We are often asked what we do and if we're just another BACA. Our founders are former members of BACA and despite differences, we still respect what BACA offers to children faced with testifying against their abusers in court.
If asked, we will provide the same type of support but we also feel that this type of abuse is just the tip of a very large iceberg. 700,000 children are abused every year in the U.S. So our focus is on education and prevention, as well as the recovery and restoration of all children victimized by abuse, in all its forms.
We consider ourselves a national organization, reaching the country through various social media outlets in an on-going effort to bring the topic of abuse out of the darkness and into the light, sharing information on the extent of the problem and offering suggestions on what the individual can do to make a difference and potentially save a child in the process. We have been contacted by children, parents, and caregivers from around the nation through these social media platforms and on our helpline, which is monitored 24/7/365. We provide answers and resources to these contacts and, in some cases, have initiated the investigation of an abuse allegation.
We are a small group, and more "hands-on" in our local service area, one that currently covers Polk, Pasco, Hernando, Sumter, Lake, and Citrus counties. We maintain contact with the professional agencies in these communities and support their efforts as best we can. And while the pandemic slowed us down somewhat, we were still able to get quite a bit done. For example...
We provided the 5 area domestic violence shelters (children exposed to violence in the home are just as traumatized as a child that is physically abused themselves) with care packages to keep the children occupied, locked down due to the pandemic.
We "adopted" a group shelter in Leesburg and visited the children monthly. On these visits, we just hang out and listen, play games, and give a few motorcycle rides to the kids.
We hosted our 3rd Annual Pinwheel Run in partnership with Crystal Harley-Davidson, Born To Ride TV & Magazine and the Lowman Law Firm in support of the #PinwheelsForPrevention program. We participated in community events like the Sumter Halloween festival in Bushnell. We collected clothing and donated them to Kinship caregivers in our area.
We raised funds for our #ChristmasForTheForgotten program - a program that ensures that no child wakes up in our area DV shelters Christmas morning without a gift from Santa.
And finally, we were allowed to visit a local shelter as Santa and Elf, providing the children with an opportunity they wouldn't otherwise have - a chance to see Kris Kringle and share their Christmas wishes.
All of these activities provide us the opportunity to help children in their recovery and raise awareness in the community, with the message that it truly "takes a village" to protect our children and encouraging all to learn the signs of abuse and make a call should they suspect a child is at risk. All of this done with the pandemic limiting activities we would otherwise have also been a part of, and with a small core group that has been a part of Bikers C.A.R.E. since the beginning.
Imagine what we could accomplish with more help.