ABATE brings toys, cheer for holidays
EASTON — The members of the Mid-Shore Chapter of ABATE of MD Inc. are out delivering toys on decorated motorcycles again.
The organization provides Christmas presents for some of the less fortunate families in the area. The group chooses one or more charitable organizations in a different Mid-Shore county each year.
Most recently, they brought Christmas cheer to Queen Anne’s County Backpack Fridays, Dorchester County Early Head Start, St. Michaels Community Center and this year, they will split their toys between two charities; The Widows of Warriors Fund and Federalsburg Church of God.
The Toy Drive/Run is just one of the charity events for this organization each year, but it is usually the most attended and supported. This year’s event was Sunday, Dec. 9.
Committee Chairman, Marianne Jackson, said approximately 1,500 new toys were purchased and delivered to Mid-Shore charities in the last four years, and they do it by following their “sleigh” on their motorcycles.
“It’s one of the best things we do all year and the participation is amazing, especially since it’s more than a little chilly here on a motorcycle in December,” she said.
Jackson said that this is made possible by generous donations from their members, their friends and families and local businesses. Coordinating all of this is a “labor of love” and Jackson cannot wait to “get (her) living room back” but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We provide toys to our beneficiaries and ask that they allow the parents to “shop” for the items they want their children to receive,” Jackson said. “This allows the parents to feel the joy of giving and not just receiving. Empowering the parents is big for us. We want to provide a hand up, not just a hand out”.
In addition to providing five or more presents per child, MidShore ABATE also provides household supplies for each of their homes that they otherwise might not be able to purchase. These items help keep the kids and their caregivers healthy.
“Through the generosity of so many, this year we are also able to provide each Widows of Warriors home with presents for the sur viving parent, such as gift certificates for haircuts, manicures, pedicures, and more,” she said.
Jackson said she could not pull this off without the help of many “elves” in the Mid-Shore area. In years past, other organizations have joined in to help and this year was no exception.
ABATE would like to thank all who contributed and rode with them.
“Last year was cold. The year before that was colder. We just expect it to be cold. I am always amazed at how many people show up, with decorated bikes no less,” she said.
The decorated bikes are just for fun and they have learned to choose their decorations carefully, so they can withstand 50 mph or more.
“Zip ties and plastic decorations are a must!” she said.
The Mid-Shore Chapter of ABATE of MD, Inc. donates many hours and dollars to local charities each year and this, they say, is the most fun and in the words of one member, “Nothing I do all year feels better than this.”
Mid-Shore Chapter of ABATE of MD, Inc. is the local chapter of a state-wide motorcycle safety and awareness organization. It covers Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Dorchester counties and represents all types of motorcycle riders. For more information about ABATE or to get involved, contact Ken Eaton at 410-924-3374.
The toy run makes its first stop at Widows of Warriors fund in Easton.
Participants of Sunday’s ABATE Toy Drive showed up to deliver toys in below freezing temperatures.
Santa Claus and Marianne Jackson lead the way for the Toy Run.
Santa Claus and Jason Bell, founder of Widows of Warriors fund.