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VIDEO: Biker organization partners with Goodwill to help end child abuse

Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 04, 2024
  • The B.A.C.A organization is in 46 states and 10 chapters are in Florida.
  • There were more than 7,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 who experienced child abuse in 2023 across the state of Florida, according to the health department.
  • Watch the video above to hear from bikers and neighbors on how they plan to continue help end child abuse.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

"Imagine being seven or eight years old in a courtroom talking to a jury or a judge, it's a tough thing to do."

That's Bad Bob. He's with Bikers Against Child Abuse in the state of Florida. He tells me they don't go by government names. Only road names.

Tuesday, the organization was in Southwest Tallahassee for a sensitive issue.

"What we're trying to do here is really trying to spread to word because there's so many abused children out there that aren't being helped."

The Goodwill, located on 300 Mabry street, partnered with B.A.C.A to collect over 400 denim biker jackets for children who were victims of child abuse.

The organization is in 46 states and 10 chapters are in the State of Florida. So, I asked Bad Bob how their special mission began.

"We were founded about 30 years ago by a Child Play therapist who road a motorcycle, and he picked up on the fact that the kids responded well to motorcycles They felt safe."

He's not the only one who shares that vision.

During their gathering, I met one Southwest Tallahassee neighbor, who showed up because he heard about the cause.

"For some young people, even some adults; they see bikers' different vast group of people that's kind of within themselves. A simple thing like giving a kid a jacket, some kids want to belong to something positive."

Clifford Rivers has a ministry group on Tallahassee's Southwest side.

He tells me he has seen and heard stories about children who were victims of child abuse in his neighborhood.

"We need to have more of this in our communities. We're in a crawl, walk, run phase when we're trying to get to the peak of where child abuse is at."

While those in attendance understand the importance of stopping the abuse, there's a lot of work to be done.

I checked the Florida Department of Health.

Records show in 2023 there were more than 7,000 children between the ages of 5 and 11 who experienced child abuse across the entire state. That same data counted 160 cases on Leon County alone last year.

With school being out for summer break, the reports may go down, but the abuse may not.

Teachers and counselors can't pick up the signs, so Bad Bob tells me how that can be handled.

"It continues and there's all kinds of organizations. Hopefully they keep their eyes out for that, but it could take a relative. It could take a friend. It could take a member of the family that spots the potential of child abuse and report it to the right people."

For now, Goodwill Industries and bikers like Bad Bob plan to fulfill their mission. one jacket at a time.

"Thanks to Goodwill, we give them [kids] a vest with their own road name so they can feel part of our organization!"