LOVE is the foundation on which Life evolves. (Brenda A. Ysaguirre)
Thursday, July 24, 2008
BIKERS FOR ABUSED KIDS
EL PASO, Texas -- An unusual child advocate organization is helping abused children in a way that might surprise you.
They may not look like your typical child advocates, but just try telling them that.
"I got my long hair, I don't shave, I don't bathe every now and then. We don't make excuses for it, but we are serious about the children," said one biker who asked to be called "Kong."
Kong and another biker called "Hooch" are members of the national non-profit organization, Bikers Against Child Abuse, or BACA.
Their mission statement says that they exist as a body of bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world they live in after dealing with the trauma of abuse.
It's something Kong and Hooch say they know something about.
"Being a victim myself, it made me feel I had no one to turn to," said Hooch.
"I remember the days I felt the coat hanger across my back. We want to be able to promote the fact that you don't have to be quiet as a child," said Kong.
And that's where BACA comes in. The organization works in conjunction with local and state officials already in place to protect children.
When one of those agencies determines an abused child is still frightened by his or her environment, BACA is contacted and an initial ride is organized to meet the child.
The entire BACA chapter rides to meet the child to welcome him or her to the BACA family and to offer support, protection and love.
They say they stand ready to represent, be it by attending often painful court appearances or helping with the recovery process.
But while they look like tough guys, BACA draws the line at physical violence.
"We're not vigilantes. We're not out to hunt down the bad people and beat 'em up and bring 'em to justice," said Hooch.
Unfortunately, Kong and Hooch aren't representing any children here in El Paso right now. They need five members to start a BACA chapter, and so far, they only have each other.
"You got a bike, you're over 18, then come on! If you're heart's big enough," said Kong.
A big heart does seem to be a requirement. "It would be great if there was no such thing as abused children," said Hooch. But until that becomes a reality, he says, "we'll go all over. We'll go wherever we're needed.
And to those who continue to harm the innocent, Kong and Hooch say, beware.
"Be afraid of it if you're a perpetrator, and if they don't see us, they'll hear our bikes. They will hear our roar," Kong said.
And both Kong and Hooch hope it will be the roar of many.
If you are interested in forming a BACA chapter, call Kong at (915) 356-6394 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was born in Mexcio, DF of Belizean parents.I enjoy working with students and I believe that my purpose in life is to guide the minds of the youth around me, to share my life with friends and family and to respect myself and others for the opinions that shape our lives. I believe that we should live each day as if it was our last. We must cherish friendships and spread happiness to those around us. Give from the heart and you will feel a sense of satifaction. That I believe is my purpose for being on this earth.