INTERVIEW: Fast food chain in Yuma donates to shelter where manager once lived


YUMA — Chick-fil-A in Yuma has held a Brownies for Benefit fundraiser to support the growing issue of homelessness across the state. Proceeds from the weeklong campaign were donated to various nonprofits – with $1,355 donated locally to Crossroads Mission in Yuma.
Myra Garlit, CEO, of Crossroads Mission says how grateful they were that Chick-fil-A chose to support Crossroads Mission with their fundraiser. “Their donation will be very helpful as we prepare for the summer when the number of donations typically decreases,” says Garlit.
The fundraiser hit closer to home this time. Christian Bastida is a manager at Chick-fil-A Yuma, but years ago he was living at the same shelter the proceeds were donated to. Christian told YumaDailyNews that a few years ago, he began to struggle with addiction and made some pretty bad choices.
“I burned a lot of bridges and ultimately lost everything. I didn’t have anyone to turn to and I eventually became homeless. I knew that I needed to get better and make some life changes. After a few years of struggling, I found myself at Crossroads Mission,” shared Christian. He explained how Crossroads taught him how to love himself again while providing much-needed resources and shelter.
Christian lived at Crossroads for five months and during my time there he learned so much. “I completed its drug rehabilitation program. I started to regain confidence and self-esteem, which was important because when you get to the place I was in, it’s easy to think you’re not worthy of love and it’s also really hard to forgive yourself,” says Christian.
He shared how being at Crossroads helped him heal, surrender and change for the better. “They also taught me to always think about how I can be of service,” said Christian. He would work in the kitchen at the shelter, helping to prepare and serve meals to others. Christian loved having a routine and working hard to help rediscover who he was and who he wanted to be.
Christian actually worked at Chick-fil-A Yuma years ago, before he hit a rough patch in life. “When I left Crossroads Mission, I got a new job, and a new home, and reconnected with my family. Things were great, but I wanted to reconnect with the team at Chick-fil-A Yuma,” says Christian.
Christian shared how his old manager, Mike Misenhimer, was a kind and admirable man. When a new manager came to the team, Mike spoke highly about Christian, “he knew my background and trusted me to keep on the right track. I worked hard and continued to be promoted. I’m now the Back of House Manager overseeing our kitchen.”
When you gave Crossroads the check, how did that feel?
“It was an amazing feeling. I can’t repay them for how they helped me, so being able to give back to them was very special to me. I’m very grateful to have been a part of that,” says Christian.
Christian shares how if he could go back to tell his younger self any advice he would tell him, It gets better. “We do recover. I would tell myself that you’re worthy of love, health, and happiness. When you’re going through tough times, you think you’ll never be good enough, but it can change for the better if you do the work,” says Christian.