The Burton Sandwich Shoppe returned for 2020 and while new processes and protocols were navigated and implemented, it was the generous spirit of the Burton team that truly shined! We had a reduced roster this year, but a few contributing family members came off the bench to help us, while we produced 3,000 sandwiches and packed lunches to feed Atlanta’s homeless! It was truly a family effort, as sons, daughters, spouses and girlfriends lent us their helping hands. Fortunately, we were able to use the Parish Hall at Holy Cross Catholic Church again, which allowed us to safely distance, while we donned our masks and gloves to prepare ham and cheese and turkey and cheese sandwiches. Each lunch included a sandwich, bag of chips, and condiments, and then we packed a Sprinter van, full to the brim, for delivery.
This year, all 3,000 lunches were delivered to The Catholic Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. In addition, about 25 hand crocheted scarves were donated, by a member of the Parish. The Shrine of the Immaculate Conception has a long history in Atlanta, as it was Atlanta’s first Catholic Church and is the second oldest structure in downtown Atlanta. Their outreach to the community includes various ministries, with many focused on helping the 14,000 homeless in Atlanta. They have a Morning Sandwich Ministry that offers a sandwich and coffee each weekday morning for those in need. The Shrine also hosts the homeless from November 1st – March 31st, along with other numerous organizations and churches, that provide overnight assistance, a sack lunch and dinner for the homeless.
In light of this pandemic, we were uncertain that our sandwich-making tradition could continue in 2020. The need and desire to serve those in our community; however, was even greater this year. Making 3,000 sandwiches this year with only 17 people was an incredible feat and something we could not have accomplished without the extra help we received from the extended Burton family. As we unloaded the sack lunches and the people in need began gathering at the steps, it gave me a chance to reflect at how blessed I am to work with people that can put the needs of others ahead of their own and to have generous Managing Partners that want to give back to our community. We are thankful to Holy Cross and look forward to continuing our support to various organizations in 2021 that continue to provide food, shelter and support to those in need, no matter the circumstance.