December will always be one of my favorite months of the year because it is the time when I get to reflect upon, ponder over and appreciate the beauty of my life. During this season, I like to stop and truly count my blessings; to appreciate the small things in life that I so easily take for granted sometimes.

Early last week, I received an email from my COO, Jonathan Kim, providing an update about a team member, Francisco Garza, and his wife’s declining health. Francisco is one of our best prep cooks, and currently working at our newest Gringo’s in New Caney. He’s been with our company for 8 years and instrumental in opening all four Jimmy Changas locations. Francisco is a quiet & humble individual, has never missed a day of work, nor been late for a shift — the ideal team member! Through ongoing communication, I learned his wife, San Juana, had been ill for several weeks and, sadly, passed on November 28th. Francisco is facing this holiday season grieving his beloved spouse, and, to further the heartbreak, he tragically lost his teenage son, Francisco Jr., two years ago in a car accident. Please say a prayer for Fransisco. I know he will appreciate it, as I can’t imagine what he will be going through as we celebrate a time meant for peace & happiness. Which brings me back to one of  the many things I’m so grateful for — you. Through your continued support as a patron of Gringo’s and Jimmy Changas, our company is able to help our community, as well as assist our team members in their time of need. Thanks to you and other loyal guests, we are removing one weight Francisco has to bear this season. We are covering all funeral costs.

Where a person spends their dining out dollars really does matter. I’ve always wanted Gringo’s & Jimmy Changas to be more than just a place where someone eats Mexican food. I want it to be a place where every person who works there counts. I want it to be a place where the community that supports it, gets supported. I want it to be a place where we, all of us, are changing our world one taco at a time.

Merry Christmas and Hello to 2019.