Friday, April 10, 2009

Soup, Bread & More~ San Diego to Burma

Last week I wrote about how it felt odd to be going to a nice restaurant in San Diego with so many homeless folks on the streets. I was a little slow in following up on my intentions to find a San Diego Soup Kitchen to give to, but decided it was a good project for Good Friday.

Internet research being such a breeze, I read about several groups intent on helping others.
I was very impressed with the services of a group called TACO,
Third Avenue Charitable Organization. They go far beyond soup and bread. In the 1970's a group of church members began serving bread every Friday to the homeless and urban poor but today they provide much more than meals. Since 1997, the program has expanded to include free medical, dental and acupuncture clinics at the church building, as well as free mental health counseling services and a community law project.
TACO's partners include the University of California, San Diego pre-dental program and School of Medicine, the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and California Western School of Law."

The way I navigated, thank you Google, to TACO was through the UCSD Graduate Christian Fellowship because the Fellowship came right up in the search result when I typed in "San Diego Soup Kitchens." That's because they are big on getting out in the community and helping.
In addition to serving at local soup kitchens, the Graduate Fellowship started something they call "Karen Connect San Diego."
Because our family has friendship connections to the Karen people of Burma, I knew right away it wasn't about a woman named Karen. "Karen Connect " is a few friends who teach English to a group of Karen immigrants. The Karen people, pronounced (Ka-ran), are an indigenous people to the southeast Asian countries of Thailand and Burma. Some Karen immigrants have sought a new home in the US under political asylum protection. Language tutoring and friendship must be a huge help to them. "Karen Connect" says they need help in this can read about it at

Our new San Diegoan ( is that what they call themselves down there?) is grateful that she already has a job. We are grateful too.
And I am grateful, having seen just a few of those who need help in that city, for all those doing the hands-on help. If you have some connection to San Diego and would like to help... you can make an on-line contribution through TACO or mail them a check. It's a priviledge to remember others...who are the jobless, the homeless, those without table to take a meal....I am reminded of the old 1960's ballad by Phil Ochs: "....there but for fortune go you and I, you and I. "

1 comment:

Sarah Beth said...

That is awesome Mom! I will have to read more about TACO, that sounds really cool.
-Your San Diegan