JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - ?
Hundreds of underprivileged kids in Jackson and George Counties will have brand new presents under the tree this Christmas thanks to a generous motorcycle club. Talons Motorcycle Club hosted its annual toy run in support of the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program.
Bikers from across the Coast came to Pascagoula Sunday bearing gifts for a great cause.
"What we're doing is a toy run to benefit the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. This will be our 9th annual toy run," organizer Talon Lil John said.
The 200 people who participated in the more than 50 mile motorcycle ride through Jackson County had to either bring an unwrapped toy or $10 for kids in Jackson and George Counties.
"It breaks my heart that they won't have anything for Christmas, and the community has helped us out a lot," one participant said.
The local club also added to the donations by buying an extra $5,000 worth of gifts including games, toy cars, baby dolls and bikes.
"We went to Walmart Friday night and filled that trailer up," a club member said.
"We start putting out donation jars about August of every year. All the toys we bought you'll see we bought strictly with donations," Lil John said.
Salvation Army Capt. Andy Bailey is thankful because there are so many parents who are worried if their children will have presents under the tree this year.
"It is tough times, and from struggling to pay their power bills and putting gas in their cars and then Christmas is upon, and that is what we are here to do. With the help of the community and organizations such as Talons Motorcycle Club and generous people that help them, we are going to be able to help over 800 kids this Christmas morning," Bailey said.
As these riders travel through Jackson County, they hope their presence will promote the joy of giving to others.
"It is always important for a child to get up Christmas morning to have a smile on their faces," Lil John said.
Talons Motorcycle Club has raised more than $60,000 in the past nine years for the Salvation Army.
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