Gonzalez travels to Tijuana, delivers food packages to homeless locals homeless in Mexico

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On Saturdays, Monet Gonzalez (12) wakes up at 8 a.m. every morning to go buy ingredients for her 120 sandwiches she will deliver the next day.

After they come back from grocery shopping, they start to make tortas at about 9 a.m. with Gonzalez’s dad doing the eggs, Gonzalez’s mom making the bean paste, and Gonzalez packaging all the tortas and placing them in boxes for Mexico.

For six months, Gonzalez has been going to Tijuana with her parents every other weekend to deliver food for the homeless.

This small outreach organization created by her parents was inspired by the gratitude a stranger offered Gonzalez’s mother and father when they were living on the streets and struggling to take care of themselves.

“There was this one person that was very kind and offered them a room to stay and take care of themselves,” Gonzalez said. “For that one person to be so kind to give them something to eat and sleep has just affected all of us because without his help, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Gonzalez’s family was able to reach out to the homeless with the help of her mother’s friend who was already giving out food to the homeless in Mexico and their passion for volunteering and helping out others.

“I really like to do outreach stuff like this and feed the homeless and for my mom to take action with me, it was great,” Gonzalez said.

Every other week, she makes 120 sandwiches called “tortas” with her parents and crosses the border to the bus station in Tijuana where they feed the homeless.

“For them to have a sandwich is a blessing even though it’s something small,” Gonzalez said.

Every Sunday, Gonzalez arrives to people in the bus station, standing up when they recognize her white Toyota Prius. People start to form a line and she unloads the box filled with tortas.

According to Gonzalez, several people have come up to her and her family and said “God Bless You.” When hearing this, Monet feels as if she is doing something with her efforts.

“The one thing I like to do is to help others as much as I can,” Gonzalez said. “It doesn’t really matter for me if they show appreciation or not.”

After several weeks, Gonzalez has met a variety of homeless people who began to help during these volunteering activities.

“There’s this one person who always helps us out by telling the people to get in line, wait in turn, and passes out water bottles to help us out,” Gonzalez said. “There’s also another person that’s very kind to all of us and always says thank you to all of us.”

According to Gonzalez, the homeless people are very thankful of the food and other gifts that are bestowed upon them.

“Before we get out, they’re all waiting in line to get their food and they’re very grateful about us coming,” Gonzalez said.

After volunteering, Gonzalez feels more grateful for what she has been given from her parents and the life she is living currently.

Because of the memory of kindness her parents received from a stranger, Gonzalez’s passion of volunteering and helping others has developed even more. Although she is a senior and will be leaving for college, she plans to continue this outreach with her parents and hopes to live nearby.

“I won’t stop,” Gonzalez said. “I’m determined to hopefully get more volunteers to help me so that we can go [to Mexico] and find more places.”