Projects celebrate MLK’s legacy

Park La Brea News / Beverly Press
January 13, 2016

Projects celebrate MLK’s legacy

By Edwin Folven

Big Sunday, WeHo host days of service

Big Sunday, a nonprofit organization headquartered on Melrose Avenue that assists  disadvantaged individuals throughout Los Angeles, is seeking volunteers on Monday, Jan. 18 to perform community service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Big Sunday is holding its fourth annual MLK Day Clothing Collection and Community Breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon, and volunteers are needed to sort and distribute clothing. Big Sunday founder and executive director David Levinson said the need for clothing assistance remains high, particularly with predicted El Niño rain and a rise in homelessness. Big Sunday is also seeking clothing donations, which can be made Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the organization’s headquarters, 6111 Melrose Ave.

“So many places need clothing,” Levinson said. “It’s not just shelters. It’s many organizations that are helping people. We donate to half a dozen places helping disadvantaged people.”

Levinson said approximately 20,000 articles of clothing were distributed last year on MLK Day, and he is hopeful more clothing will be distributed Monday. In addition to sorting clothing and preparing the apparel for distribution, volunteers will enjoy breakfast and music performed by a band at Big Sunday’s headquarters.

“It’s very much in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy and Big Sunday’s spirit of everybody pitching in,” Levinson added. “It’s the first big event of the year. Anybody who wants to come down or donate clothing, we would love to have them.”

Levinson said people who want to volunteer or donate clothing should call (323)549-9944, or email

West Hollywood is also hosting a day of service in honor of Dr. King on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at West Hollywood Elementary School, 970 N. Hammond St. Participants are needed for beautification projects including landscaping and painting.

Joshua Schare, public information officer for West Hollywood, said the day of service is being held on the Saturday after MLK Day so more people can participate. Volunteers must be 12 or older and will work six-hour shifts. They will receive a commemorative t-shirt and lunch.

The day of service at West Hollywood Elementary school also includes a food drive to benefit the SOVA Food and Community Resource Program and a clothing drive for the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Youth Center on Highland Avenue. People are asked to drop-off non-perishable food, new and used clothing and shoes from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Schare said the day of service exemplifies King’s legacy and coincides with the city’s core values.

“The city unites with communities across the country for a day of service, and volunteers help the city get involved in West Hollywood Elementary School’s beautification each year,” he said. “It’s a very festive outdoor event.”

Volunteers are asked to register by calling (323)848-6885, or email

Hollywood Temple Beth El will also honor King’s legacy at an event led by Rev. G. Mansfield Collins on Saturday, Jan. 19 at 11:45 a.m. Collins, an associate of King, led the Western Christian Leadership Conference in the 1960s and was founding pastor of the All Saints Community Church, now the Bryant Temple AME Church. He helped organize people in Los Angeles, including Hollywood celebrities, to fly to Alabama and march with King. He also helped bring King to Los Angeles to help calm the public during the Watts riots, said Rabbi Norbert Weinberg, of Hollywood Temple Beth El.

“While great strides have been made in race relations in the United States, core issues that Rev. King began to address before his assassination have yet to be resolved, such as the issues of poverty, failing schools and job opportunities that plague not only the black community but all sectors of American society,” Weinberg said. “That was the issue of his last campaign, the Poor People’s Campaign, before his tragic assassination.”

Hollywood Temple Beth El is located at 1317 Crescent Heights Blvd. For information, call (323)656-3150, or visit

[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