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Local bikers ride for clothes, diaper drive
1Ray Curtis and Daisy Jones inventory clothes blankets diapers and shoes collected Dec. 20 in bikers ride-1
Ray Curtis, Omni Financial Services general manager, and Daisy Jones, Homeless Prevention Program coordinator discuss clothing and diapers recently collected by local bikers. - photo by Randy C.Murray

Ray Curtis, a retired Army command sergeant major and Hinesville general manager for Omni Financial, recently accepted a challenge from his son, an airman stationed at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi to ride his Harley Davidson on a particularly cold morning. Curtis, in turn, decided to challenge yet another biker.

Omni supported the idea, he said. District Manager and Senior Vice President Jeff Heckert, who is retired from the Navy, thought it was a good idea and a great way for Omni Financial to give back to the community.Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

On Saturday, Dec. 20, the plan was put into action as 10 bikers, all active-duty and retired soldiers, joined Curtis for a 125-mile ride during which donated items were collected along the way.Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

“As a company, we went out and had a coat, jacket, clothes, blankets and diaper drive to help out the less fortunate in the city of Hinesville,” Curtis said. “There are a lot of people across the country and throughout the world that are actually in need. But my biggest concern is to help the people who are right here in our own backyard.”Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

Curtis said coats, jackets, adult and children’s clothing, shoes and diapers were collected in boxes at Omni’s Hinesville office as well as Judd’s Custom Creations in Hinesville and Savannah Harley Davidson. Altogether, more than 1,000 diapers were collected, he said.Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

He explained they had agreed they would ride rain or shine and, of course, it did rain that day — and it was cold. Still, 11 riders participated. First, they picked up donated items in Hinesville, then Savannah, and then they returned to the Omni office, where the items are now sorted, neatly stacked and ready to be given away.Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

“I appreciate people in the community always reaching out to us, so I appreciate the sergeant major for that,” said Jones, who served with Curtis when they was in the Army. “We have people coming in off the street. We like to have clothes that are available in our office — we can’t store a whole lot — but we like to have clothes, diapers, blankets and personal care items in our office. “We’ll send these diapers to the (Cover Me) Diaper Bank (Inc.) here in Hinesville. I have some clients who will come in and select the clothes they need. The rest will be given to churches we work with who’ll give the clothes away for free.”Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

Jones talked about one particular client she was trying to help. She said the mother of two young boys was particularly depressed that she couldn’t provide food, clothes or even a Christmas tree for her boys. For more than a year, she said the single mom has struggled to find a fulltime job.Delete-Merge Upbodycopy

As she was talking with Curtis and arranging pickup of the items he and his fellow riders had collected, Heckert handed Jones an envelope containing money specifically donated to help the mother and her children. He told Jones that Omni Financial is glad to help those in need and hopes the money will help the family through the holidays.

Jones reiterated how much she appreciates the generosity of companies and individuals who willingly donate their time, talent, personal clothing and money to help others, especially during the holiday season.

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