as they say more accurately on their web-site, “Empower abused children.” If you click on the highlighted links, they will take you to their web-pages. In the case of the former ones they are Facebook pages. With B.A.C.A. it takes you to the NSW chapter of their international organisation. Id been promising to do an article on the local B.A.C.A. group for a long time, but for various reasons – too many other things to do, and waiting on more information on the local group etc – it never actually happened. But this article gives you the link to their NSW page, and from that you can check out the USA home page and get lots more information. Bikers For Kids Illawarra came out of B.A.C.A. It was formed in 2016 – about a year before this article was written. A group of people in the local B.A.C.A. group decided to expand their vision. Their aim was to help not only children who were being abused, but children who were in need due to various other circumstances as well. This is how they describe themselves and their mission. “We are an organisation of local bikers that share a passion for protecting and helping children through difficult times. We strive to help children that are either disadvantaged, neglected, or are suffering from ill health and need cheering up; or are victims of misadventure. “Our goal is to provide a safe and happy environment for these children by bringing them into our biker family and showing them they are loved, to make them feel safe, and to let them know that they are an important member of our community. “We are willing to help, wherever we can, with clothing, school requirements such as uniforms, shoes or equipment that is required for sport; or simply providing a friendly ear to listen to their fears and troubles. We are here to help the children to build their self-esteem and confidence, so they feel an equal in a world that is sometimes challenging. Our aim is to show affected children that they are better than their circumstances.” Moreover, they aim to, “Put a smile on a child’s face, and make them feel important and loved.” They emphasise that they are not a vigilante group, and do not condone violence in any manner. The only time they will get physical at all is in self-defense or to protect a child from harm. They are a volunteer organisation that relies on donations from local businesses, clubs, and the public, to fund their projects to help the children of the Illawarra. They do this because they believe that, “Every child should feel happy and safe.”
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