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El Burrito holds Christmas Extravaganza

January 4, 2019

When Wendy and Joseph Medina took over as general managers of El Burrito two years ago they had a vision.

The Medina’s wanted to serve quality food, but also give back to the Cleveland community.

So, El Burrito held its first annual Christmas Extravaganza on Christmas day.

The Christmas Extravaganza included a hot meal and toys for kids at the restaurant.

“I just thought if we can make one kids smile, who maybe wasn’t going to have a Christmas then we did our job,” Wendy Medina said. “Some people aren’t fortunate like others and we always said that we just didn’t want this to be a regular restaurant. We always wanted to help people out with whatever they needed.”

On Nov. 30th the Medinas reached out to several people for donations and the community responded. Several Cleveland businesses and churches got involved and made donations and there were even raffle gift baskets. El Burrito also donated more toys as well.

There were over 1,500 presents to give out and 75 people showed up on Christmas day. Homeless people were served food and also left with to-go plates.

Santa Claus stopped by too after delivering all the Christmas presents to the children all over the world on Christmas Eve.

Even commuters stopped at El Burrito because the light was on.

“We had people come into the restaurant who were just passing through town,” Medina said. “We were the only place open in town I think. We welcomed them inside and served them some food.

Watching kids receive presents was an emotional time for Medina.

“When I watched my kids see other kids getting presents it was hard not to cry,” Medina said. “Just to see them and watch them interact with other kids was great. Times like today you don’t see that as much and it was great to see.”

Dinner was served at 5 p.m until 9 p.m. but Medina didn’t stop spreading the holiday cheer.

She and her staff also made some home deliveries to people who couldn’t make it to the restaurant.

“Some people couldn’t make it here because they didn’t have a ride,” Medina said. “So we took some plates and presents for the kids. We still had people come by the day after Christmas to pick up gifts.”

The leftover toys will be donated to the Montgomery County Women’s shelter.

This will not be the last Christmas Extravaganza for El Burrito.

This will become a new tradition in Cleveland.

“We’re hoping to do this for many years in the future,” Medina said. “We kind of got a late start starting on Nov. 30th, but we can start earlier and get more people involved. I think it was really successful and we’re excited to do it again next year. The more people that we can help the better.”

marcus.gutierrez@chron.com

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