MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG/BIKER DAD) — “It’s been a very hard season,” Captain Sheri Jones says through her COVID-19 mask and through welling tears, “the Salvation Army has not stopped since the virus hit, donations have come to almost a screeching halt.” The emotional reaction comes not just from the stress and pressure of running a program that makes a massive difference in our community. It also is in response to a massive show of support from what some might see as an unlikely source.
Saturday, a huge caravan of bikers rolled up to the Salvation Army’s toy warehouse at the mall in Mobile. They brought the rolling thunder of big v-twin engines, but also delivered hope. The Caballeros Acero riding club weeks earlier had reached out to the WKRG.com Biker Dad Blog to help get the word out about a toy run they were doing. But when WKRG News 5 learned they would be teaming up with the Salvation Army, it was obvious they needed to do more than that. So, WKRG and the Biker Dad Blog partnered with the bikers to kick the annual Magical Christmas Toy Drive into high gear.
The event became The Magical Christmas Toy Run. And given the success of today’s event, it’s likely going to be an annual partnership, “we were able to do this with help from Biker Dad, WKRG TV and the biker community as a whole,” Caballeros Acero founder George Andrade told Captain Jones, “thank you for letting us be a part of this.”
Cart after cart of toys, giant teddy bears, dolls, race cars, bicycles were unloaded from the trailer. And the Caballeros handed over almost 2-thousand dollars in cash too, “it takes everyone working together as you know,” said Captain Jones, “if we don’t all work together and help our brother, it just doesn’t work.” And with that one statement, Captain Jones couldn’t have summed up what is known as the “bikers code” any better.
The need is greater than ever because of COVID-19. Donations are down, Angel Tree adoptions are down too. Every little bit helps. You can still donate to the WKRG Magical Christmas Toy Drive for the next week. Click her for drop off locations and more.
If you missed Saturday’s ride, you can still ride in support of the Salvation Army Angel Tree. ABATE of Florida has a toy run Sunday in Pensacola. Get all the info on that by clicking here.
Please be careful out there, and follow me on social media:
Chris Best is the News Director for WKRG. He’s a husband and father of four. He’s also a motorcycle enthusiast.