On their bikes to gather toys for children

Les Sinclair is preparing to transport gifts around the region for children in need this...
Les Sinclair is preparing to transport gifts around the region for children in need this Christmas. PHOTO: SHELLEY INON
While reindeer will take to the skies, motorcycles are — once again — preparing to take to the streets.

For the 37th consecutive year, Bikers Rights Organisation (Bronz) has planned a 160km journey around South Canterbury to gather donated toys.

Bronz president Les Sinclair said last year’s efforts had brought a smile to many children’s faces, but he realised this year there would be a need for more donations.

He said with inflation, some parents could no longer afford fuel to get to work and still buy Christmas presents.

"They are more needy now."

He said while they had been given feedback on their Easter drive that people were concerned about children being given chocolate, he felt it was unfair for children to miss out because of circumstances beyond their control.

The drive was "basically about putting a smile on people’s faces".

Mr Sinclair said they were still looking for more donations of toys, for all age groups.

"But, please, no soft toys as we have enough already."

He also asked people, "Please, no toys with batteries. If parents can’t afford presents then they can’t afford batteries."

And, he felt, finding batteries on Christmas Day would be a struggle, which would take the joy away from receiving the present.

With collection points in Waimate, Fairlie, Geraldine and Temuka, a route had been organised so they could pick the toys up and load them into a vehicle, which would be following the riders.

Donations would then be taken to the Salvation Army, where the toys would be sorted so parents could select which present their child would like.