The Eldridge Toy Run began in 2002 when a small group of motorcycle riders from Alabama and Mississippi became aware of the Children’s Home. They wanted to help in some way, and thought it would be a great idea to organize a toy run benefit for the children. At the first Toy Run on December 6, 2003, there were 175 motorcycle riders. The ride started with riders in Amory, MS, and then rode towards Eldridge, AL, picking up riders at meeting places along the way in Sulligent, Guin, and Winfield. That first event raised $7,000 in cash and approximately $7,000 in gifts.
Fast forward to present day, when more than 2,000 people gather for the Toy Run at the Free Will Baptist Children’s Home! We see more than 800 motorcycles and many antique cars and other show vehicles. Motorcycles have come from all across the country, as far as New York, Las Vegas, and the Florida Keys. Around 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of every December is a very special time. All of the staff, children, and onlookers gather as the first larger groups begin to arrive on the property. It’s hard to describe the feeling that comes over you as you watch all the motorcycles pour in. To know that so many people would take the time out of their busy schedules to come and support the Home means so much to all of us—especially on the days that it’s cold, rainy, or both! The Benefit Team likes to say that bikers have big hearts, and we certainly agree.
Donations for the Run!
This isn’t your ordinary Toy Run! 100% of the Eldridge Toy Run proceeds go directly to the Children’s Home—these funds are used to sustain the Home for the entire year. This event has grown so much that participants don’t actually donate toys—designated sponsors get the children gifts from their Christmas wish lists, and the money raised by the event goes into the Home’s general fund.
It Doesn’t Matter What You Give – Only That You Give. Please Support Our Home.
You’ve heard it before—any contribution, no matter how small, makes a big difference. At the Children’s Home, we firmly believe that, because we’ve seen what a large number of small donations can do. Since 1947, this Home has provided a true home to children in all age groups without support from state or federal money. Most of the support is from the home-based church with many other churches, civil groups, and volunteers lending a hand in both services and financial support. If every participant donated just $1, that’s an average of $2,000 per event. We’re so glad to have your support, and anything that you can give is greatly appreciated.
If it’s raining, will the event be rescheduled?
When is the Toy Run?
Always the first Saturday of December.
What time does the event start?
The program is from 12-1 p.m. The bigger motorcycle groups begin arriving around 10:45-11 a.m. It’s such a treat to watch them come in!
Is there a fee to attend?
There is no charge to attend, but this day is all about benefiting the Home—if you can give, we accept donations via cash, check, or credit card.
Will there be food?
Yes! We have chicken, BBQ, chili, stew, and more!
Where does the money raised at the event go?
100% of the Toy Run profits go to the Children’s Home’s general fund, and is a very significant percentage of our yearly income.
Should I bring a toy?
Actually, no! Since the event has grown so much, there are designated sponsors that fill the children’s Christmas wish lists. If you’re interested in being one of the sponsors, send the Benefit Team an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, monetary donations are the best way to help.
Who organizes the Toy Run?
The Benefit Team runs and organizes the Toy Run. They’re a group of giving, loving bikers with members from the surrounding area. They are not employees of the Children’s Home.
How do I join an organized ride for the Toy Run?
Eldridgetoyrun.com has a list of meeting places to choose from, or you can ride on your own!