By Mike Kinney
Only thing bigger than the sounds coming from their bikes were their hearts.
Despite the rainy conditions Sunday, representatives of local motorcycle clubs rumbled over to a Richmond hotel on Sunday to provide toys to children experiencing homelessness.
The 5th Annual “Motorcycle Clubs and Motorcyclists of Contra Costa County Toy Run” stopped by the Courtyard by Marriott in Richmond, where homeless individuals and families are being housed as part of the state’s Project Roomkey initiative. The Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP) has been providing resources to the hotel’s residents and was a recipient of this year’s toy drive.
The bikers roared into the hotel parking lot with a pick-up truck loaded with toys to deliver. It was just one stop on their tour. After the Richmond stop, they were headed with two truckloads of toys to Safe Refuge for Children & Families in Concord, and then to Shepherd’s Gate Battered Women’s Shelter in Brentwood.
The bikers rely on donations from individuals and businesses to carry out their annual toy drive tradition.
“All of the people in the biker community have the biggest hearts,” said Mynette Boykin, Biker Rights Organization Co-Chair for Contra Costa County. “We love helping out the less fortunate and we are advocates for people going through difficult times and our hearts really go out to the kids.”
Boykins said the toys unhoused children receive can become a constant source of comfort in their oft-changing living situation.
“These children have no choice but to live in these situations and learn to adapt,” Boykins said. “Receiving a toy can be the one hope that there are kind people in this world and life will get better.”