We often get the impression of bikers as being big, burly dudes with a bad attitude, when a good many are nothing but huge teddy bears when it comes to causes.

Many take part in the yearly Gooch’s Garlic Run, which will take place the 3rd week in June.

A little background:

In recent years, residents of Little Italy had been at odds against the annual tradition of Gooch’s Garlic Run (named for retired Andover Township Police Lieutenant Al “Gooch” Monaco).

Held on the second Wednesday of June for the last two decades, the motorcycle ride raises money to help fund medical expenses for underprivileged children who are ill.

The negative response from the community forced the event across the Hudson to Newark in 2011, where it remains this year.

And they are not the only ones devoted to causes.

So too the Bikers Against Child Abuse:
an international organization that works to rehabilitate victims of abuse, were busy collecting donations to go toward the cause at the shopping center this past Saturday.

The President for the New Jersey chapter of the organization only goes by the name “Khaos.”

His passion for preventing child abuse is so evident that he even applies the tattoo scrawled across his chest that reads “Whatever it takes” he describes as a reason making abused children’s’ lives better.

And Khaos is upset that people don’t take his cause more seriously.

“This is an ugly, miserable epidemic,” said Khaos.

He said in working with the organization, he has seen communities that range from the poor urban streets to affluent suburban neighborhood with the same problem: adults don’t believe that their children will ever be the ones to be abused.

“They put their heads in the sand and they pretend it’s not happening,” said Khaos. “The reality is they need to inform their children and let them know what’s out there.”

While their organization can only do so much to help prevent child abuse, they do a number of measures to help both the victims of abuse and their families to recover.

According to Khaos, they help pay for necessary therapy, host parties for the children and even make them honorary members of their organization, complete with their own denim vest.

“We are here to empower children to not be afraid,” said Khaos. “We make them realize that we’re here to be their friends.”

He said that more than half of all children who are abused lived with their abuser, making it a delicate situation for them to come out and speak about their victimization.

So Khaos and the rest of the organization work toward giving children the appropriate avenue to feel safe after finally speaking out against their abusers.
“The reality is anybody can do something about child abuse,” said Khaos. “If you give a child the opportunity to have a voice, they’ll use it.”

Burly bikers with big hearts.

Our Ray’s Ray of Hope – Posse Positive People of the Week!