There is nothing more stressful than the holidays for families, whether it is the COVID world that we currently live in with job layoffs, food service industry shutdowns and in-home learning requiring 1 family member to not work. Also, the normal high cost of living in Denver and surrounding areas makes it difficult for any extras each month. Gone are the days, when a family can put a little away every month, or the Christmas savings accounts one used to open every year to save for the holidays. Families struggle every year to provide the kind of Christmas that all children deserve.
BikerDown Foundation saw the need in the motorcycle community 10 years ago and implemented a holiday program called Adopt A Family for the Holidays. Since its inception BikerDown thru Adopt A Family has helped over 500 families have the resources to provide Christmas for their children.
Each family in the program receives a $250 Walmart gift card and partnered with Walmart to provide a full holiday dinner and to ensure that children have food to get them thru the New Year. What makes our program different is they allow donors to see their donations at work by meeting with the families, reading about their circumstances and getting to personally meet them at our Dinner with Santa.
Their goal in 2020 was to help as many families as they could but to also be realistic that everyone in our community was struggling and that donations could possibly be down this year. Adopt A Family even limited the number of families that could apply to 40 families, from the normal 75-100. BikerDown Adopt A Family also expanded their reach in 2019 to include the Las Vegas BikerDown chapter which each year has reached their family goals with the guidance of Shannon Venturo from Full Throttle Law & Bling Devas, MC, Cheryl from Original Sinners, MC and the Southern Nevada Confederation of Clubs.
On December 11, 2020, with 2 weeks away from Christmas, they began to get very worried that they just would not meet the goal of helping 40 families. On Wednesday, December 16, Laurie Montoya, President and Founder of BikerDown and Adopt A Family, received a phone call that she will never forget.
Michael Lord, a local Denver entrepreneur, called to adopt the last 4 families in our program. Mike then asked if there were any other families that they could help. In a matter of minutes, Mike and his co-workers adopted 10 additional families that were on the waitlist!
The program would be remiss to not recognize all the Colorado donors of this program, that each year make sure to adopt at least 1-2 families. These biker community donors have been the back bone of our program for 10 years and Adopt a Family would not have been able to survive and increase our help without their commitment every year. We would like to give special recognition to Scott O’Sullivan from RiderJustice.com and The O’Sullivan Law firms, Greg & Brooklyn Chmel, Art and Khris Cleveland, Derek from Ironwood Earthcare, BO Martinez, Skip Hohnhorst, Eli Ohlauser, Deborah Thomas, Kevin Maki, and all of you who attended the November Chili cook off. You are truly a blessing to this program.
Adopt A Family will continue the mission in 2021 and we look forward to bigger and better events that will enable us to extend our reach to more and more families.
We will all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you will raise your glass and join me in say FAREWELL to 2020.