Harley-Davidson of Atlanta, Atlanta Chapter, H.O.G. has adopted SHARE House of Douglas County as the chapter's Charity. The Chapter will collect donations of money and goods for the SHARE House and will schedule rides to visit the children at SHARE House.
What is The SHARE House?
The SHARE House is a private non-profit organization that has provided services and shelter to women and children since 1990. They have developed extensive services in response to gaps in the delivery of services in order to assist women and children in breaking free from patterns that keep them in poverty, abusive relationships, and on welfare.
SHARE House's mission is to guide the homeless and battered women and children into the realm of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. SHARE House is more than just a safe haven for abused and victimized women and children. It is a place for transformation from living in violence and dependence into non-violence and self-sufficiency. It is their objective to provide as many services as possible and to work to eradicate the causes of violence toward women and children.
Most of the children have had sad (if not very sad) lives, very little joy and not enough love in their life. They do not have nice clothes, shoes or everyday products and necessities that we normally take for granted. They have been removed from their home because they were in danger, neglected and/or the home was inappropriate for a child. Regardless of the circumstances, their removal from home is very traumatic and they find themselves in a situation in which they have no control and do not understand. Each child there represents a situation that none of us would wish on anyone. These children need all the help they can get, materially and emotionally.
Unfortunately, we seldom hear about the plight of these children. They are not newsworthy except in the most extreme cases. Nonetheless, there is a steady stream of kids through the SHARE House year-round. We do not have pictures of the SHARE House or the kids. Pictures are strictly prohibited. These kids are essentially in hiding until a disposition is made in their case.
The courage these kids show in dealing with their situation is astounding. Each time the Chapter visits the SHARE House, I am certain the kids will be friendly, well behaved and will try to put on their best face possible in a very difficult and stressful time in their lives. Even so, I know there are always a few of the children that will be visibly sad and reluctant to join in the activities. Many times all it will take is a kind "Hi there, what's your name?" or "Want to sit on my motorcycle?" and you'll have a new friend. Regardless of how they act, they are all worried about their home, their family and their future. Definitely not the things children this age (toddlers through 12 years old) should be dealing with. A visit from us will be a happy little diversion for them.
Rides to Visit the Kids
The chapter will schedule rides to visit the kids. The rides will often be near a holiday which makes a theme for the ride, for example, on Halloween the kids can go "Treating" from bike to bike. On most of the visits, the kids will come out to see the bikes. They will really be excited and have a great time sitting on them and talking with us. It is basic but functional. The visits will usually lasts about 30-45 minutes. The main thing is that the kids enjoy the visits and I know you will too.
The SHARE House was founded in 1990 by a survivor of domestic violence and child abuse. The shelter is a 5000 sq. feet historical home, owned debt free. They strongly believe that in order to end domestic violence that it will have to be a community response. They do have several collaborations and partnerships throughout the County to serve their clients without the duplication of services. In the past four years, The SHARE House has answered 7000 crisis calls, sheltered over 1000 women and children, and provided direct service to over 3000 victims. Their services are at no cost to the victims.
However, this kind of outreach doesn't come without a cost. The SHARE House depends on local support from the community, including individuals, churches, businesses and civic groups. The money given makes a difference.
$10.00 provides medical supplies/prescriptions.
$50.00 buys perishable food for 1 family for 1 week.
$200.00 provides water for a month for 30 people.
$500.00 provides power for 1 month for 30 people.
Our main focus will be the children. Unfortunately, there are a lot of children in their care. The children need a friend, they need us. I would like for us to be able to make a donation in money (as a group) once a year and provide useable goods maybe every other visit throughout the year because we have adopted the SHARE House.
So Members, it is up to us and other contributors to keep the SHARE House running. That is why they are always so thankful for any donations. These kids don't have visitors. This is a "safe" house for them. That is why pictures are prohibited. They do permit Polaroid pictures as long as the pictures stay with the kids. At this point in their lives, this is probably the only picture they have and it is sitting on a Harley with a new "H.O.G. Friend". The shelter has 30 beds with 24 hour intake for battered women and children. They also have five, two bedroom apartments that focus on solution based management for successful transition from shelter to self-sufficiency. The children's program used at the shelter is also used for in the transitional program. The ages of the children range from toddlers through 12 years old. The Children are brought to the SHARE House at anytime during the day or night. They are taken by police intervention, fights break out, parents are arrested, abuse has occurred. There are many different reasons for their removal, never pleasant. The kids then have nightmares and have no parent around in a lot of cases to comfort them. Not the kind of home life, I am sure we were used to. The Children are then assessed and they might go back to/or with a parent, relative in most cases, or maybe a foster home if that is needed. Frequently at least one parent is in jail. These children need love, a hug, a pat on the back, encouraging words, any kind of attention that WE CAN PROVIDE. Not only that, but clothing is needed as well. Like I say, sometimes they arrive with only the clothing they have on and THAT'S IT! They usually have to leave their home, their rooms, clothes, toys and pets behind. You can imagine how frightened and confused they are. I apologize for painting a grim and depressing story, but that is why I care so much and want you to, as well. So please come join us on a ride to visit the kids, two hours out of your busy day, that's all and you know what? You will make a DIFFERENCE and that child will probably remember you for the rest of his/her life.
Atlanta Chapter, H.O.G.