Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Impact of Giving

Big Sunday Volunteers sorted clothing for the organization’s annual MLK Day Clothing Drive and Community Breakfast earlier this year. (Photo by Charlie Hess)

‘Tis the season for giving, as they say. Though sometimes it’s hard to think anything one person does can make a difference, there’s so much need and so many people who need help. We got this message the other day from Big Sunday’s Executive Director David Levinson about the organization’s work connecting people through helping others. We found it so inspiring, we asked if we could share it. It’s been lightly edited because we know you are interested but busy!

“Here is just one small example of how that works: a school counselor in the Los Angeles Unified School District reached out to us on behalf of one of her students, an 8-year-old we’ll call Manuel. Needless to say, we were happy to be able to help, enlisting and engaging numerous people, of all ages and from all walks of life, all along the way in the name of paying it forward, spreading the wealth, and looking out for one another. We are delighted that we get to do things like this every day, in every project we do,” wrote Levinson.

“Afterwards, we got this letter:

Dear Big Sunday,

I want to thank you all for helping Yesenia and her son Manuel. When Manuel cried to me during a session, telling me how he sleeps on the floor and feels “little animal-like” things biting him, I knew that I needed to get a bed for him and his mom right away. I reached out to Big Sunday, and you responded to my request immediately and was able to get a bed delivered to the family in record time. When Manuel slept on the bed for the first time, he told me that it was the best sleep that he ever had. Not only did your organization deliver a mattress, but you included the bed frame, the bedsheets, and the bedspread.

In addition, you also got Manuel Into a summer camp at Boys and Girls Club. This was just completely incredible, and I thank you for looking out for Manuel’s interest.

and you gifted the family with a generous Walmart gift card. With the gift card, Manuel was able to get a brand-new pair of shoes and clothes for the next school year. On a side note, Manuel was wearing clothes that barely fit him as he was growing out of them, and he was also wearing a pair of shoes that were too big for him because he had not grown into them yet. Manuel is a natural athlete, and he was not able to run fast because the shoes would always come off the heel. He said that his dream is to be a professional soccer player, and one day he said he may be famous.

And as if that wasn’t enough, you also found employment for mother to earn some income to help their situation.

I am beyond gratefulness in what you have done for this family. You have provided hope for Manuel, who told his mother that he was going to talk to a counselor at the school about their situation because he felt that they needed help. And because of you, they got more help than they bargained for. Manuel is a believer that all this happened because there are people who care and show kindness.

You have all made me believe that kindness does still exist in this crazy world that we live in. Because of you, I am more motivated than ever to show my students that showing kindness and empathy to others is the key to making a difference in this world. I am sure that this summer is the summer that Manuel will never forget.

Thank you again for your commitment in making this world a better place.

Big Sunday is one of the many great non-profits in our community helping to make the world a better place. While this isn’t a pitch for giving to Big Sunday, though you’re welcome to do so here, this is a pitch for giving wherever you can knowing that it really does make a difference in someone’s life. Last month, we posted a long list of worthy local non-profits for Giving Tuesday, if you’re looking for some good ideas.

Levinson is right, everyone can help someone and it feels good because we are all connected, each trying to make the world a better place one person at a time.

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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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