Author Archives: Jamie's Dad

2018 Season of Giving

Jamie’s Joy Presents- 2018 Season of Giving

Jamie’s Joy is teaming up with Build A Miracle to make a new house into a home by providing all the interior furnishings and surprising the family with this gift.
There are two dates and many ways to help the Bortelli family (see photos and moving letter below). You can venture into Tijuana with Jamie’s Joy on either or both Feb 17 2018 (to work with the group and get to know the family.  We will be mixing the concrete for the floor and hammering nails on those days) and April 14 2018 for painting and the furniture
Passports are not necessary- a birth certificate and ID is good enough so, NO excuses.

The Bortelli Family

The Bortelli’s Current Home





All transport (from San Ysidro), supplies to work and lunch are included for $25 per adult (to help defray the costs).

If you would rather or also give some dinero to help pay for the furniture Jamie’s Joy will be providing for the family that is indeed welcomed. Our goal is to raise $3000. for all the home furnishings and nice touches to turn their newly built house into a home. (see their current home below and go to Build A Miracle website for before and after photos).

To send your tax-deductible donation made payable to Jamie’s Joy/SDF address to:
San Diego Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Road#200, San Diego, California 92106

To Donate By Credit Card

Call 619-235-2300 and they can take the donation by phone. Make sure to tell them it is for Jamie’s Joy.
If you need more information or already know you need to join us…. Call (619) 282-2553 and we will get back to you to answer all your questions.   And thanks, you for your support.

More about the family

Guadalupe (31) and is deaf and mute. She is also very hard working. Sergio (35) sells ice cream and earns about $60 US/week. They have lived in TJ for 35 years. They have 2 kids. The kids are Josefina (7) and Blanca (5).

They have been participating in our program (through Build a Miracle) for a while.  They are working to build a retaining wall on their property before we build them a home.  We are giving them the materials because they would not be able to afford to buy them.






Jamie’s Joy Article from The San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation recently wrote up this wonderful piece about Jamie’s Joy’s Co-founder Elene Bratton:


“As his mother Elene described, ‘We wanted to build a legacy around who Jamie was because it was really important to us that his spirit and legacy live on. Through the Jamie’s Joy Memorial Fund at The San Diego Foundation, we were able to honor the life of Jamie by enriching the lives of all living beings through supporting activities and organizations that promote joy, love, connection and peace.'”

~A Toast To 21~ Jamie’s Joy 2017 Family Fun & Fundraising Event

beautifulboyWe hope you’ll be able to attend this year’s Jamie’s Joy Fundraiser: A Toast to 21! This blog post contains all the info you will need to do that or to support Jamie’s Joy even if you can’t attend.

For 2017, we are focused on programs which help San Diego’s homeless teens get off the streets. We found a great program with Urban Street Angels (USA), which began with feeding youth who were on the streets and evolved into now providing an overnight shelter, transitional shelter, and employment training. Through their own business, 8West hopes to open year round permanent shelter for these most vulnerable youth.

Are you aware that 3,000 youth sleep on our streets on any given night here in San Diego? Many of them left to escape abusive homes only to find themselves in more peril. Let’s help support efforts to get these youth the chance to lead productive lives.

Family Fun and Fund Raising Event (for kids of all ages)

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 6 PM at The Irenic in North Park, San Diego


Purchase your tickets directly through   
OR  by mailing a check or money order made payable to:
Jamie’s Joy Fund, c/o Elene Bratton, 4324 Manzanita Dr, San Diego, CA 92105

Tickets will be available for pick up at will call. They will not be mailed. Pick them up at the event under the name on credit card used.

If you have questions, please contact Elene Bratton at 619-282-2553.


The Irenic — 3090 Polk Ave, San Diego, CA 92104
The Irenic is a very cool, historic indoor and outdoor venue where there is plenty of room for those who want to listen to music and for those who want to eat, chat, play and of course bid on our awesome silent auction.

PARKING is free in lot a few blocks away from the event or on street. You might have to walk a short distance but there are plenty of spaces to park. You may drop off passengers at the venue lot before you park. Volunteers will be there to guide you. Thank you for honoring this request.


We are honored to have several dignitaries present and addressing the gathering including The voices of the teens of Urban Street Angels telling their stories of tragedy to get to triumph. Be Uplifted. Be Inspired. Check out Urban Street Angels website and Urban Street Angels on Facebook.

  • Jamie’s Joy Power Point
    Highlighting what we’ve done over our 15 years as an organization and what our future holds.
  • Music
    “Hop Folk” style music with Shea Freedom – find him on Facebook and 
  • Food, Drinks, Fun Sweets and Treats
    We will be serving fun foods catered by The Irenic as well as food from some locals such as Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Native Foods Cafe, “EAT-LIVE-BE HAPPY, with a fresh and organic mix of salads, sandwiches, fruit trays, cheeses, hors d’oeuvres and much more. We’ll have plenty of tempting sweet treats for our taste buds and Starbucks will give us quality coffee (hot or iced) to wash it all down. Plus an assortment of other drinks. Very YUMMY!!!
  • The Silent Auction
    Besides celebrating Jamie and the good cause, we will have the very popular annual Silent Auction!!!!!!!!! With loads of restaurants, shops, goods and services, theme park adventures and more to bid on you will get a great deal on all your favorite stuff.
  • Arts and crafts (for all ages)
    Face painting, button making, photos, make your own souvenir cup with photo and other forms of arts and crafts and self-expression.
  • Raffle prizes
  • 50/50 Opportunity Drawing 
    You keep half, we keep half of whatever is collected on the $1 ticket during the event (only).
    PRICING: *suggested donation
  • Chair massage, psychic readings, educational booth and much, much, more to give you an evening of great fun for all. 


This year’s Silent Auction promises to have even more great deals than last year. Donations for the silent auction are coming in daily and already include:

  • Disneyland, Knotts, Seaworld, Zoo, Wild Animal Park , theater & Movies
  • Massage, Acupuncture, & Chiropractic care
  • Tax prep, computer repair, hair coiffure, nail salon, cooking lessons, art
  • Restaurant, department store & grocery store gift certificates
  • Yard work, auto services, handyman, personal trainer
  • Gift baskets of all kinds
    *Items based on requests subject to change 

Ticket Pricing- Suggested Donation

All Inclusive *enJOY-able packet

Music, Dancing, and other entertainment,
• Meal w/drink, dessert & coffee
• Art and other activities for kids (of all ages)
• 1 chance drawing ticket (not raffle ticket below) & Silent auction bid #
• 1 FUN ticket for each activity &other stuff offered
(face painting, button, balloons, massage chair, slushy and more)
You can buy extra meals, drinks, desserts, activities etc. if one of each is not enough
$ 35 suggested donation

For the Love of Jamie’s Joy, for those who want to support the cause but can’t attend.

Prize Drawing Only 1 ticket for $10 or 3 for $25
(multiple prizes- and you do not have to be present to win)
Day of event: $45./per person suggested donation

Family and Group Pricing Available as follows:

  • Buy 5 tickets get the 6th one free
  • KIDS age 6 and under: free admission
  • KIDS between 7-13: $20 suggested donation
  • Table of 10: $300 suggested donation
  • No one is turned away

You can also sponsor someone to come by buying a ticket and donating it back or giving it away. This is a great way to show support and allow someone to attend who might not otherwise be able to go.

Call 619-282-2553 if you have any questions.Thank you!

Tickets on will call to be picked up at the event.

We will have many items to taste, try, browse and hopefully buy so bring your wallets and have a great family day while supporting many great causes. We can take cash, checks and credit cards at the event. There is something for everyone in this fun-filled event for the whole family.
If you can’t attend: Of course some of you want to support the cause but can’t attend the event. In that case, do we have an offer for you! You can buy raffle tickets: 1 for $10 or 3 for $25 for a chance to win valuable prizes and services.
Get your raffle tickets
Mail check or money order made payable to
Jamie’s Joy Memorial Fund c/o Elene Bratton 4324 Manzanita Drive San Diego, California 92105
Your name & e-mail will be placed on the back of the ticket and held for the day of the event and you will be e-mailed that day when you win!!!



  • North Park Garage: 3829 29th Street, .4 miles away.  Accepts Visa, Master Card, AMEX and Discover.  This is a multi-level garage. $5 for 4 hours. 
  • Parking in Old Mill Restaurant: 3949 Ohio St, San Diego, CA 92104, 0.3 miles away. $5 for 4 hours.  
  • Next to Queen Bee: 3925 Ohio St, San Diego, CA 92104, 0.3 miles away. $3 an hour.
  • Chase Bank parking lot: 3921 30th St, 0.3 miles away.  0-2 hours is $5, and 2-9 hours is $10.
  • Autozone: 4005 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104, 0.3.  $3 an hour. 

Groups Jamie’s Joy Supports Each Year

In addition to the primary group we are benefitting Reality Changers, each year we also:


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