VALDOSTA — Becoming a member of the Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) is difficult because its members have a tough job. The mission may be simple but that doesn't mean it's easy.
"BACA exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse."
No excuses. No absences. BACA members take a pledge they must keep, wearing the vest bearing the BACA logo of a fist and chains, organizers have said in past interviews with The Valdosta Daily Times.The organization seeks help in raising funds for its efforts. People do not have to be a member to participate in the annual BACA Dice Run scheduled for Saturday morning, April 3. Bikers and motorists are invited to participate in what is the chapter's largest fundraiser of the year.
It takes dedication to become a member, organizers said. There's a background check. There are training courses. There is a strict code of conduct. People simply looking for a BACA patch will be weeded out, they said. If a member leaves the BACA program, the patch must be returned to the organization.
Most importantly, they must be there for the child.
BACA is not like the Big Brother-Big Sister organization, members have said in past interviews. BACA members aren't mentoring children or taking them to movies. Instead, BACA provides support and security for a child.
If a child needs help at 3 a.m., BACA goes. If the child is going to testify in court, BACA is there. If a child feels threatened, BACA stands for the child.
BACA has three criteria for helping a child.
— First, is the child afraid?
— Second, Mom has to understand that BACA is not there for Mom but for the child.
— Third, the child and family cannot be living with the perpetrator of abuse.
BACA members are private about the organization because the job is not about them, they said. For example, members don't share their real names with the children. Children know them by their nicknames. As members have said, it's all about the kids.