November 24, 2016
Angelenos team up to help the community
by Edwin Folven
More than 1,000 volunteers assembled bags of produce, baked goods and canned foods on Wednesday at Big Sunday’s headquarters at 6111 Melrose Ave. during the nonprofit’s annual Thanksgiving food distribution. Big Sunday gave away more than 2,100 bags of food to low income residents and to organizations such as Covenant House of California and My Friend’s Place, which serve people in need in Hollywood. The 5th annual food distribution makes Thanksgiving dinner possible for hundreds of families, including victims of domestic violence, runaway teens, seniors, veterans, homeless individuals and people suffering from illnesses. Providing a place for volunteers to come together to help people in need was a significant component of this year’s event, said Big Sunday founder David Levinson. “This year, after the election in particular, it’s about people coming together and doing something good. It’s about getting along, working side by side for the good of the community,” Levinson said. “The need is huge, enormous. We are going to give food to over 70 different agencies serving the working poor, people with disabilities, veterans and others.” All food Big Sunday distributes is donated. Recipients are given gift cards to purchase turkeys. The bags are filled with stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables and pie for dessert. “We are really grateful for all the hard work people put in,” Levinson added. “It really makes a difference.” Big Sunday’s Thanksgiving food distribution is one of the organization’s biggest events, but the nonprofit is involved with many other projects throughout the year. Volunteers are sought for holiday projects, in which volunteers decorate locations such as the Veterans Administration campus in Westwood in early December. Big Sunday has more than 250 holiday volunteer events listed at www.bigsunday.org. Numerous other organizations are helping people on Thanksgiving and during the holiday season, and there are many opportunities for people to volunteer.
Project Angel Food
Volunteers will come together at Project Angel Food at 922 Vine St. from 6 to 10:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving to prepare holiday meals for homebound individuals suffering from life-threatening illnesses. Other volunteer opportunities at Project Angel Food are available throughout the holiday season. For information, visit projectangelfood.org.
Food on Foot
Food on Foot, an organization serving the homeless based in Beverly Hills, has volunteer opportunities on Thanksgiving from 2 to 5 p.m., as well as other opportunities during the holidays. The organization is holding a food distribution on Nov. 24 for the homeless in Hollywood. For information, call (310)860-0022, or visit www.foodonfoot.org.
The Westside Thanksgiving Community Dinner and Celebration is seeking volunteers on Thanksgiving from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. The dinner is being held at the VA campus near Wilshire and Sepulveda Boulevards, just west of the San Diego (405) Freeway. Enter the campus on Constitution Avenue and follow the signs to free parking at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Preevent registration is encouraged by calling (310)394-3153, or visiting www.westsidethanksgiving.org.
Gobble Gobble Give
Volunteers are sought by Gobble Gobble Give, a nonprofit that feeds the homeless on Thanksgiving from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. In addition to serving food, the organization needs clothing and blanket donations. Donations are needed throughout the year. For information and volunteer locations, visit www.gobblegobblegive.org.
(Copyright © 2016 Beverly Press)
[Thanksgiving Stuffing Event] “Our Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without you guys. It warms my heart and replenishes my faith to witness such kindness in action.”
- -A.Z., Los Angeles