On a roll: Biker club hands out student backpacks in Gulfport

Bikers with backpacks took the meaning of a back-to-school drive literally with a motorcycle ride through Gulfport neighborhoods.

The Gulfport chapter of Down South Burners, a motorcycle club, rolled Saturday for its annual Back to School Drive. Each year, the club presents backpacks full of school supplies to kids in the community. Club members deliver the backpacks with a special motorcycle ride through low-income neighborhoods.

The event is different from most back-to-school drives as the backpacks are delivered directly to kids in the community.

“It’s a big thing to us,” chapter secretary Viveca Everett said. “To live in this community, to see the need that’s there and to be able to give back, that’s a big thing to us. We like to give back to let our community know that we’re not just here riding on bicycles making noise.

“We’re trying to get away from the negative vibe of the motorcycle community. We also want to let our community know that we are here for them, throughout whatever.”

The club distributed 250 backpacks, surprising the student recipients. The group is no stranger to charity work. It also organizes Toy Drive in December.

The club has also participated in walks for both the March of Dimes and breast cancer awareness. Members regularly collaborate with Camellia Home Health, volunteering their time to those at the Boyington Health Care Facility in Gulfport.