Why Taco Bell Threw This Boy With Down Syndrome a Seriously Awesome Party

Everyone who knows Joe Redmond knows about his love for burritos.

The 11-year-old from York, Canada, has Down syndrome and, although his parents describe him as shy, he’s vocal about his favorite food, according to his father, Steve Redmond.

It all started last year when Joe’s education assistant, Louise Sartor, helped him prepare a speech for his school’s annual public speaking event. Joe decided to research the history of his favorite dish.

Joe with Louise Sarter
Joe with Louise Sartor.

He started eating them young and will never tire of it,” Steve Redmond, Joe’s father, told The York Region. “He’s in heaven when he’s got them.”

In the speech, Joe presents some facts about his favorite food (Did you know the name means “little donkey” in Spanish?) as well as some information on the various types of burritos in the world.

Check out the presentation below:


The speech was such a hit that Joe’s school and his family worked together to create a fundraiser called “Burritopalooza Day,” where Joe’s mother, Rosie Redmond, had some children from the school over and taught them how to make burritos.

Joe on "Burritopalooza" Day

Altogether the class raised $500 dollars and supporters raised an additional $1000. The money went to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and the York Region Down Syndrome Association.

In June, Steve Redmond decided to post a video of Joe reciting the speech at home on his YouTube channel and then shared it on Taco Bell’s Facebook page. He was contacted by the fast food company and told they wanted to do something special for the burrito-loving young man.

On September 28th, Taco Bell Canada hosted a personal burrito party for Joe and 24 of his classmates at one of their restaurants in Richmond Hill, The York Region reported. In addition to the party, the fast food company also presented Joe with a check for $1,500, to match the $1,500 that he and classmates had raised for Canadian Down syndrome charity organizations.

Joe holding the check from Taco Bell

The media coverage of the event has helped to raise Down syndrome awareness in their area, and the family says it’s even helped Joe with his confidence.

“He’s still very shy but I think it really has done a lot to boost his self esteem, Steve Redmond told The Mighty in an email. “He’s even describing himself as being ‘famous.’

Joe with all his classmates and the check from Taco Bell

To think, all this began with just one little boy and his love for delicious Mexican food wrapped up in a tortilla. Way to go, Joe!

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