I never knew by riding a motorcycle that it would lead to getting so involved in my community. Three years ago, I joined a motorcycle rights organization (Tacoma Chapter ABATE of Washington), because I thought it was a worthwhile cause to work hand-and-hand with legislators making the laws that affect me and all my fellow riders. I am now Secretary of my chapter, and I help plan and organize all kinds of events that support our organization, but better yet, the community.
Every year we do a Toy Run in December that benefits our local women and children’s shelter, the YWCA of Tacoma. We collect toys over a few months, then we pile them all together and ride down to the shelter to deliver the goods. With Santa leading the way on his bright green trike, followed by a hundred bikers hauling toys on holiday-theme decorated motorcycles, we roll into the shelter where hundreds of kids await us. Their bright smiles and clapping and cheering provide one of the greatest senses of joy I have ever felt, well worth the months of work and planning it takes to organize it each year. The shelter director tells us how so many of the kids come from abusive homes and can be very afraid of men, but seeing these big burly bikers come in with smiles on their faces and toys in their hands helps continue the healing process for all those kids who have suffered so much.
If it’s not one of my chapter’s rides, we support other motorcycle groups and their kindness efforts: from collecting food for homeless shelters to raising money for cancer awareness. Our chapter sponsors a two-mile section of highway that we go and clean up twice a year. I’ve been on the side of the road, covered in sweat from hours of work, and people make a point to yell “THANK YOU” out their windows as they speed past at 60mph. It’s a great feeling, especially when you are covered in grime from the side of the road.
I’ve met some amazing people in my adventures on my motorbike, and there are so many causes bikers support – they are truly some of the nicest, most generous people you’ll ever meet. Just goes to show, whether you’re in a suit or wearing leather, in a car or on two wheels, there is no wrong way to give!
Sarah is a Web Designer for Good Done Great based in Tacoma, WA.