We have all taken our holidays lights and trees down and while Colorado is waiting for our first big snow storm, this writer is reflecting on what a busy December it was. Colorado Rider News, in conjunction with Adopt a Family and BikerDown and volunteers from all over, attended dinners with Santa at two local charities: Joshua Station and Joyful Journeys Community Enrichment.
On Thursday December 7th, we arrived at Joshua Station: a transitional housing hotel for the homeless. If you haven’t been there you wouldn’t realize that you pass it every time you enter onto I-25 North from 6th Avenue. It looks like any other small hotel with a mural on the wall and kids running and playing. As we all began to warm up the food and sneak Santa’s presents in, you could see the curiosity on the faces of the kids. The families had only been told that we were there to serve a warm holiday dinner. The bikers brought up the food, prayers from the Black Sheep MC were given and dinner began. Many of the kids asked if Santa would be coming and the bikers said, “I am not sure if Santa can make it because there is no snow.”
About 10 minutes later, snowflakes began to fall and the kids began singing Jingle Bells and Santa Claus is Coming to Town. Santa had found a way to get to Joshua Station and you can’t imagine the looks on these children’s faces as they rushed to Santa and escorted him to his seat surrounded by tons of toys. Kids were pulling his beard to make sure he was real and then getting back in line to visit him more than once. Each child received a new unwrapped toy and quickly the floor was filled with RC cars and superheroes running all over. Over 26 families were helped that night and each received a Walmart gift card purchased through direct donations from the biker community.
Our next stop on December 16th was Joyful Journeys Community Enrichment Center at their new building. This organization helps families in need with a variety of critical human services like food, clothing, hygiene products, baby items and school supplies. Adopt a Family and BikerDown volunteers again rolled in with a warm turkey dinner and all the trimmings, Santa Claus, gift cards for 12 families and more toys than children.
There is no greater gift one can give to the community than a random act of kindness. You will hear me say quite often, “What a wonderful world this would be if every week each person did a random act of kindness.”
As President of BikerDown and Editor of Colorado Rider News, I couldn’t be prouder of the riders and volunteers who participated in these events. The riders and businesses that donated enabled us to help these families in a way so different than what other charities do. We engage them, we help them and we support them as they struggle to get through each day. You can’t imagine the gratitude of these families for choosing them and giving them a gift card that will allow them to go shop for their families on their own.
The Adopt a Family program has now helped almost 260 families over the years and the need for assistance for families in the Denver and surrounding areas continues to grow as rent and the cost of living increases.
A special thank you to Walmart Super Center in Lakewood for donating all the food to feed these families, The O’Sullivan Law Firm, and many other small businesses whose donations went to purchase the toys and gift cards.
In 2018 we will do a “Christmas In July” fundraising event to allow us to extend our reach in this community. If you would like more information about Adopt a Family, you can go to our website here: www.adoptafamilytoday.org.