This year the money they collect will go to a different cause.
“We believe that when you collect for needy families, 100 percent should go to the actual families in your own community and nowhere else,” said Salem Jackson, a spokesman for the bikers. “So we are going to be helping the New Boston Fire Department and Police Department, as well as the Portsmouth Fire Department this year.”
Jackson said 100 percent of the receipts would be turned over to Lt. Greg Grant of the New Boston Police Department, so they can purchase items to be distributed to needy families. “We are also pleased that the Portsmouth Fire Department will be helping us, so 30 percent of our proceeds will go to their project,” Jackson said.
The New Boston Police and Fire Departments have made the trip with Santa in tow for several years, and have visited the homes of needy children in that community, and now will be receiving a gift to help them perform that important task, the proceeds from the bikers collections.
“Toys, food and clothing will be our focus,” Jackson said. “But people need to know this program is not limited to New Boston and Portsmouth families. If someone lives in, say, Minford, and they need help, they will be able to contact Mayor Jim Warren's office and I am sure they can receive help as well.”
Jackson said the Brothers believe money contributed locally should benefit local families.
“We just believe that no money should be sent to any other area, if it is collected locally, so we decided to change our involvement this year and make sure that is how it will happen,” he said.
The Brothers of the Wheel will be collecting in the New Boston and Wheelersburg areas Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The Brothers will collect again on Dec. 2.
“We are also not going to store anything. Everything we buy to be distributed will be given out,” Jackson said.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.