I think that one of the things that makes it so challenging for me to get timely updates on this site is… My desire to make it very nice looking. Finding pictures to use, laying everything out (when this editing interface is clumsy), it’s all just too much sometimes! 😉
That said, I’m not even sure that I can recall all of the wonderful things that I want to share about what the Burrito Riders of Lou have been up to (and what the Burrito Riders of Htgn have to look forward too!).
It’s kind of a lot of information, grab yourself a cup of tea maybe…
In the past week or 2 weeks we have:
– Struck up a relationship with the folks down at the Campbell St. camp! We’ve met and started to spend some time with Ray (the mayor, if you will), Mary (designated Ray’s title), and others and we’ve been so amazed by their care and generosity. These folks take care of each other, share what they have to share, protect each other, and just generally seem for all appearances like a family. In the past couple of weeks we’ve been down there with some food and some supplies, and we’re going to stay plugged in to that community as time goes on. A note about these folks: Ray called me yesterday to tell me that someone recently came through their camp and stole their food stores of canned goods. If you would like to help them replenish their food supply, please email us, and I’ll put you in touch with a contact in Louisville who will coordinate your donation!
– Received an amazing gift! We have recently been blessed with a very generous gift, earmarked specifically for helping us “get legit.” One of our supporters has put so much into our ministry by providing material goods for the community and, most recently, a gift of $1000 to be spent on seeking LLC, and then 501(c)(3), status. This has been something we have wanted to do for sometime and haven’t had the financial means to accomplish, being a small (but growing!) group of volunteers. At a time when we felt a real urgency to legally protect our organization and to better serve the people whom we love to serve, without any idea how we were going to make it happen, this gift showed up and we experienced some of God’s grace.
– Begun to see this thing BLOW UP! Did you know that two rides back we generated over 350 burritos? We handed out around 240 and put the rest in the freezer for a rainy day. This past week, we got even more burritos to hand out (over 250!) and still had another 80 or so in the deep freeze. We’re getting new riders showing interest and new groups and individuals who want to cook for us. We have just been surrounded by love and support and, my goodness, it feels good to be able to roll out to meet these folks on cold mornings knowing that we have such a growing base of support making it all possible. UPDATE: So excited to announce that the BRL will be joined by the High School Youth of St. Mary’s Navilleton. Rock on, I can’t wait to hear how their ride goes!
– Gotten into the headlines! I was contacted last week by a reporter for the Marshall University newspaper, The Parthenon, to do a story on the coming of the Burrito Riders of Huntington. I had a great time talking with her and am pretty stoked about the story she wrote about us! I don’t even mind my one or two bone-headed quotes because, taken out of context, “There’s nothing legit about us to this point,” is pretty funny… SMH Read it for yourself! (We’ve also been approached by a second Htgn news outlet, so stay tuned…)
– Had our first, sorta/kinda board meeting! Well, okay, it was 4 out of 5 of us and it was highly social, but we got some stuff done too! And we have had a chance to discuss the change-over logistics of my moving to WV and keeping things here oiled and rolling smoothly. We couldn’t have kicked it off in a better way. We all met up and our first order of business was to head over to the camp and provide them with some items that we’d collected for them. It was a cold night and we rolled in there with some extra blankets, pillows, and other necessities. Mary and Ray took us for a night-time walk through the camp, and we thoroughly enjoyed their warmth and welcome. And Mary is hilarious, so that was fun too.
– WE’VE GONE ALL LEGIT! We’re now officially (The) Burrito Riders, LLC. Our next stop on the legally recognized circuit is to learn more about becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit org. On that note, anyone who has any experience with 501s who hand out food, we’d like to talk with you!
Also, in the past week or 10 days I have had the opportunity to reflect on how much I love and appreciate the folks who make this all happen with me, and, in a very real sense, for me. It’s their encouragement and embrace that keeps us moving forward. I can’t possibly thank everyone who has made us what we are, for the folks we serve, but I can begin to recognize some folks who I am better for serving with.
My wife, Amanda, the one who originally inspired me with this idea, and the one who, week after week, not only puts up with me, but encourages me. It’s because of she and Brennan and Keir that the Burrito Riders began with the hope of making something just a little bit better.
Ryan, Curt, and John, three guys who are my counsel and my captains. I recall becoming acquainted with each of these folks, in the same community but under disparate circumstances, and I never could have guessed that I would come to rely on them so much as co-conspirators and friends.
Stephanie, who has embraced the philosophy of “doing for one what you wish you could do for all,” a concept introduced to me by Ryan (see?!). Stephanie was one of the first women riders to join the BR. From the first day she made it her mission to connect with the women in the community who might not relate to us guys as well. She’s developed a relationship that seems to be growing into a friendship with one such member and has provided a great deal of love and emotional support for her through some tough times.
Sam and Kim, because Sam has been such a joy to ride with and get to know, but also because when he is able to join us for a ride, he’s usually packing some burritos that Kim and the family have made for our folks.