Salvation Army gets into Christmas spirit early with annual Bikers Toy Run
While the Christmas season is still months away, The Salvation Army is getting into the spirit with their annual Bikers Toy Run on Saturday.
Hundreds from Saskatoon’s biker community showed up at Prairieland Park with stuffed animals and toys in hand to support the organization’s Christmas toy program, which gives toys to families during the holiday season.
“I get to see the parents as they select the item that their child would love to receive, and sometimes there’s tears of joy and gratitude. Sometimes there’s that anticipation and excitement that you could actually do that for your child,” said Salvation Army Capt. Laurie Sauder.
“It always warms my heart to be able to provide that to someone, and we can only do that because the community gives back to us.”
This year’s Toy Run hopes to gather anywhere between 600 to 1,000 toys along with monetary donations.
And while bikers and toys may seem like an odd combination, Sauder says that’s not the case.
“There is heart in all of us and the people who come out are just really wanting to see smiles on children’s faces at Christmas, and who doesn’t want that?”
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For some bikers like Rory Anderson, this is the highlight of the biking season. He has been participating in the Toy Run since 1993.
“I ride with a group of guys from Saskatoon. Three guys came with me this year,” Anderson said.
“They usually come quite a bit because I drag them along,” he added with a laugh.
He comes back every year for one reason.
“Just to see a little kid with a present in the morning, with a smile on their face, it just lights me up.”
Last year, almost 13,000 toys were given to 4,000 children through the program. Anyone looking to donate a toy can also visit The Salvation Army’s office any time.
“We are always grateful for folks that are able to drop items off and help us make Christmas just a joyous experience for children,” Sauder said.
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