For the last few years, actor Danny Trejo and the global nonprofit The Everest Foundation have teamed up to spread smiles and feed homeless veterans through their 'Bibles and Tacos' event.
The event's latest edition took place in association with Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission at the Van Nuys Bridge Home Shelter (run by the Mission) on December 8, 2022.
During the event, the famous tacos and beverages from the actor-turned-restaurateur's Trejos Tacos restaurants were distributed to 150 homeless veterans living at the Mission's Van Nuys Shelter.
Many living at the shelter praised the efforts by Trejo and The Everest Foundation. Among them was Kiki Kinnaman. Speaking to the press, Kinnaman, who has been without a home for three years and has been living at Van Nuys for the last six months, remarked that she thought what Trejo and The Everest Foundation are doing is something special.
She hoped more would come forward with similar initiatives to help, give hope, and spread the words of God the Almighty among those in need.
Trejo, on his part, was as humble as ever when asked what inspired him to start this initiative. He referred to his troubled youth and his experiences of doing time in prison. The actor remarked that these problematic experiences made him the person he is today.
For those who do not know, Trejo grew up in the streets of Pacoima and was involved in several petty crimes during his teen years and early youth.
However, after serving time in prison, he vowed to change his ways and has since stayed clear of the path of delinquency.
Most recognizable for his tough-guy roles in Hollywood, Trejo has been involved in many charitable works and initiatives for years.
Sounding a little emotional, the actor said he had hurt many people through his actions during his delinquent days. So, once he was freed from prison, he vowed to make amends for his actions.
"But a lot of people I had hurt are already gone, so I can't make amends to them however much I wanted to," the actor said. "So, the next best thing I could do was to give back to the people and the community, which is what I'm trying to do through this sort of initiative."
Dr. Michael Everest, chairman of The Everest Foundation, commented that he was moved to do his bit for the homeless veterans living in the city after having seen homeless veterans’ encampments through the windows of his West L.A. office.
"It was at this point that I thought something must be done about it, and so when Mr. Trejo contacted us, we were more than happy to collaborate," Dr. Everest said.
The Everest Foundation, headed by Dr. Michael Everest and his wife, Agata Everest, has contributed immensely towards improving the state of Graduate Medical Education across the country.
It is commendable that they are also getting involved in charity initiatives like these in their own backyard.
Laurie Craft, Chief Programs Officer for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission, also lauded the efforts of Mr. Trejo and The Everest Foundation.
Ms. Craft revealed that at Van Nuys, as well as at the other home villages, shelters, and bridge home facilities that the Mission manages for homeless veterans in L.A., they are receiving a lot of support services and that this is a most encouraging sign for people working for and with homeless veterans.