As the biker toy run season nears its end this weekend, the Salvos (Salvation Army of Australia) have thanked the tens of thousands of riders who have participated and provided donations.
Salvos community fundraising GM Andrew Hill says about $6-$7m has been raised in donations during the Christmas season. He says most of it comes from grass-roots events such as biker toy runs.
Motorbike Writer lists as many toy runs as we can each year. (Click here to remind us next year when you organise your toy run so we can add it to the list.)
The remaining toy run on our list is the 41st annual Toowoomba Motorcycle Toy Run this Sunday (December 16, 2018). It leaves Picnic Point at noon and ends at the showgrounds.
Convoy of joy
Biker toy runs have also been bring joy to communities for many years, Andrew says.
“There is perhaps no better sight than seeing a convoy of bikers wearing Santa hats with toys on their decorated bikes,” he says.
“Toy runs demonstrate that bikers, who some people see as a little removed from the rest of society, have this beautiful soft side of giving back to the community and collecting toys for needy kids”.
“It also demonstrates the heart of the community work the Salvos do and that we don’t discriminate. Everyone can pitch in.
“Whether you are the CEO, the cook, the cleaner or the school teacher, everyone can play their part.”
Andrew says it is difficult to quantify the work the Salvos do and how much is raised in toy runs because they are organised locally.
“Most toy runs are a grass-roots activity,” he says.
“At this time of year biker toy runs are quite prevalent around the country and attract great deal of media coverage for our work.
“We help over 300,000 people at Christmas time.
“Demand significantly increase at this time because that’s when people start to think about family. Those finding it tough in life think about doing something for their kids.
“So they approach Salvos and other organisations to help bring joy to their homes.
“We hear stories all the time where people wrap gifts and leave it on our doorsteps.
“This is the beauty of the Salvos; it is so grass roots.”