William Duffield Staff writer
December 25, 2013
XENIA — A special group of ladies got together recently to, for a third straight year, bring a little Christmas to children at the Family Violence Prevention Center.
They’re the Souls Sisters, part of the Women in the Wind motorcycle riding group, and they’re constantly working for others.
“We are an all women riding group called Women in the Wind,” Shella Baker, a member of the local group, said. “The group has been around for more than 35 years and got its start in Toledo. It is now internationally attended.
“I founded the local group and we call ourselves Souls Sisters,” Baker continued. “We were a part of another group that I founded as well, and have provided gifts and a party to the children at the Family Violence Prevention Center for 3 years now.”
Baker, a Firefighter Paramedic at Spring Valley Township Fire Department, added her chief, Marvin Moeller, even gets in the spirit by playing Santa and bringing the fire engine along to allow the children the opportunity to climb and explore the equipment.
“In some instances of violence, the police, fire, and EMS may look like the ‘bad guys’ (to the kids) because we have a duty to report violence,” Baker said. “My goal is to make the experience of living away from the home they know a good one for the holidays.
“They may remember the time they were away from a parent and living in a strange place,” she continued. “My hopes – and the group’s hopes – are that they remember the day Santa came to visit them on a fire truck and brought them the gifts they ask for in their letter to Santa.”
Baker added that the group also includes the members’ children and grandchildren as Elves who bring in the gifts, help Santa pass them out, and interact with the children as well.
“It teaches them a priceless value of giving.”
For the last 3 years, the Xenia Eagles 1689 also helps the group by donating funds.
“We utilize community resources to help us help them (the kids),” Baker said. “We have been recruiting the help of local Police, EMS, and Fire agencies in hope that in April of 2014, we start a new tradition for Greene County Residents. We hope to have a Parade and Shoe Drive for the children that are in the Greene County Children’s Services system.
“The Parade will consist of Fire apparatus, Police, and EMS, possibly – and hopefully – representatives from the local hospitals Soin, GMH, and MVH East. And of course bikers like us that are against abuse and violence. We’d like a full light display down the middle of Xenia and to the fair grounds were the shoes are turned in.”
Baker said that unused Christmas funds are used to purchase shoes for the kids.
“We know that there is a real need for (shoes) all year long.”
Contact William Duffield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 372-4444 ext. 133.