On a crisp and sunny Saturday recently, hundreds of bikers from around the Carolinas descended upon the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, N.C., with gifts strapped to their motorcycles for the Fourth Annual Bikers with Boxes event. The group is an annual supporter of Operation Christmas Child, an outreach by Samaritan’s Purse that last year alone gave 8.2 million underprivileged children Christmas shoe boxes.
“We’ve just really been thrilled that this has been an annual event and that the bikers have embraced it,” said Diane Wise of the Billy Graham Library. “Bikers are the most generous group of people.”
Applause welcomed each pack of riders arriving at the library parking lot, their loud engines barking and revving. Some cruised up with just a few friends; others rolled in by the dozens from their churches. But they all came with one goal: to give the love of Christ to children through hand-selected gifts that were crammed into the shoe boxes stowed on the backs of their Harleys and Kawasakis.
“It’s a really great cause,” said Bert Lilly, who rode from Rock Hill, S.C., with other bikers. “You want to put so much into it: toothpaste, toothbrush, balls, crayons, flashlights, batteries, soap. But you realize you only have so much space.”