Every single day of the school year, motorcycle gang members in New Zealand deliver hundreds of handmade sandwiches to schools in Waikato, making sure no children go hungry like they did when they were young.
In a Waikato Times video you can see Tribal Huk members huddled in their hair nets, carefully spreading mustard and assembling the tomatoes and ham that will feed 450 to 500 children in 25 schools.
Letters from children that begin “Dear sandwich makers” line the wall, attesting to the gang’s two-and-a-half years of service.
When the video and story were published in the local paper and in a popular website, Stuff.co.nz, a flood of public support and offers have followed. People have volunteered to help grow the project, grow veggie gardens, send honey, avocados, margarine, eggs, books, money.
The members have been left speechless, including Jamie Pink, the group’s leader, the self-proclaimed “angry man with a soft heart.”
“I wanna say thank you so much for the support. I’m not sayin’ we’re angels and that, but we’re not bad people. We didn’t expect this.”
Interviewed by the newspaper, Jamie Pink said he was fed by motorcycle gang members when he was young and remembers them as generous people who looked after him and his mom when they had nothing.
Yes, he says, it should be the parents responsibility, but some kids just have “crappy parents.”
Tribal Huk has a large following of young men wanting to become members. Many have grown up as hungry kids and turned into angry men.
Poverty ruins them, he says. ”They never forget it.”
The kids who eat his sandwiches still have a chance and he has hopes that aren’t gang hopes for them.
”Hopefully they’re gonna grow up to be decent citizens. But they’re not gonna grow up properly if they don’t get a feed.”
This is not recruitment, he says. ”If we thought like that, we’re not worth existing, to be honest with you.”
“It gives us reason for being. It’s as simple as that.”
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