Support One needs the community's help to provide counseling and support services to the men and women who keep us safe. (WRDW-TV / June 4, 2012)
News 12 at 11 o’clock / Saturday, June 2, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- Hundreds of motorcycle riders revved up their bikes this weekend to raise money for Support One. It's an organization that offers crisis support to police, fire and EMS personnel.
The organization is growing much faster than anyone expected. They went public in January, and in just six months, they've exceeded the goals set for this entire year.
Bikers rode in from all over the state to support one cause: supporting our safety.
“They want to be supportive and let the public safety community know that we may not come out and see you every day, but we do support what you do and the efforts that you make in our community,” said biker Tom Rogers.
Support One needs the community's help to provide counseling and support services to the men and women who keep us safe. That's why the community is supporting the group by raising money.
“These people have to deal with all sorts of tragedies and when they deal with it, it doesn’t just go away when they leave the scene,” Rogers said. “They take it home with them.”
Support One started just six months ago in January.
“We've accomplished everything that we wanted to do in the first year in the first 5 and a half months of this year,” said Vice Chair Michael Ford. “It's an incredible growth that we've experienced because of the outpouring of support from our community.”
And they're already making an impact in the lives of our first responders.
“We've responded to three incidents so far and we've had a positive impact,” Ford said. “We've had people come back to us weeks after those incidents and tell us how much it meant to have our support and to have our services there at their incident.”
The support they provide comes from their peers, a big step in helping them move through a tough situation.
“It’s easier for a police officer to go talk to another police officer about something than it is for a police officer to entrust a psychiatrist sometimes,” said Chris Chavous, founder of Support One.
With the community's help, they are now able to provide those services instantly.
"Rather than have to wait for an incident to take place, raise the money and then be able to spend it, we have it already in reserve so we're ready at a moment's notice to write a check, show up with our trailer, get resources on scene,” Ford said. “Whatever, wherever it needs to be, we're ready to do it.”
Saturday’s ride was their third fundraiser and was planned by the Defenders Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.
Support One is already planning for their next event this fall.