Guardians of the Children is an organization that works with children that have been sexually, physically, or mentally abused to the point that it is involved in the court systems.  

They have a chapter in Steinbach. 

Paul Gibson AKA ‘Donkey’ with Guardians of the Children explains what they do. 

“We work with the families and help guide them through the tough times that they're going through, and the tough times ahead, up until the age of usually 18 or when the child no longer needs our assistance anymore.” 

Gibson has been with Guardians of the Children coming up on two years.  

Robyn Gillings AKA ‘Mama Bear’ and her husband ‘Iron Bear’ have been with the organization for almost four years. 

This organization originally started down in San Antonio, Texas and it has worked its way up into Canada.  

Gillings says the chapter in Steinbach just started up in January. 

“We now have two chapters in the province: a Winnipeg chapter and a Steinbach chapter.” 

Gibson says the Steinbach chapter has seven full time members and three new prospective members that are looking to join. 

“We're always on the hunt for new people that have the same passion we do. 

Gillings clarifies that although they dress in biker gear, you don’t have to be a biker to be part of the organization. 

“You don't have to be a biker to be part of our organization. You can come on as a supporter and then you can still help out. The only difference is if we have to make an appearance in court, only the full members would actually go to court with the child.” 

She finds this organization to be a great way to help children. 

“My family has been a foster family since I was very young, so working with kids who have been hurt has just been second nature,” she says. “Also, being an EA, I see a lot of the need from these kids at school too, and how it affects them at school.” 

She says her main reason for joining Guardians of the Children was one of her old foster sisters, Phoenix Sinclair, who tragically lost her life.  

“Just seeing what she went through after she left our home broke my heart, and she had no support, so if I can help give someone in our community that support, then I'm happy to do it.” 

They have events about every two months where all the children and all the members get together in a safe location. 

“And we just let them be kids again, and it helps them see that they're not alone, there's other kids that have gone through something the same as them and they don't have to be scared.” 

Their yearly Empowerment Ride is coming up this Saturday, August 12. 

It’s their main fundraiser for the year and 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the kids. 

“So if the kid needs counseling, we have the funds to help find them a counselor, or help provide that for them. Say they have been abused in their own bed, we have the funds to replace that bed for them so they are not triggered every time they have to go to sleep.”  

Registration for the Empowerment Ride starts at Deacons Corner at 9:00am. Registration costs $35 per rider and $10 per passenger, but if you fundraise $50 then your registration is free. 

Kickstands will go up at 11am and then they will ride from Deacons Corner to Paper Town Hotel in Pine Falls where there will be the chance to have a meal and do their dice roll. 

The next stop will be at the Airliner in Beausejour, where they have another opportunity to grab a snack and have their next portion of their dice roll. 

Gibson says the last stop will be Boston Pizza in Steinbach 

“Where we're going to have an event for the kids, be able to hang out, grab a little bit more to eat, and then celebrate the end of the ride and hang out with the kids and the families and have a good time.” 

If you would like to learn more or get involved, you can find them on Facebook at Guardians of the Children International – Steinbach. 

You can find the pledge page for fundraising on their Facebook page. 

 

With files from Corny Rempel

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