Author Archives: Jamie's Dad

Jamie’s Joy 2016 Events Recap

Jamie’s Joy 2016 Gala Event

The kids of Urban Street Angels told their stories and it was named Jamie’s Joy Day in the 9th district by Marty Emerald. We also had local SDPD officers come and speak on how homelessness affects us all.    

We so appreciate all the support we receive from the community. With your help, Jamie’s Joy was able to raise over $6000 so far for our local and international kids in 2016. 

Some other highlights from 2016 for Jamie’s Joy

Interfaith Shelter Network- March 2016

Jamie’s Joy had a great time preparing, serving and eating food (x3) w/
the guests of the shelter and although the stage was a little hard it was fun to have a slumber party with the group.  


Jamie’s Joy Volunteer Crew at the Interfaith Shelter


Jamie’s 20th Birthday at Jamie’s Way Cleanup and Butterfly Release- May 2016   


Garden at the Language Academy

This year we were contacted by Julie Hammer who heads up the volunteer group keeping up the garden at the Language Academy where Jamie went to school. We had planted a memorial tree, aCrape Myrtle, back in 2002. The story of the tree kind of got lost over time, but it had been recounted to Julie and she reached out to us. We ended up meeting up with a large group of volunteers on August 13, 2016 to help revitalize the gardens at the school. Mychael was able to do some minor pruning on the Crape Myrtle we planted in Jamie’s honor and we were really happy that it seemed to be thriving! 


The Circle Of Life

The Circle of Life
by Elene Bratton

14 years ago my family had made plans to visit Jamie’s cousin Ari who was about 1 at the time, (now 16) in New York. Jamie was really into the Lion King, which had come out on Broadway and we made plans to see it while in the city. Unfortunately that was not to be, but here 14 years later the play has made it to San Diego. When my friend Ronda asked me if I wanted to go with her, I had to take pause. Was I ready. When I said yes, but only if I could take my grands (grandchildren) , Destiny 4 and Isaiah 6, in this way I felt I could complete this journey with them. Ronda was very generous and courageous, when she listened to my history with this play. Months have passed since we made that plan, but unlike the past, the day did arrive, with not a lot of thought but openness to what it would be. I arrived with all the stress of parking, fighting off throngs of ushers that that want to direct you to your seat and settling in getting the

I was prepared to feel sad about the journey that was thwarted by life all those years ago, but what I didn’t remember was how much the story reflected my journey of love and loss. As the animals presented themselves in the Circle of Life, the tears started to flow as I realized I was fulfilling that circle in my own life through the connection to legacy through the moments I shared with my grands. As I saw Musafa instructing his son on the ways of the world I remember giving Jamie such instruction, it also triggered a memory of Raell (my oldest grand –born 3 weeks after Jamie’s passing- now 14) as a baby, and holding him up in the air to9 survey his kingdom (only the backyard, but it’s what we got).

When Musafa was tragically killed, of course I plunged into my own sense as loss and grief. How sudden you can go from feeling on top of the world, that life just keeps getting better and better, to questioning everything: purpose, meaning faith, even the value of living and how loss lowers your sense of self in an instant.   But that running away simply doesn’t work. Grief will wait in the darkness and find you when you are most vulnerable. Your attempts to run will have to be stronger and stronger until the medicine itself can kill.   What has worked for me is to remember that we Interare, meaning always connected. When Simba asks Rafaki (the sage monkey-narrating the story). Did you know my father? He relies “Correction I know you father”.   This moved me so, causing me to reaffirm that what I know but also need to practice. As much as I know the Spirit of Jamie lives on in me, I also have to practice seeing him , his legacy of Love-Joy-Peace & Connection. That is really how I keep him alive in me. For a long time Simba , couldn’t feel the continuation because he couldn’t let go of his guilt to connect with the presence of his father an how his father was him and he was his father. We remain connected even if our bodies are apart.

Then it was beautiful to see the Lion King story reflected the approach I have taken in channeling my grief, through service. Once he felt that connection, he went back to his community to help. That is what we have done with Jamie’s Joy.   That is what I do each time I open my heart wide open to love again, to spend time with my family, my future, my grands, my community, my life. By continuing to be in the Circle of Life I not only honor the life of my son, but the whole of life.



Distracted Driving News Piece with Jamie’s Mom



Mother Continues to Grieve for Son Killed in Crash Due to Distractive Driving (NBC News San Diego)

Jamie’s Joy Fund Recipients 2013

Each year Jamie’s Joy focuses on one of his enduring qualities and then picks a few out of the many deserving agencies that fit that life affirming criteria of providing Love, Joy, Peace or Connection to our local and national children.

This year the fund is focusing on Jamie’s quality of Connection. We are focused on programs which help San Diego’s at risk teens complete high school despite the odds against them & encourage their continued education into college or trade schools. There are many wonderful programs in our region that focus on that purpose making it difficult to pick just one, so we chose two.

The first of the two is housed in the most unlikely of places, The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. They are host to the Youth Advisory Board. The program, called 4 or 40 is based on the Emmy-winning short film centered on the hard life choices made daily by teens.

The idea of “4 or 40” was conceived by the San Diego District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board, made up of Lincoln High students. The title is based on the concept of choosing wisely during four years of high school or risking 40 years of struggles and hardships. The students crafted the film’s story, helped during film shoots and offered input during every step of the film’s production. The film was written, videotaped and edited by a local film production company while graphic designers contributed to its branding. The Youth Advisory Board will be visiting classrooms and organizations throughout San Diego County to screen the film, talk about its production and speak on its positive message. The film has been honored with a 2010 National Association of Counties Achievement Award and National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award. For info see the enclosed info sheet or visit their website 

The second Jamie’s Joy recipient targets the refugee community of the Somali-Bantu, a minority culture within the Somalian community in San Diego. They have both a mentoring program to help our children break the cycle of poverty through education as well as a soccer team allowing the youth to acculturate into the boarder community through team sports. For more information on the services offered by this grass roots organization see the enclosed info sheet or visit them at their website