Big Sunday Weekend, USA's Largest Festival of Community Service, Attracts Tens of Thousands on May 4, 5 & 6; 20 Years After L.A. Riots Event Shows How Far City Has Come

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Big Sunday Weekend, the signature and largest event of the Big Sunday organization, takes place Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2012. Now in its 14th year, Big Sunday Weekend is the largest regional community service festival in the United States, engaging tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages, races, religions, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds from all over California, with projects from San Diego to the Bay Area. “This year, especially as we mark the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots, it’s nice to see so many people, from so many different worlds, coming together to help one another. It shows how far we’ve come, and how committed we are to build a wonderful future together.,” said David Levinson, Big Sunday’s founder and executive director. This April -- National Volunteer Month -- Big Sunday was recognized by the Points of Light Foundation as one of “10 national nonprofits that are making a tremendous impact on our country’s most critical challenges by mobilizing volunteers."

As we mark the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots, it’s nice to see so many people, from so many different worlds, coming together to help one another. It shows how far we’ve come, and how committed we are to build a wonderful future. David Levinson

Big Sunday Weekend, the signature and largest event of the Big Sunday organization, takes place Friday, May 4, Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6, 2012. Now in its 14th year, Big Sunday Weekend is the largest regional community service festival in the United States, engaging tens of thousands of volunteers of all ages, races, religions, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds from all over California, with projects from San Diego to the Bay Area. Big Sunday Weekend cuts across social barriers, bringing together thousands of people who work together at hundreds of nonprofits, schools and other agencies that need their help. Volunteers participate as individuals, with their families, or as part of a school, faith group, business or club. They come together to lend a hand at hundreds of projects at varied locations helping hundreds of local, national and international nonprofit organizations. There are volunteer opportunities for every passion, talent, skill and age. Projects are scheduled throughout the weekend, and can last anywhere from one hour to two full days. Big Sunday Weekend also includes special events such as concerts, book fairs, and blood drives. Truckloads of clothes, books, food, furniture, musical instruments, luggage, toys and other items are also collected and donated to various nonprofits. Big Sunday has no religious or political agenda and all events are free to all participants. All the projects are funded by private and corporate cash grants and in-kind donations. To sign-up to volunteer on Big Sunday Weekend, or find other ways to help and volunteer year-round, please visit http://www.bigsunday.org.

Big Sunday Weekend is more than community service -- it's also about community building.
“This year, especially as we mark the 20th anniversary of the L.A. riots, it’s nice to see so many people, from so many different worlds, coming together to help one another. It shows how far we’ve come, and how committed we are to build a wonderful future together.,” said David Levinson, Big Sunday’s founder and executive director. Levinson, author of "Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins, How Absolutely Anyone Can Pitch In. Help Out. and Give Back. to Make the World a Better Place," is considered an expert in the field of volunteerism and is consulted widely by cities, nonprofits and other volunteer groups.

Big Sunday is the premiere resource in California for volunteering year round.
Big Sunday volunteers, both on Big Sunday Weekend and throughout the year, come from all kinds of neighborhoods and work in all kinds of neighborhoods. The core philosophy of Big Sunday is that everyone, regardless of how rich or poor, old or young, race, religion, gender, ethnicity or circumstance, can help somebody else. All kinds of people rely on Big Sunday to help them find meaningful volunteer opportunities and at the same time, Big Sunday’s nonprofit partners have come to rely on them to place volunteers. It’s year-round initiatives include Monthly on Melrose, a series of workshops, collections, performances and parties to benefit Big Sunday’s nonprofit partners, which attracts hundreds of volunteers; an active year-round Big Sunday Community Calendar that now includes nearly 1000 ways to get involved every year, linking Big Sunday’s substantial volunteer network with social-sector organizations; the highly successful Annual Big Sunday Holiday Volunteering and Giving Opportunities List, which posts the holiday needs and volunteer opportunities of more than 110 nonprofits between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, and is then used as a resource by people region-wide who want to help; and theBIGlist, an online “non-profit matchmaking microsite” where Big Sunday’s nonprofit partners post their “wish lists” and are matched with individuals, groups and companies who wish to help. In May, Big Sunday will introduce The End of the Month Club, a new monthly food drive and get together designed to help local food pantries meet increased demand. Big Sunday has just been named by the Points of Light Foundation as one of “10 national nonprofits that are making a tremendous impact on our country’s most critical challenges by mobilizing volunteers. These organizations, which have partnered with Points of Light, are mobilizing volunteers in meaningful ways to create change through hands-on service. These organizations also demonstrate a collaborative spirit through partnerships with other organizations to help strengthen communities across the nation.”

Big Sunday Weekend 2012 Sponsors:
Community Leader:
The Kauffman Skloff Family
The Rosenthal Family Foundation

Community Builder:
Disney
The Home Depot Foundation
Temple Israel of Hollywood
Kaiser Permanente
Fox Gives

Good Neighbor:
Bel Air Presbyterian Church
City National Bank
Joshua L. and Lisa Z. Greer
Hasbro Studios
JP Morgan Chase and Co.
Kendall Brill and Klieger LLP
NBC Universal
Paramount
Parsons Corporation
Tee It Up for the Troops
Tichenor & Thorp Architects
TriNet
Wilshire Boulevard Temple

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RACHEL SCHWARTZ
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