ABATE Rolls In with Gifts and Smiles

Dixie Thunder ABATE of Aiken County Visits Helping Hands Residents

IMG 20161203 134618014Our favorite Santa Claus step-in Mike Williford and more than 80 other motorcycles filed our driveway for the 33rd annual Dixie Thunder ABATE of Aiken County toy run Saturday, December 3.

It’s an annual tradition that every December, members of the motorcycle advocacy group, their family members and friends make about a 30-minute ride from Clearwater, SC to our facility, bringing loads of children’s toys, games and teen-friendly gifts.

Though there were lots of toys delivered this year, there was also an increase in body sprays, cologne, makeup and other items that are age-appropriate for our older kids.

“We wanted to make sure the teenagers are taken care of as well as the smaller children,” explained ABATE Chapter Coordinator Bennie Efird.

Despite the overcast weather, 83 motorcycles and over 100 volunteers made the chilly ride to our facility which shelters abandoned, abused and/or neglected children.

Though temps were cool, the residents were still SO excited to have SO many smiling volunteers on our campus to spend the afternoon with.

An eager group of school-age girls took on the “time-sensitive” task of counting all of the motorcycles present. As they were focused and counting in unison, several jokester men from ABATE purposely skewed their numbers which created a big laugh from both groups.

“I think I was at 41, but it could have been 31; or maybe it was even 51,” stated a confused school-age girl with a giggle.

As usual, Santa and his helpers handed out sugary treats which increased the level of excitement since the Halloween stashes have all been eaten.

“I’m going to eat this whole bag of candy before they even leave,” exclaimed one teen girl.

All in all, the event was a success as the ABATE members and the youth had a great time interacting with one another. Thank you to EVERYONE who participated and made this year’s event another memorable one for our staff and children!

Learn about Helping Hands

"Shaping Brighter Futures for Children and Families"

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Contact Helping Hands

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 503 - Aiken, SC 29802
Phone: (803) 648-3456
Fax: (803) 641-4161

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