Members of the Veteran Riders Motorcycle Club delivering donations to CSS

The idea had been discussed for some time at the Eugene-based Free Souls Motorcycle Club, Jake Courtright recalls. That idea being the creation of a group consisting of Veterans bonded by their love of motorcycle riding and shared military experiences. And so, finally in November 2021 the Veteran Riders Motorcycle Club was officially recognized as a Support Group of the Eugene Free Souls Motorcycle Club. That began perhaps an unlikely journey which eventually led to an important connection with the Community Supported Shelters community.

Veteran Riders Motorcycle Club (VRMC) began with five members and has grown to ten members including Army, Marine, and Navy Vets. The group ranges in age from 26 to 78 years old, and members meet regularly to ride and for other social events. In addition to riding together, the club serves as a support group. “We have people who know what you’ve been through and have walked through the same sand, so we do a lot of checking on each other and calling,” notes Jake. “The basis of the club is for outreach to Veterans in our community.” To remain in good standing, the club is required to do community outreach projects on a yearly basis. Jake recalls that “right from the bat when we stood up and started, we said we are going to start it right off with announcing a cold weather drive for homeless Vets.”

Club members reached out to their wider network of family and friends including the larger Free Souls network and gathered over 400 pounds of clothing and gift cards for donation in only 30 days. The next question was where the donations should go?

Jake happened to have an acquaintance who worked at CSS and shared information about the CSS program, specifically the work that CSS is doing with unhoused Veterans including offering a stand-alone community for Vets. By mid-December of 2021, the VRMC delivered their first large donation to CSS for use by Veterans and other members of the CSS communities.

In 2022, the club continued to support CSS through donations. “Last November we had a little bit more time and people knew what we were doing, and we were able to do a little bit more,” Jake recalled. He emphasized the involvement of family, friends, and the wider community in the success of the club’s donation drive. Jake shared a story about a donation they received from a movie theater in Coos Bay that had done an event for the movie Frozen. At intermission they had a snowball fight using 500 pairs of new rolled up woolen socks. Afterwards, having heard about the club’s drive, theater management contacted Jake and donated the socks that became part of last year’s donation to CSS.


In 2023, the VRMC intends to become even a closer partner with CSS by learning more about specific needs and targeting those items as they collect donations throughout the year.

Heather Quaas-Annsa, Director of Philanthropy at CSS, notes how important organizations like the Veteran Riders are. “Donations of goods and services, or in-kind donations, help CSS access resources that would otherwise be too expensive on our tight budget and allow us to prioritize monetary donations towards our programmatic expenses. We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support and generosity of the Veteran Riders Motorcycle Club.”

Reflecting on the past two years, Jake pointed out that the recipients of his club’s donations aren’t the only ones who have benefited, noting that he’s had fellow members tell him that the club’s donation efforts make them “feel useful again.” When asked what he would want people to know about the Veteran Riders, Jake sums it up nicely. “We are a good group of guys trying to reach out to our community and help our brothers stand up.”

If you are interested in learning more about Veteran Riders Motorcycle Club, they would love to hear from you. They can be reached at