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Motorcyclists unite to help kids

Riders United for Children, Alamo Chapter made a donation Saturday to Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

SAN ANTONIO — Riders United For Children, Alamo Chapter often hits the road to visit with kids who've gone through tough times.

"They're typically pretty reserved. We show up at first and they're hiding in the corner almost, and they find out they're getting a short ride on a motorcycle and bang—they're out of their shell. It's a great way to get introduced," said Chapter President Tom Patterson.

On Saturday, they helped in a new way: making a donation to Roy Maas Youth Alternatives.

"They've been abused, neglected, abandoned and, sometimes, they've been trafficked," Gail Ribalta said. "At Roy Maas we're able to give them therapeutic care, a safe place to live, food, clothing, and a lot of love and caring."

They brought in dozens of duffel bags, a seemingly simple gesture, but one that makes a major difference.

"They have nothing but the clothes on their backs or they're carrying possessions in a big black trash bag," Ribalta said. "So the donation of duffel bags or backpacks give them something to put their possessions in so (that) when they move on they can do that with dignity."

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Roy Maas will fill the luggage with items that remind kids and teens they're valued, including clothes, a stuffed animal, a card with a phone number and other important personal items.

To learn more about Roy Maas Youth Alternatives and the services it provides, click here. To learn more about the Riders United For Children, Alamo Chapter, click here.