11th Annual Emmaus House Charity Ride
December 6th dawned clear and cool. Weather predictions for the day were temps in the low 60’s and partly cloudy, perfect for our 11th Annual Emmaus House Charity Ride.
The Emmaus House is a local safe haven for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. It is not meant to be a permanent home but rather a temporary home where they can receive the help and direction they need before starting a new life.
The Hollister chapter of Sabbath Keepers Motorcycle Ministry (SKMM) began hosting this event even before the Emmaus House opened their doors. Each year this event is held on the first Sunday in December and gathers coats, toys, food, money, and cleaning supplies to help the center and its residents who have had to leave their homes to seek safety and security. As often happens in cases like these, these mothers leave with nothing much more than the clothes on their backs so any help is greatly appreciated.
Hollister Motorsports was our gracious host this year. Neil and Victor came in on their day off to open the show room, provide coffee and restroom access as well as allowing us to use the parking lot for our starting and ending point. (More than a few of us were checking out the beautiful Indian bikes in the showroom!)
Turnout was light but spirits were high as riders prepared to hit the road and Ten Ply fired up the BBQ. While SKMM National President Tony Lambert led the group on a nice fall ride through the hills east of Gilroy, others of us started preparing the lunch which included Hollister chapter member Jason’s annual offering of home baked cookies and other goodies.
Among those in attendance was the director of the Emmaus House, Patrice who met with each person and thanked them for attending. She also addressed the group giving us an overview of the role the House plays in the community and in the lives of those who seek help there. She was overwhelmed by the show of support and the quantity of items gathered which included two large barrels filled with items gathered by the students, staff, and families of the Hollister SDA Christian School.
After lunch it was time for the raffle prizes to be distributed and there were some nice ones to be sure! Jason worked hard this year to obtain a wide variety of items from various businesses and establishments which were added to prizes donated by various members. After all the prizes were handed out it was time to tally up the cash raised. Cheers broke out when the total was announced--$671.00! When Patrice announced that a local business had volunteered to match the funds, Amens filled the air! Later in the week a check came in for $100, increasing the total to $771.00. God is good!
During lunch, a gentleman named Jesus came by to join us. He said he was passing by and decided to stop in and see what was going on. As we visited he told us he had struggled for years with alcohol and drug addiction but had decided to make a new life for himself ten months ago and make a break from drugs and alcohol which were destroying his life. He went on to tell us he had been looking for clean, Christian bikers to hang out with. Cesar in particular spent a lot of time sharing and praying with him. He was invited to join us for prayer meetings and church service.
After all was said and done, prayer was said and folks headed home. Thanks to the Central Valley crew for being a part of this as well as to James Castillo for making the long ride down to represent the NORCAL Chapter.
Planning has already begun for next year’s event and we know God will continue to bless this ministry.
Merry Christmas to all and may you be blessed in the New Year!