Bikes and Burritos

[caps]I[/caps]t’s 5:30 pm in Eugene, Oregon, and the sounds of pop music and the smell of Mexican cuisine drift out of the open windows of the Alpha Omega fraternity house on the corner of 13th Avenue and Kincaid Street. It could easily be mistaken for a typical university dinnertime scene, save for one thing: tonight’s meal isn’t for hungry students.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, students gather at the Alpha Omega house to partake in “Bikes and Burritos,” a ministry outreach that began at the house three years ago. “Bikes and Burritos is sort of like a homeless ministry,” explains resident Logan Rau. “We just make like thirty, forty, fifty burritos and go out and hand them out to the homeless people to show them that they are loved and tell them a little bit about Jesus.”

The Alpha Omega house is owned by the First Baptist Church of Eugene, housing twenty-eight Christian men in their twenties, most of whom are University of Oregon students. Freshman Caleb O’Halloran moved into the house at the beginning of the school year. “It’s been great for me as a freshman to get plugged into a Christian community,” he says. “It’s easy to fall into partying and stuff.”

Foil. Beans. Rice. Roll. Foil. Beans. Rice. Roll. With production-line speed, thirty-five burritos are assembled and neatly stacked in a long row that slithers its way across the countertop like a silver snake. After exhausting their supplies, the burrito crew carefully packs the foil-wrapped burritos into backpacks and puts on their helmets.

On any given day, between two and ten men ride around Eugene in the dark winter in search of the needy. Their first stop is under the Washington Jefferson Bridge, a popular place for homeless people. There is always someone who needs dinner under the bridge. They know several of the Alpha Omegas by name and call the burrito team “The Flying Burrito Boys.” “It’s really cool, because we build relationships with them and they really appreciate not only the food but mostly just like telling stories and hanging out,” says Rau.

Next stop is Eugene Station, the downtown bus transit center and another area heavily populated by Eugene’s homeless community. Here, burritos are offered to anyone and everyone, needy or not. Some people are hesitant, while others eagerly accept a warm dinner. With deflated backpacks, the burrito team heads back to the Alpha Omega house where, as Ryan Dangaran puts it, “we are all sweaty and smell like beans.”

“Bikes and Burritos” has recently grown in popularity, moving up from once a week to twice a week. The team is always eager for more volunteers and welcomes all participants.

“It’s definitely integral to the Christian faith, but it’s so much more than that,” says Dangaran. “Anyone in the community that has a heart for people and values people can come. It’s a cool opportunity to bless people who are in hard circumstances… and [we] do the best we can to love them as people.”

4 thoughts on “Bikes and Burritos

  1. Linda Schwerzler

    You guys are so awesome and doing just what God’s plan is for you! I send your message to others every day to just spread God’s word of just helping others every day, in every way. I also try to do this every day; as Christians, this is our message. Keep up the good work and let me know if I can help you in any way.

    Linda

  2. Logan Rau

    Thanks Rachelle for putting in the hard work and doing such a good job of presenting what we are about in the article. If anyone wants to get involved they should look us up on facebook (search bikes and burritos). Thanks again

  3. Taylor Hacmac

    For anyone who reads this and wants to help, there are donation bins outside starbucks on 13th and Alder and a couple more throughout campus. Anybody could donate beans, rice, clothes, gloves, blankets, water, and anything else that might help our homeless community.

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