HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The holidays may seem far off in the distance, but thousands of volunteers on motorcycles are making sure kids all across western Massachusetts have their Christmas wishes fulfilled.
Brightside, an organization that helps children with emotional disabilities, is making sure kids in need will have a present to open this holiday season.
Department Secretary Myra Lopez told 22News, “The goal is to try and get as many toys donated for families and for children who otherwise wouldn’t have a Christmas, wouldn’t have any gifts.”
Director Mark Paglia noted, “Every year Brightside will ask the children that we service what their wishes are for Christmas, and from the toy run we will then match the wishes of the children with the toys that are donated.”
Every fall, the motorcycle community plays a key role in making sure the holidays are happy for kids all across the commonwealth.
Over 2,000 motorcyclists raised money and donated toys for this annual fundraiser.
Event organizer Bruce Rivest told 22News, “We have the best biker community in western Mass. These bikers come out for the kids every year and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger.”
On Sunday morning these motorcyclists helped deliver thousands of presents to the Providence Behavioral Health hospital, where they will be kept before they’re delivered to children on Christmas morning.
This is the 30th Brightside toy motorcycle run and one of the oldest motorcycle runs in western Massachusetts.
Organizer and motorcyclist Melvyn Hook told 22News, “Over the years, we have raised so much money and brought so many toys for these kids. Every year for Christmas it’s just amazing.”
Through monetary and toy donations, the toy run has raised over 20,000 dollars, all of which will help make a difference in the lives of more than 650 children.