Bette Ann Camacho didn’t know what to expect when her daughter-in-law, Kathy Jo Camacho, first invited her to help serve breakfast at Breakthrough’s Joshua Center.

Born on May 8, 1939, Bette Ann grew up on the Northwest side of Chicago. She raised two fine children, was married for over fifty years and was always like a mother figure to her co-workers at the Skokie hospital where she worked. An outstanding listener, Bette Ann loved to have a good time and always had a generous spirit toward her family, neighbors and friends.

Still, Bette Ann never really pictured herself spending a monthly Saturday morning in Chicago’s East Garfield Park. Like so many of us in the City, Bette Ann had not experienced a lot of poverty first hand. She didn’t really know what to think about poor and homeless people.

But over two years ago, that changed. Bette Ann agreed to her daughter-in-law’s invitation and volunteered at the Breakthrough Joshua Center one Saturday morning to prepare and serve a meal. Bette Ann had the time of her life, and over time, many of her preconceived notions concerning the poor and homeless faded away as she laughed, built relationships and served her famous eggs to the women of the Joshua Center. Bette Ann saw first-hand the work of the Lord in the their lives. She was amazed by their hopefulness and their gratitude for what they had. As a self-proclaimed “retired Catholic,” Bette Ann was challenged and encouraged in her own faith, even as she came to “serve” the women. She discovered what so many of us have realized – that in serving at Breakthrough, we are so often the ones who come away transformed.

This past fall, Bette Ann Camacho, whom Breakthrough guests called “the Egg Master”, passed away. “Bette Ann was an incredibly kind woman who truly enjoyed her time serving the ladies at the Center,” said Jackie Perez, her Manna Ministry team leader. Breakthrough is so very thankful for Bette Ann’s service and believes she is an example for all of us who desire to give of ourselves and be transformed for the better in the process.

Breakthrough Urban Ministri