Asgard rides for toy donations

This year was the 37th year the Asgard Motorcycle Club revved up its annual toy run, collecting donations in the name of kids who would otherwise go without Christmas.

It’s been nearly four decades of thundering engines convening to deliver Christmas toys for needy kids.

More than 200 bikes beat along the highway from the Gulfport Dragway to Home Depot, where the riders loaded a truck full of donations to go to local Catholic charities.

All the toys and nonperishables go straight to kids on the Coast — nowhere further north. Secretary Cyrus Campbell says it’s because they like to take care of their own down here. “Well, being without kind of stinks, especially during Christmastime. We just want to give the kids a little bit of sense of normalcy. Especially with everything that’s been going on with COVID and things like that.”

Moreover, gift items are in short demand due to shipping problems and labor shortages — demonstrable through countless reports since August. Halloween pumpkins, turkeys, trees and, of course, toys. “We just want to make sure that the kids feel a little normal. There’s a lot of parents out there who are struggling, and this kind of gives them a hand.”

With Harrison County deputies escorting them, the club met with other bikers to load their truck up. The gifts were taken to the Knights of Columbus in Biloxi. “What happens is we get them, and the Knights of Columbus, they store them, and then the Catholic Diocese is the one that you go through, and you go through their process so that way they can verify that you’re a needy family and then get toys.”

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