By Sharon Chance, The Brunswick Beacon
Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 2:53 pm (Updated: December 19, 2:59 pm)
This article is an excerpt from The Brunswick Beacon. Article Copyright © 2019,2020 The Brunswick Beacon.
The calm façade of The Brunswick Beacon building provides absolutely no hint of the bustling activity behind the scenes. In the warehouse area that once held newspaper printing presses, volunteers work steadily to collect, sort, organize and distribute thousands of toys, bicycles, warm clothing and food — all in the hopes of a joyful Christmas morning for as many county residents as possible.
BCAR past president Margaret Rudd Bishop, Bucks 4 Bikes co-chair and BCAR past president Jim Goodman, Rick Mazur, Bucks4Bikes co-chairman, and Charles Jackson, director of operations for Brunswick Family Assistance, allow time for their inner child to play. In collaboration with BFA, the realtors association will provide 500 new bicycles, tricycles, wagons — basically anything with wheels — to children throughout Brunswick County.
The Brunswick County Association of Realtors, Brunswick Family Assistance, and Toys for Tots share the area. Each organization donates time toward filling the previously empty space into storage areas loaded with Christmas cheer.
Since 2013, the Realtors Association has busied itself through November printing and distributing flyers — “basically going door-to-door” — to solicit donations for bicycles, tricycles and wagons for toddlers, teens and all ages in between.
Their mission, “Bucks 4 Bikes,” is to purchase and distribute as many bikes, trikes, wagons — basically anything with wheels — as possible, according to Jim Goodman, campaign co-chair and vice president of sales for Margaret Rudd and Associates, Inc. Realtors.
The St. James community is a staunch supporter of the effort, donating $26,385 toward this year’s campaign. Flyers are also distributed in several other communities, including Brunswick Forest, Ocean Ridge, Winding River and Sea Trail.
Their efforts have spurred an epidemic. The first year, the association collected $500; $1,800 the second year; and roughly $6,000 in the third year. This Christmas, the association collected $45,000 for the purchase of bikes.
“It’s unbelievable,” Goodman said. “It amazes me.”
“It’s something under the tree,” said Rick Mazur, who travels between St. James and Virginia to assist with the project. “Five hundred smiling faces … Christmas is special.”
The association also provides safety helmets with each bike.
“One hundred percent” of funds collected go into this effort, Goodman said.
The BFA works in conjunction with…