Organisers of the Motorcycle Riders’ Association SA (MRASA) Toy Run are gearing up for another bumper event, bringing joy to children whose families are doing it tough. The event motto is ‘It’s more than a ride… it’s for the kids’.
This year, the event will be held on Sunday 10 December, with thousands of motorcycle riders leaving Adelaide’s Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi at 11am. The popular community event culminates at Callington Oval in the Adelaide Hills with entertainment, including live music, food and trade stalls, a show and shine and a pop-up Vinnies shop.
Each year, riders in the event donate more than 4,000 toys which are then distributed by Vinnies volunteers, primarily through the organisation’s unique assistance program that provides food, clothing and emergency funds to around 60,000 people each year across the state.
Evelyn O’Loughlin, CEO of Vinnies SA, said the organisation was grateful to the MRASA and participating riders for their ongoing contribution.
“Year after year they go out of their way to put a smile on the faces of children who may otherwise miss out,” she said. “And with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, we know that families are struggling and finding it difficult to put food on the table. Buying Christmas gifts can be a stretch too far, so working in partnership with the MRASA means we can take some of the stress away from parents, and they can get on with enjoying the day.”
Together with the Vinnies assistance service, toys are also distributed at the Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre and Fred’s Van meal services.
The Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre opened in late 2017 and is the only service of its type in South Australia that accommodates women, children and pets. The majority of guests have fled domestic violence, and many arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
“All the images we see around Christmas time relate to happy families; sadly, this is not the reality for many people. Can you imagine what it would be like to spend Christmas Day in unfamiliar surroundings, away from family and friends? The toys that children receive courtesy of the Toy Run are just one way we can let them know that people care,” said Ms O’Loughlin.
Anyone interested in participating in the MRASA Toy Run can come along on the day, and members of the public are welcome to wave riders off at Victoria Park, or join the event in Callington at the end of the ride.
More information on the MRASA Toy Run is available at the website: www.mrasa.asn.au/toyrun.shtml
- Riders gather at Victoria Park/Pakapakanthi from 8am
- Santa leads the convoy of riders from 11am
- Riders arrive at Callington Oval from 11.45am
- Community event at Callington Oval
- Toys donated by riders are distributed by Vinnies volunteers to families doing it tough
About the St Vincent de Paul Society
The St Vincent de Paul Society (affectionately known as Vinnies) has been an integral part of the South Australian community since 1884. Providing assistance throughout metropolitan and regional SA, Vinnies is committed to assisting people experiencing disadvantage with a hand up through a focus on food, clothing and shelter.
Along with practical support, Vinnies offers a compassionate, non-judgmental approach to supporting people in need, and advocates on behalf of those who do not have a voice on issues such as the need for more affordable housing; the inadequacy of social security payments; refugee and asylum seeker policy and more.
• Vinnies Assistance Visit program which supports approximately 60,000 South Australians each year with food, clothing, furniture and emergency financial assistance.
• Vinnies Men’s Crisis Centre, accommodating 500 men each year
• Vinnies Women’s Crisis Centre, accommodating more than 1,000 women and children and 160 pets each year
• Vinnies Refugee & Asylum Seeker Service, supporting 3,500 refugees and asylum seekers
• Fred’s Van meal service – serving 40,000 meals across 10 locations in SA
For more information or an interview opportunity, please contact
Jo Dinnison: Vinnies SA Manager, Communications
0419 940 721 or email firstname.lastname@example.org