“All Roads Lead to Eldridge” has been the motto of hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts who have gotten together for the past 11 years to help raise money for the Alabama Freewill Baptist Children’s Home in Eldridge.
The coordinators of the Eldridge Children’s Home Benefit Toy Run said hundreds of riders travel from all over Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and other states each year to gather and raise money for the Children’s Home in an effort to fulfill the special Christmas wish lists for each of the children who live at the home.
“This will be our 11th year to have the toy run for the Eldridge Children’s Home,” said Brenda Williams, one of the Alabama coordinators. “The monetary donations we collect allows us to help the Home with its annual budget, so it will be able to continue operating throughout the entire year.”
The Alabama Freewill Baptist Children’s Home, which is located just off U.S. 78 and Alabama 13 in Eldridge, has been in operation since 1948. The Home does not receive any kind of state or federal funding and operates solely on donations it receives from area churches and individuals.
The Home averages about 30 children from all age groups. They are educated in public schools and raised in homes on the campus of the Children’s Home in Eldridge. They are able to attend school, participate in school activities, summer trips and outings and attend church locally.
Williams said the riders who participate in the annual toy run are encouraged to bring “gift cards” from any retail outlet of their choice or they can just give a donation via check, made payable to the Eldridge Children’s Home.
Riders are also asked to collect outside donations from their non-riding friends and associates. All contributions are tax deductible. “Give as your heart dictates. The gift cards and money will help care for the children all year long, but gifts will brighten their faces on Christmas Day,” Williams said. “The riders who participate in the ride join together rain or shine to help make Christmas a little brighter for these children, and we’re hoping we have even more to participate this year.”
There will be several starting points to join the ride located throughout the Southeast so anyone interested in participating can join the ride at any of the locations.
Information regarding the starting points can be found at www.echbenefit.com.
“Weather will not be a factor, and we don’t care if you ride a motorcycle, bicycle or lawn mower, or drive a car, truck or tractor,” Williams said. “All we ask is that you just be there for the children.”
Lunch will be provided at the Children’s Home for all who participate in the annual Toy Run.
Riders and drivers from Walker County can join the 11th Annual Eldridge Benefit Toy Run being held Saturday at one of these following locations:
•Jasper - Parkland Shopping Center. Kickstands up at 10 a.m. For more information, call Steve Odom at 205-295-8250 or Brenda Williams at 205-275-8961.
•Sumiton - Alfa Office near WalMart. Kickstands up at 10 a.m. For more information, call Greg Clark at 205-275-8087.
Nonriders may also make a donation by mailing a check or money order to the Eldridge Children’s Home, P.O. Box 73, Eldridge, AL 35554.