The Crosby Clinic and over 50 volunteers, prepped lunch bags with turkey sandwiches, fruit, water bottles, and a positive message as a part of #HashtagLunchbag. The event takes place the last Saturday of every month. The Crosby Clinic, often including retired NFL players from the Crosby Clinic, and others gather at 11 a.m. at the Hard Rock Hotel. Working together, they hit the streets and hand out lunches to the hungry homeless in downtown San Diego.

The Crosby Clinic has volunteered with #HashtagLunchbag San Diego for two years. Larry Burns, a director at the Crosby Clinic, and the group of volunteers hand out lunch bags to the ever grateful homeless.

San Diego Community Service Crosby Clinic“We do a lot of this volunteer work,” said Larry Burns, who has volunteered consistently over the two years. “It’s a way to get patients involved in helping others, and that’s really the key. And this is a way to break them out of their shells and get them out to see that there are people who need help, and they can help someone who is worse off which helps themselves. It gives them a good feeling.”

“Been there before brother, keep your chin up,” said one of the patient/volunteers as he handed out a bag. “Don’t lose hope, you’ll get out of this.” Volunteers are aware that they are doing more than just giving out a meal; it’s about spreading a message of love and hope.

“The biggest thing is the gift of helping someone who can’t do anything for you,” said Rollie Durruthy, one of the organizers of the event in San Diego. “The bags are like a vessel. We give them the bag. It doesn’t do much; it might feed them that one time. But just putting the goodness out there in the universe, it always comes back around. We made over 300 lunches in under thirty minutes. The more people we have, the more lunches we make. The more donations we give, the bigger our next month is.”
Crosby Clinic helps San Diego homeless
“Volunteer programs help addicts by improving their self-esteem,” continued Larry Burns. “It opens them up to the idea of being helped by someone instead of being defensive about their mental disorder or self-medicating addiction. And we are here to help people feel good about themselves and often break their addiction. Helping others is one psychological way to help stimulate ambition for change and end a drug addiction.”

Larry Burns not only handed out lunch bags but he talked to several homeless and asked what occurred in their life that they are now living in the street. Many seemed to suffer with mental health disorders, PTSD of sorts, and were abandoned by their families because of their alcohol dependency or struggle with drug addiction. Larry Burns took special interest when they talked about their mental health, put his arm around them and told them not to give up.

The Crosby Clinic Helps the Homeless in San Diego

While heading back to the hotel after the group ran out of sandwiches, Larry Burns saw a war veteran suffering with PTSD and handed him the last bag. He talked to him for a while and then handed him some money.

“Man! They have it rough,” he exclaimed. “What more can we do to aid the helpless homeless? At Crosby, we help people reclaim their lives with psychological treatment, life planning and support in many different ways. That’s what we do!”

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