EasyRiders with Big Hearts

19 September 2016

Recently, a family that BCS supports needed some extra help. A single father with two children had undergone abdominal surgery. He was coming out of hospital but his bed was only a mattress on the floor. The hospital social worker said he wouldn’t be able to manage and that he needed a bed base.

Through community contacts, the family’s BCS support worker was put in touch with the EasyRiders. These big-hearted cyclists from the Melba Men’s Shed have a simple and effective fundraising scheme that they use to help people in need. The next day, our worker met Paul McCarthy from the EasyRiders at Ikea where they purchased a new bed.

The EasyRiders meet for coffee at the Black Pepper Café by Lake Ginninderra every weekday morning. Hearing this story of their kindness, I arranged to meet them. It’s a jovial group who claim that they solve all the problems of the world in their coffee-fuelled discussions.

They purchase their morning coffee through a group treasury that’s kept in a plastic bag. Each member pays the treasury a little more than the coffee actually costs and the surplus accumulates. The Black Pepper also allows them to combine their coffee order on one loyalty card and the money saved by getting every 12th coffee free also remains in the treasury. With up to 24 cyclists buying coffee five days per week, the money soon adds up.

The EasyRiders’ treasuryThe EasyRiders’ treasury

Their fundraising originally began to support the Melba Men’s Shed, but once the shed became solvent they decided to help local families and individuals. This year they’ve helped a primary school student to access the special instrumental band program, assisted two women at Karinya House for mothers and babies to purchase medication and clothing items, and assisted a low income household with urgent transport needs.

My one concern about the story of the Ikea bed was that someone would need to assemble it for the poor man recovering from surgery. Paul assured me that he offered to help but other assistance had already been arranged.

By Simone Penkethman

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