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Motorcycle club plagued by the loss of their own in a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer earlier this year decided their annual toy drive was going to go on as usual.

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By: Jim Morelli

ABINGTON, Mass. — It’s an annual tradition for the Marine Jarheads, and this year was one of their best yet.

The New England motorcycle club made up of Marines and their spouses, plagued by the loss of their own in a fiery crash involving a tractor-trailer earlier this year, decided their annual toy drive was going to go on as usual.

 

The club’s president, saying this was one of their best years so far, attributes the turnout to a strong economy.

In true holiday spirit, the toy drive brought more than just a community together – it showed the power of generosity in its purest forms, including a 7-year-old who saved up $50 worth of her allowance to buy gifts for other children.

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One of the recipients this year says she’s forever grateful for the help she got in the tough year she’s had.

 

“Last year we lost my husband, her father,” said the woman, whose name wasn’t disclosed. “Not only was I grieving but I also couldn’t afford to do what I normally like to do. It was just wonderful to be able to make a Christmas when you’re going through all of that.”

Inside an Abington Walmart, donations piled up as Jarheads members welcomed gifts from all over.

 

“We try to give back a little bit in each community and help toys for Tots do their mission,” said Manny Ribeiro, a member of the Jarheads Motorcycle club.

For seventeen years, the club has continued on with the wholesome tradition, helping out those who’ve had a tough year – despite suffering their hardest loss back in June.

On June 21, seven of the club’s associates died on a New Hampshire highway after colliding with a pick-up truck that had been carrying a flatbed.

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If the accident haunts the Jarheads, they certainly didn’t show it during the toy drive.

Ribeiro was a part of the group of riders on that highway when the accident happened.

 

“There’s a lot of kids out there that need help and a lot of families that need help and we’re just trying to do our part,” said Ribeiro.

The victims were all members or supporters of the motorcycle club and ranged in age from 42 to 62. Four were from New Hampshire, two from Massachusetts and one from Rhode Island.

 

23-year-old Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, who had prior DUI convictions and run-ins with the law, has been charged with causing the crash.

As the club members relied on each other’s strength to get by after the crash, they are now showing their community they are there to do the same for them

 

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