Volunteer stresses breakfast is most important meal

22 years of serving breakfast to those in need

DENVER - It is said breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 7Everyday Hero Emma Barrientos is a believer. She volunteers at the downtown Denver Volunteers of America mission.

"I serve breakfast to the guys who come in every morning," said Barrientos.

It is no small task. The mission is seeing a 40 percent increase in need over last year. In August alone it served 7,600 meals. The only constant, it seems, is Emma.

"I have been doing this for almost 22 years," said Barrientos.

Emma gives her time at several non-profits. She volunteers at the mission at 5:30 in the morning every Monday through Thursday.

"She opens the doors to our clients who are mostly homeless.  They are coming in off the streets after spending the night out there," said Erika Tamela, Volunteers of America.

"Well, to me there are a lot of people who need help and if I can help in any way I come and do it," said Barrientos.

"She is amazing.  Rain or shine she is here every morning," said Tamela.

"I had knee surgery last year in June and that's the only time I took off," said Barrientos.

Not even surgery seems to slow Emma from putting others first. It is an example that has convinced many a client to volunteer here.

"She is here every Monday through Thursday. She's helped me a lot.  I love her to death," said client and volunteer, Wes.

To learn more about Volunteers of America go to www.voa.org.

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