You’ll hear the roar of their bikes as they travel down the road, with four letters sewn on their chest and their back, and you might ask yourself; where are they headed and what are they part of?
Wearing leather cuts, with the letters B.A.C.A. perfectly stitched into this tough material, the men and women of Bikers Against Child Abuse ride with one common goal in mind – to empower children and give them the strength and support system they need to get through difficult times.
The Texarkana Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse was chartered in 2016 and is based out of Texarkana, Texas where members of this organization work in conjunction with agencies primarily in Bowie county to support and empower abused children.
“We empower kids, and work in conjunction with local and state officials. We are a completely volunteer based organization and we are not vigilantes. We don’t go hunting down bad guys, our biggest concern is the kids and making sure they are taken care of. We bring these kiddos into our organization, and they know they are a part of us and they have a family and people who are going to look out for them.” said President of B.A.C.A. Texarkana Chapter.
B.A.C.A is made up of various members from all walks of life who love their country, their bikes, their kids and share the common bond of motorcycling and a yearning in their hearts to help children.
“We are not a weekend riding club, we are a volunteer organization that lends our time and biker image to empower children to no longer feel afraid of the world in which they live and give them the confidence to testify against their abuser,” explained B.A.C.A members.
How it works: B.A.C.A. is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts B.A.C.A., or refers the individual to contact B.A.C.A. and the name and address of the child is given to the B.A.C.A./Child Liaison.
The Liaison verifies that the case has been reported and the authorities have been contacted, and the case in being processed within the system. The Liaison contacts the family and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or in some other location where the child will feel comfortable. The B.A.C.A. chapter rides to meet the child and he/she is given a vest with a B.A.C.A. patch sewn on the back. The child is free to wear the vest or not, and B.A.C.A supports their decision. The child is also given bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public. These initial visits generally last about a half an hour.
Once a child has been made part of the organization, they are welcomed into a new “family” who looks out for their well being and brings them support in the toughest situations, one of them being attending court.
“We go to court and stand beside children who are going through a life changing event and reliving tough situations they have been in. We sit through court with them and let them know they are not alone, and they don’t have to be afraid,” explained B.A.C.A. Texarkana Chapter President.
“These kids go to court and they’re scared to death, so by attending court they feel at ease, and they can do what they have to do and not be afraid to speak out,” added B.A.C.A. Texarkana Chapter Sergeant at Arms.
B.A.C.A not only brings support to abused children during court, but invites the children to be a part of the organization and allows them the opportunity to attend Christmas parties, go camping and attend other events. Though most importantly, B.A.C.A. lets each child know they are not alone. There’s no off days or holidays for the men and women of B.A.C.A, who volunteer their time to help abused children – their mission never comes to a halt.
“At the end of the day we don’t need recognition, we don’t need a pat on the back or to be paid for what we do. Seeing those smiles on those kids’ faces, that’s our payday,” said B.A.C.A. member.
To make a donation, refer a case or if you have any other questions, call B.A.C.A. Texarkana Chapter Hotline at 866-757-7689 or e-mail BACATexarkana@gmail.com