by Kenny Norman
The Hells Angels have quite a reputation. Started by American World War II immigrants in 1948, the Hells Angels rose to prominence in the 1960s. They have chapters all over the United States (and the world), there are specific rules and regulations to get in, and they’ve gotten into a lot of legal trouble. They’ve started fights, they’ve caused scenes, they’ve broken several laws, they’ve started violent crime, they’ve instigated organized crime, and they’ve instigated lawsuits, although the club vehemently denies any of this, saying that they mainly organize events to ride motorcycles.
With their rough reputation preceding them, it would be hard to find any news regarding any good deeds or acts of kindness the Hells Angels have done. Surprisingly, they have done quite a bit of it, or at least enough to say they’re not all about stirring up trouble and causing a commotion. Here are some surprisingly positive tidbits about the Hells Angels.
14 They Hold A Toy Drive For Kids
Around Black Friday, the Hells Angels start gathering toys for kids, even camping out at stores five days prior. On one occasion, they bought 200 bicycles and donated them to the nonprofit Poverello House to help the homeless and needy, as well as holding an annual toy drive for children.
13 They Respect Those Who Respect Them
An important thing about the Hells Angels is respect. People who give it can get it. A journalist once went to spend an afternoon with them and was treated kindly and with courtesy. The journalist described the bikers as “inviting” and “incredibly welcoming.” He also noted that they returned to him the same respect that he showed them.
12 They Care For Their Neighbors
The Hells Angels also try to do right by their neighbors. One person mentioned that their uncle’s neighbor who belongs to the club helps his uncle and tends to gardening. The Hells Angels also have a motto: “When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets.”
11 Charity Rides Are Held
The Hells Angels will also hold many motorcycle rides for charity. They will even hold rides for Toys for Tots. They opt to ride miles to raise funds, hoping people will remember them for more than being persecuted by police and federal agencies because of their beliefs and lifestyles.
10 They Make Good Concert Security
On several occasions, musicians have hired Hells Angels to serve as concert security. It began in 1961 when the Beatles’ George Harrison invited a couple of San Francisco Hells Angels to London. Their presence at the concert went over well with Harrison and the band, and the Hells Angels would go on to win the respect of several musicians, hiring the Hells Angels as concert security.
9 They Donate To Charity
As mentioned earlier, the Hells Angels frequently donate to charitable causes like the Poverello House. Sometimes they give bikes, like in 2010, and other times, they wait in Black Friday lines. There have been times while people were out Christmas shopping that they found a Hells Angel bought the last of whatever toy or bike they wanted.
8 Deceased Young Adults Are Honored
One mom, Christy Hubbard, thanked the Hells Angels for helping to keep her son Clay’s memory alive. She talked to some of them during their annual summer rally and informed them of her son’s passing and how that day was his birthday. She said the group was very compassionate, even praying for her, and they took his picture with them on their next ride.
7 Bicycles Are Donated For Christmas
Hells Angels don’t just gather toys and donate to charity on Thanksgiving. For Christmas, several Hells Angels members donated 26 new bicycles and several truckloads of toys to children staying at the Union Gospel Mission’s Crisis Center. It helped that the motorcycle club is located next door to the shelter.
6 Food Drives Are Hosted
For at least five years, the Hells Angels have had a Mayflower Thanksgiving Day food drive and chili cook-off to help out the less fortunate in their immediate area during the holidays. They gather non-perishable food items and have a big parade of bikes, even allowing non-members with bikes to be in the parade.
5 They Raise Money For The Disabled
The Hells Angels have apparently patronized local bars and restaurants, with owners noting how they were never a problem. When the Hells Angels discovered that one of their bars was hosting fundraising bike night for SELF School, which gives educational services to disabled children and for homeschooled kids with cancer, the Hells Angels immediately volunteered their assistance.
4 They Treat Authority With Courtesy
As noted before, Hells Angels return the respect they receive. At the fundraising bike night for SELF school, the bikers’ presence attracted police and other law enforcement. Charity participants noted how police were respectful to the bikers, and the Hells Angels reciprocated by treating law enforcement with respect as well.
3 Community Involvement Is Key
Despite their rough reputation, the Hells Angels firmly believe that community involvement is key. Members of the Northwest Indiana chapter often proclaim that the group’s main objective is to ride motorcycles together while also attaching local charities to its events. After all, its members aim to support the communities where they live.
2 Nonprofits Get An Assist
When Patchogue-based thrift store Angels of Long Island had a warehouse was low on toy donations for their fifth annual toy giveaway, founder Debbie Loesch received a surprising phone call from the local chapter of the Hells Angels, who had heard about the nonprofit’s struggle offered to help. The Hells Angels dropped off eight truckloads of gift, toy and coat donations within a few days.
1 Charity Events Stretch Far And Wide
The Hells Angels once had a fundraiser that ran from Lexington to Columbia. Lexington bar owners, such as Joe Biedrycki, welcomed them with open arms. Biedrycki helped organize a poker run for the Hells Angels. Another friend of his, Lisa Myers, contacted friends in Las Vegas to help. The Lexington Police was reportedly very open to both the event and having the Hells Angels in town.