Riders with Christ hold charity ride for Soup Kitchen

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press 

Riders With Christ and Christian Freedom Ministries sponsored a charity motorcycle ride to benefit the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen on Saturday. Participants each brought at least one canned good and/or a monetary donation for the soup kitchen. Along with the Riders With Christ, three other motorcycle groups participated: Green Knights Fort Hood Chapter 110, The Priesthood, and the Copperas Cove chapter of the Iron Horse Disciples, MM.
The 96-mile motorcycle ride began at 10 a.m. at Christian Freedom Ministries’ location in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center and went through Gatesville and Lampasas before returning to the church. 
“We sponsor the soup kitchen. We collect canned goods and food for them all year long,” said McCalter Jackson, Pastor of Christian Freedom Ministries. “[The ride]’s to help support our community, the Cove Soup Kitchen, and to help our fellow veterans who are homeless and who are struggling. It’s not even just the veterans, it’s to help the families that are having a hard time making ends meet. There’s a place that they can go to and see that ‘Hey, someone does care about me.’”
Jackson added that one of the other purposes behind having the bike ride is because many people have a negative perception of the biker community after the Twin Peaks shooting.
“We need to let people know that everyone is not like that,” said Jackson. “The biker community is a great community. We do things to help people, we do things to encourage people, we do things to help out our communities.”
Jackson said that riding for him, is very relaxing. He is a two-time war veteran and said that riding is therapeutic for him adding that it’s very helpful for those who have PTSD. 
Jackson said that their church is a non-denominational church which seeks to allow people to be who and what God has created them to be.
In addition to Saturday’s bike ride, the church participates in many other charitable endeavors. Gwen Carter, a member of the church, talked about some of the other things that the church does including providing a scholarship to a graduating CCHS senior, sending translated bibles to Kenya, supporting their sister church in the Philippines, a turkey run, and volunteering with the Copperas Cove Nursing & Rehabilitation. 
“We’re small, but we do a lot,” said Carter. “We like to sow seeds. We like to spread love…Five people can take care of five million people.”
“We want people to know that we’re here to help,” added Jennifer Jackson, 1st Lady at Christian Freedom Ministries. “We do a lot for the community, this is just a piece of that.”
The church gathers donated goods and money for the soup kitchen throughout the year.
“Right now, I’m restocking everything, so this came right at the right time,” said Patrick Richardson, director of the Copperas Cove Soup Kitchen. “And of course, the funds always help.”
Richardson said that his soup kitchen helps those who are sometimes looked down on and gives them the dignity and respect that they deserve. He says that he works to give them an atmosphere of love. He agrees with the same philosophy of helping those who are struggling. Richardson started the soup kitchen after seeing the need for it in our community.
Richardson wants to implement more programs to help build people up including a dress for success program. One of his goals is to rebuild the soup kitchen bigger and better and include a shelter for children.
Anyone who wants to donate to the soup kitchen can drop off donations at their location on 201 North 1st Street or send it via mail.

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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