The Burrito Project

Posted on February 1, 2010

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This past weekend, I had the privilege to go out with a local relief initiative of Newsong Church called The Burrito Project. The purpose of this ministry is simple; make burritos and deliver them by bike to the homeless of Orange County. Earlier in the afternoon, volunteers assembled sack lunches composed of rice/bean burritos, chips, granola bar, napkins, and bottle water. The team then gathered for a word or encouragement, simple instructions, and a brief prayer. The team of riders varied from bicyclist enthusiast to leisure rider, but all had compassionate hearts to serve the disenfranchised of our community. Armed with nothing but backpacks of burritos, the convoy set out for local parks populated by the hungry. Some of the bikes were retro-fitted as ‘burrito bikes’ as seen below:

 

The burrito team has been faithfully hitting the same parks for over a year, evident by the masses gathered upon our arrival. As I helped hand out these meals, I was humbled by the plight of our fellow brothers and sisters within our own backyard. It was amazing how a meal that was just pennies to make was so valuable to those in search of sustenance. 100 dinners went out in mere moments. We were also able to distribute hats, medicine, and other supplies. I was touched by a conversation with an older, african american woman named Janice. She shared how she has saved money all year (about $1000) to get herself into an apartment. After a string of abusive men, she was determined not to spend her money on drugs and to get herself off the streets. Despite her circumstance, she was strong, determined, and focused. She also shared how the recent rainstorms had ruined her possessions and she had to throw much of it away. With a smile, she was pressing forward to improve her future.

I was reminded how the easily ignored part of our society have a name and story- more importantly, they have a future. The homeless need justice not our judgment. They need relationships not criticism. The problem of homelessness will not go away anytime soon, however our attitudes towards this special needs group can. We are all a part of the same community and need each other to succeed. I was inspired by the volunteers of Burrito Project. They loved unconditionally and gave with all of their heart. I am grateful to know people like them.

I am privileged to witness many miraculous and inspirational moments in a given week. However, seeing the power of an ordinary person, packed with burritos, with a bike, has to top it all.

To learn more about Burrito Project and how to donate to the cause, check the Unleashing Beauty website.

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