Riders are asked to bring old motorcycle jackets as donations for the 35th annual Blanket Run to aid homeless in the nation’s cold capital city on Saturday May 14, 2016.
The Motorcycle Riders Association of the ACT (MRA ACT) has been supporting the Salvation Army and raising money and donating goods for those in need of support over the winter months for the past three decades.
Each year the Blanket Run attracts about 250-300 riders and collects more than 100 winter items (blankets, doonas, clothing) and raises $2500-$3000 in cash donations.
MRA ACT secretary Nicky Hussey says it is a “real community event” with riders from most clubs in the area.
“We get support from corporate groups as well. The ESA, Posties and Defence – all of whom ride in the parade – get behind this event, as do legal eagles Maurice Blackburn,” Nicky says.
“This year, we’re asking riders to bring along old bike jackets to donate. They’re good for keeping out the Canberra cold … and it gets cold here in winter! Overnight temperatures in July average just below freezing and minus 6 degrees is not uncommon.
“The Blanket Run is important for the community as, perhaps surprisingly, the ACT has a high incidence of homelessness. The ABS’s 2011 census found that 50 people per 10,000 population were considered homeless.
“Recent worries about the un-affordability of ACT housing mean that the next survey is likely to find that the rate of homelessness hasn’t dropped,” Nicky says.
Participants are asked to bring along new warm blankets, cash, non-perishable foods and unwanted motorcycle jackets.
The ride begins at Old Parliament House with breakfast and coffee from 8.30am and the ride starting at 10am, returning for a presentation of goods and cash.
The community-minded MRA ACT also organises several other annual charity events such as the Toy Run, Pink Ribbon Ride and Motorcycle Awareness Week.