JONESVILLE — Members of a local motorcycle club are once again making Christmas brighter for children in Lee County.
The Lee County chapter of the Southern Brothers Motorcycle Club is in its 16th year of holding a toy and food drive around Christmastime, and it’s not too late to help out.
“It wouldn’t be possible without the donations from the general public and local businesses. ... A lot of people donate to us just because they know that everything we get goes back out into the community for the kids,” said Bill Wilder, chapter president.
Wilder originally came up with the idea for the toy drive and started it in 2002. Since then, the drive has provided toys, bicycles and clothing to children, in addition to food baskets to seniors and monetary assistance to families in need.
Last year, the club provided gifts — including 77 bicycles — to 167 children and gave 42 food baskets to seniors. Each year, club members look at how many requests for assistance they have received, and they divide the toys and clothing evenly.
“We spend five Saturdays — the four Saturdays in November and the first Saturday in December — collecting money, toys or food,” Wilder said. “We stand out on a couple of the access roads leading to the Food City and Save-a-Lot grocery stores, and anybody that comes by can drop off food or new toys or give a (monetary) donation. Then we take the donations and we buy everything in Lee County, so that benefits the businesses, too.”
It’s not too late to donate money, toys or clothing, Wilder said. Checks can be mailed to SBMC Toy Drive, 149 Man Ely Drive, Jonesville, VA 24263. To donate items, call Wilder at (276) 220-4394 to arrange a pickup time. Only new toys and clothing will be accepted.
“It’s just the thought of knowing a kid is going to have a good Christmas,” Wilder said. “The way that the economy’s been, especially here in Lee County … a lot of people here have trouble. It’s just an enjoyment that all of my members get out of doing it.”