Local Motorcyle Riders Help David & Margaret HOG the HolidaySpotlight

December 16, 2011
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As you may know, David & Margaret Youth and Family Services of La Verne is supported by many angels – including many who  ride Harleys.


For the past six or so years, the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley Harley Owners Groups – HOGs for short – and the Black Sheep, a Christian subgroup of the HOGs, have been a regular feature of the nonprofit’s annual Holiday Open House.


A contingent of as many as 40 bikers gather at Laidlaw Harley-Davidson in Baldwin Park on the first Saturday in December and ride over to the 101-year-old La Verne agency, which is known primarily for its residential foster care program. They split into two groups and drive up both sides of the facility’s track-sized oval driveway, then deliver gift cards to help purchase gifts for the residents and other children in foster care. The sight (and sound) makes quite an impression on the teenage girls who live there as well as the staff, and has become a welcome part of the holiday festivities.


The fund-raising effort is the brainchild of San Gabriel Valley HOG member Dave Smith, who approached the then-president of the group with a suggestion that its charity efforts include David & Margaret. “It’s local, we know where the money is going, and we can visit any time,” Smith said. He got the okay and the wheels were set in motion, so to speak.


The gift card drive is only among the groups’ members, yet this year Smith estimates that they donated $1000, even though only about two dozen bikers were able to make the ride. “In part it was due to the winds – a lot of people dropped off their gift cards to us but were still cleaning up.” After visiting the residents’ cottages – the open house includes a cottage-decoration contest, with bragging rights to the winners – the riders mount their bikes and head to Covina, where they lead the city’s annual Christmas parade.


“Our chapter, Pomona Valley HOGs and Black Sheep have great respect for David & Margaret and what the staff does,” Smith added. “These people work at a nonprofit when they could be earning more, and it is a selfless thing they do. We collect gift cards to help, but we recognize the sacrifices they make for the girls.”


Today the agency serves more than 1,000 clients annually through a comprehensive range of services. These include: a residentially based program for adolescent girls, shelter care for adolescent boys and girls, a foster family agency, adoption assistance, mental health services, family preservation and support, treatment for learning disabilities, a transitional living program, school- and community-based education, mentoring programs. David & Margaret also provides shelter care for adolescent boys who are picked up in the country without legal documentation and without an accompanying parent/guardian, and a chemical dependency program that is certified by the State of California which provides therapy for residents who are recovering from substance abuse.


For more information, call (909) 596-5921 or visit www.DavidandMargaret.org.

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