Maybe you’ve heard of the Burrito Project, maybe not. If information has eluded you until this point about how local groups of action-oriented, grassroots-minded folks get together to hang out building burritos that they then deliver– usually on bikes — to the area’s homeless and hungry, it’s understandable, since the first rule of Burrito Project isn’t that much different than that of Fight Club: don’t talk about it. It’s not as severe as all that, but all independently operating burrito projects everywhere are serious in being non-fame, with non-headquarters, non-leaders and non-faces, which makes it kind of hard to get a hold of them even though they’re all over: Anchorage, Denver, New York City… there’s even a Falafel Project in Damascus, Syria.
I first heard about the Burrito Project more than a year ago via a video of the L.A. chapter posted to YouTube that’s since been removed, probably because it generated so much interest from people — me included — who were inspired to join them. But they didn’t want me. What they wanted instead was for me and anyone else so encouraged to channel that enthusiasm into starting our own projects. I’m ashamed to say I wasn’t enthusiastic enough to build one from scratch so I figured my Burrito Project days were done before they even began. Turns out they’re now just getting started, thanks to a group night bike ride a couple Fridays ago whose first stop was a liquor store on the corner of Vernon and Wall. In the midst of the throng and my first beer of the evening the magic words “burrito project” found my ears and I wasted no time finding who said them and — short of getting on my knees and begging — expressed how much I would like to be an active member of their chapter and voila, I went on my first burrito build/delivery tonight. It was a rewarding experience giving something to people who have nothing and one I plan to do again (small Flickr photoset is here).
If I’ve said too much and violated the honor code of anonymity, oh well. But with all the awesome giving and volunteer opportunities that have been posted here these past 10 days, I had to give a shout out to the Burrito Project. If you’re so motivated maybe you’ll start your own, or perhaps just keep an ear tuned for the magic words the next time you’re out on a group night bike ride.