Developing Young and Old

One of the focuses in BB is developing leadership skills in our young volunteers and giving them opportunities to take the reigns and lead. Here Cole, one of our original Burrito Boyz, leads the wrap-up discussion, with the youth volunteers after our second stop. This is a time with kids can share their experiences, share who they have met, and reflect on their impressions of the morning. These are warm heartfelt talks filled with smiles and inspiration.

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Lee Gormley, our oldest volunteer to date at age 93, returned this spring for a second visit to volunteer for the Burrito Boyz. She was joined by her daughter who traveled from Connecticut and her grandsome visiting from San Francisco.

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60,000 and Going Strong!

Burrito Babes, Maria and Emily, present Dorthea with the 60,000th burrito!

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We met Taylor when she rode her bike downtown in the rain a couple months ago to join her aunt and uncle, who were visiting volunteers from Seattle. Wet and soggy she brought a bright smile and enthusiasm to our downtown community. Taylor works at Snooze which held an event last week. When Taylor discovered that there were pans of French toast left over, she immediately thought of the Burrito Boyz, and delivered the French toast on Sunday. Our volunteers wrapped and heated it before we headed downtown. It also so happened that bacon and sausages were donated, as well. Thanks to Taylor for thinking of the Burrito Boyz and to she and her boyfriend, Jesse, who distrubuted the breakfast surprise.

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Many in the homeless community are pet owners, who bring their dogs every Sunday. Way back in the early days of the Burrito Boyz, the boys noticed a man sharing his burrito with his dog. Not thinking that was right and knowing how hungry that man must have been, the boyz decided to add dog food to the list of things distributed every Sunday. In the past couple of years we have given out hundreds and hundreds of pounds of dog and cat food. One of our core volunteers, Nancy, has organized our pet food distribution and has encouraged her own adult children to donate money so she can buy dog biscuits and treats for the downtown dogs. The Burrito Boyz would like to thank Quinn at www.pawssandiego.org for donating pet food each week. Last week he even provided red bandanas for the dogs. Mercedes is proudly wearing her bandana. Thanks, Quinn, and thank you, Nancy, for doing a great job organizing the student volunteers, who bag and distribute the pet food on Sunday.

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Kids Taking Action

Kids Taking Action is an important mission of the Burrito Boyz organization and one we take very seriously. Each week our team of student volunteers demonstrates the willingness to take action and the desire to make a difference in the life of someone else. Our young volunteers are very dedicated and quite passionate in what they do. They are an amazing group of kids! Hunter, one of our volunteers, recently suggested that for his birthday he would like to have friends and family donate something he could bring to the Burrito Boyz. So last Sunday he came bearing gifts – money, personal hygiene products, food, and his birthday story. Thank you, Hunter, for being the amazing person you are! You are truly a kid taking action!!!

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Thanks to Einstein Bagels for their generous donation of bagels each Sunday. Having bagels to distribute every week enhances what we are able to offer to the downtown homeless community. Thanks, Einstein!!!

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Our Kidz Korner continues to be a very popular spot at our first stop downtown. Thanks to our volunteers Terry, McKayla, Aurora, and Shelby who make this a happy place for the children we serve. Thank you to all who have donated games, books, and art supplies to our Kidz Korner. We truly appreciate your generosity and want you to know how much the children enjoy your gifts each Sunday. Thanks to Rosie who sent a batch of cupcakes last weekend!!! Our boxes of children’s books are less full these days and our source of donated books is no more. If you have children’s books you would like to donate, please contact us at michael@burritoboyz.org.

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Rain in San Diego

The first Sunday in March was cold and rainy day in San Diego, and the first rainy day in a long time for the Burrito Boyz. Fortunately the rain did not keep the people away and our volunteers were able to serve the homeless regardless of the weather. In this photo you can see how creative Branson was in trying to keep try.

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Fairy Dogmothers and Nick

Nancy and Rosemary pictured here have been dubbed the fairy dogmothers to the downtown dogs. Did you know that many members of the homeless community have dogs? The dogs provide companionship as well as protection. The Burrito Boyz distribute close to fifty pounds of dog food each Sunday. Nancy and Rosemary have taken on the responsibility of organizing Sunday volunteers in bagging indivual portions of food to be distributed downtown. They are also finding donations of dog treats. Nancy told me last week  she now has her children donating money so she can buy a variety of dog treats. In addition to dog food, we also have cat food on hand, although we see few cats on Sundays. Thank you Nancy and Rosemary!

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Burrito Boyz, Cole and Joe, are joined with Nick and JR, our newest volunteers.

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The Burrito Boyz have had the pleasure of welcoming Nick as a volunteer. Another very inpirational volunteer, Nick  is a former foster youth who is a dedicated young man, working hard to build a future for himself despite the hardships he faced in his childhood, growing up in a series of foster homes.  Nick is currently working at the Boys and Girls club and attending classes at SD City College. Thank you, Nick, for joining us!!!

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JR Helps Out

The Burrito Boyz welcome JR who is seen here with Evan, passing out Burritos. JR has joined us for the last two weeks and has been very inspirational to all the Burrito Boyz volunteers. JR grew up in a military family and lived in 5 different countries during his childhood.  He recently came from New York and is working to rebuild his career in San Diego.  He is attending classes at SD City College and volunteers his time with homeless programs. We are so fortunate he has chosen to work with us. Thanks, JR!

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McKayla and Aurora are wonderful with children. Here they each have someone to read to.

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Week two of Kidz Korner found Terry with attentive listeners to a story. They didn’t get to the end of the book so they are looking forward to continuing the story next week.

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New Kidz Korner Opens

The Kidz Korner is now open at the Burrito Boyz first stop downtown. We have always had juice, snacks, and books for the children we see each Sunday, but we have now set up a comfy place in the parking lot where kids can grab a juice box, a stuffed toy, and sit down to listen to a story.  Terry, who has volunteered for the past two years, and her daughters McKayla and Aurora have taken on this project, doing a wonderful job catering to the needs of the youngest members of the community we serve. It is heartwarming to watch these kids, who are quite content to listen to stories being read to them or happy to read to us. In two weeks the Kidz Korner has become a very popular addition to what we do downtown. Thank you, Terry, McKayla and Aurora!

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Many Thanks to Mike May

Many, many thanks to Mike May, owner of Long Island Mike’s Pizza http://longislandmikespizza.com, who continues to be one of the Burrito Boyz biggest supporters. Every Sunday morning his kitchen is filled with Burrito Boyz volunteers, who scramble eggs and man the pizza ovens. His dining area is turned into an assembly line, where you can find up to twenty-plus volunteers, stuffing and rolling some 600 hundred burritos and bagging fifty pounds of dog food. It is a busy and happening spot early in the morning hours. What the Burrito Boyz accomplish could not be done without Mike’s generous support.

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Mike also hosts the annual volunteer party when his employees help everyone make individual pizzas. Again, Mike opens his kitchen and offers all the ingredients to create over-the-top pizzas. If you are ever in the Tierrasanta area, stop by Long Island Mike’s Pizza, enjoy a slice, and congratulate Mike on being a wonderful humanitarian.

BurritoBoyz Awards for 2013

Congratulations to Linda Brubaker, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Volunteer of the Year award. As we more than doubled the amount of burritos we served in 2013 , we more than quadrupled the amount of Volunteers.  Linda has the unenviable task of organizing all the volunteers, assigning tasks and keeping things moving once we get downtown to serve.  In addition, she takes all our photos, updates our blog and most importantly is our calming and loving influence during the chaos Sunday mornings! Congratulations, Linda, you are the Volunteer of the Year!

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Congratulations to Dan Bromley, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Valuable Volunteer award.  2013 was Dans’ breakout year with the Burrito Boyz.  Not only has he managed the kitchen and gotten all the supplies to exactly where they were needed, he has been a presence downtown that our homeless friends love to see and our volunteers always appreciates.  He keeps our youth safe, makes sure all of our disabled are attended too and usually “finds” that 1 last burrito for a late coming and desperately hungry friend!  Dan is more than a Most Valuable Volunteer, he is a model for all the Burrito Boyz and Babes! Congrats Dan!

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Congratulations to Lisa Bromley, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Inspirational Volunteer award. Lisa quietly shows up every Sunday about 15 minutes before all the volunteers.  This, after a 1 hour and 15 minute drive just to be here!  With her charming smile, her contagious good mood, she settles in to get everything ready for the Boyz and Babes.  During a year when she watched her son Dan get married and suddenyl lost her mother to an accident, Lisa was always ready to help those less fortunate.  Barb, you raised a beautiful daughter and we are all appreciative of this inspirational woman! Congratulations, Lisa!

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Congratulations to Cora McClelland, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Valuable Burrito Babe award. After joining the Burrito Boyz and Burrito Babes as an individual volunteer, Cora quickly became one of us! Her outgoing and loving personality shined her first time downtown and has never let up.  Although only “scheduled” to volunteer once a month, we usually see her at least 3 times as often.  After sharing of her experience working with us, Cora enrolled her mother into supplying the dog and cat food that we bring to our homeless pets every weekend!  Congratulations, Cora!

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Congratulations to Branson Vong, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Valuable Burrito Boy award. As an 11 year old young man, Branson is already a silent leader among all the Boyz.  He is willing to do any task from scrambling eggs, assembling burritos, portioning the dog food to taking out garbage.  He never complains unless he is standing next to me waiting for me to give him more to do.  Our goal with the Burrito Boyz and Babes was to get kids to TAKE ACTION and Branson is one who takes that to heart.  Once downtown with our homeless community, you would think Branson might get lost among all these big bodies, but that is hardly the case, just look for the young kid running to get something for one of our friends, it’s usulally Branson! Congratualtions, Branson!

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Congratulations to Isabelle Del Rios who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Inspirational Burrito Babe award. Although one of our youngest Burrito Babes, Isabelle is caring and loving beyond her years.  Behind the funny and loud “worker” is a big hearted and thoughtful young lady.  Isabelle has taken on getting blankets for our homeless friends as well as gathering socks, but what best exemplifies her heart is that instead of asking for gifts for herself this year for Christmas, she asked for the money to be donated to helping our homeless friends. Congratulations, Isabelle!

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Congratulations to Jacob Sigismonti, who was awarded the 2013 Burrito Boyz Most Inspirational Burrito Boy award. Although Jacob is one of our newer Burrito Boyz from Del Cerro, his attitude from day 1 was admirable. His inspiration comes from the way he is, not necessarily from what he says. Although I can sum up the way he is with something he once said to me..”Mr. J. What else can I do?”  Imagine if every young man and woman asked THAT question!!!!  Congratulations, Jacob!

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Del Cerro Boyz

The Del Cerro Boyz, Austin, Grant, Connor, Miles, Nate, and Jacob are regular volunteers on Sunday morning and have become pros at rolling burritos. Thanks to Nate, for leading the inspirational talk last Sunday and for sharing about someone downtown whom he met while passing out burritos.

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