By Pastor Z. and Snowman,
Photos by Snowman, Kansas Rose and others…
Click here for the full San Diego Toy Run photo gallery
The San Diego Toy Run was started in 1973 by an “old school biker couple” named Frank and Charlene King because of an extremely poor family who lived in his neighborhood. Frank decided that there must be more families in the same situation, in other neighborhoods. He started collecting old bicycles, buying parts for them and painting them. He usually gave away anywhere from ten to fifteen bikes each Christmas to the poor neighborhood kids.
“Snowman” Brian Trum met Frank at the Post Office where he worked in 1978. As Snowman told me – a contract driver for the U.S.P.S. pulled up and got out, and he was dressed up like Santa Claus. Snowman said, “I’ve got to meet this guy.” Frank told Snowman about the project that he’d been doing each Christmas for the last 5 years, and Snowman joined the team. Snowman also told the good-hearted Frank, “I’ve got a lot of friends.” That year the bikers pumped out 25 brightly painted bicycles to some very happy kids. Frank was very excited to have some company with the Christmas Bike Project.
Over the years they pumped out hundreds of very nice “used” bikes that were new to the kids who totally appreciated them.
Eventually word got out, and people started making cash donations to the cause. Snowman and the crew made up of many motorcycle club members along with independent bikers stepped up to help with the Toy Run every year. Eighteen years ago Snowman became the Chairman of the San Diego Confederation of Clubs– SD COC. As the SD COC grew, the numbers of volunteers and those donating to the cause grew exponentially. Bikers love kids, so it was a natural fit.
Snowman and Frank found a way to buy the bikes wholesale. So for every $100.00 donated, they could purchase four brand new bicycles. Before long, dozens of bikers from various clubs got involved unboxing and assembling 150 to 300 bicycles (depending on the donations) each year, and have blessed a lot of families that could not buy a brand new bike for their child for Christmas.
New York Myke of San Diego Harley also got involved financially and practically; since then, the team has had an actual motorcycle shop where they can assemble the new bicycles.
The San Diego Toy Run provides a new toy for every child that attends the Christmas Day toy giveaway that takes place in National City. The event attracts hundreds of children. They use a unique lottery system to decide whether each child gets a new bike, or other toy: A Santa Claus hat containing some white golf balls, with one colored golf ball also in it. They shake it up, and each child that pulls a colored ball gets a new bike; if they pull a white ball, they receive another nice toy. Every child attending receives a gift, whether a bike or other toy.
Thousands of children have been blessed in the 44 years that the San Diego Toy Run has been going. Snowman and the whole crew at “Christmas with Kids” would like to thank: The National City Offices of the Mayor, Police Dept., Fire Dept., as well as the San Diego COC, San Diego Harley-Davidson, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Law Tigers Motorcycle Injury Lawyers, Law Offices of Richard M. Lester, the Seaside Quilt Club in La Jolla, as well as all others who participate and those who donate to make this incredible event happen.
If you’ve never attended the event – it is at sunup on Christmas Day at a small house on a big lot at 223 East 3rd St., National City CA 91950 – your eyes will fill with tears, your heart will fill with joy and God’s love – as you see these little ones getting blessed by some really cool biker brothers & sisters!
Anyone who would like to donate to the cause can do so – anytime throughout the year. And remember $50.00 buys two new bicycles, $100.00 buys four new bicycles! You can send a check to help this worthy cause to:
Make check payable to:
Christmas with Kids
Send to: C/O Brian Trum
4602 Sauk Ave. San Diego CA
92117-2935 Text – 619-855-9981