by Stephanie Seaver
Guardians of the Children (GOC) is a community of like-minded motorcycle enthusiasts who are dedicated to protecting the victims of child abuse and bullying. They serve as a public benefit organization. Their vision is to improve the quality of life in the community and to recognize and take responsible action regarding the reality of child abuse and bullying.
What kind of a person does it take to become a member of GOC? They look for individuals who recognize the reality of child abuse and bullying and want to make a difference in their community. One question they are frequently asked is, “Do you need to ride a motorcycle to join?”
Yes, if you want to become a full patch member. However, if you don’t ride there are other ways that you can contribute to their organization. There are many support positions available to those who would like to volunteer their time for a good cause.
The organization deals with many sensitive issues in the community, and members make it a practice to use “road names” to protect the anonymity of the members, as well as the anonymity of the children they help.
When asked what the most rewarding part of their job is, Vice President, “Road Dog” (not his real name) says, “It’s a volunteer position, so when you see the honest smile and difference you’ve made in a child’s life, and their family’s life, it makes it all worth it. In some of the extremely sad cases we sometimes deal with, it becomes very rewarding when the perpetrator is brought to justice in court.”
GOC has chapters all over North America, but this chapter locally services Ottawa and surrounding areas, including North Dundas. They take part in many children’s events in the area as well. They organize and host their own annual charity ride called the “Empower the Children Ride”, which is their biggest fundraiser. The group also takes part in children’s festivals such as Comiccon, Kidsfest, and the Children’s Pow Wow, which brings public awareness about their organization and the realities of child abuse and bullying.
GOC has an ongoing bottle drive that helps generate funds, where members collect bottles from people in the community willing to donate. One hundred percent of the funds that they generate go to the children and families that they help. They support many other motorcycle organizations in the community, because GOC receives a lot of support from them as well.
Any words of advice for someone who may be suspecting child abuse or bullying is occurring?
“Road Dog” says, “If you see something, say something. There are many resources to reach out to. Do not take the law into your own hands. Call our hotline at 613-806-8335 if you need our assistance; we are here to help in any way that we can.”
For more information, please visit www.guardiansofthechildren.com, email [email protected] or call 613-806-8335.