Big Sunday is truly the most spectacular non-profit organization that our FAMILY has ever encountered! There are thousands of wonderful organizations, but none that are this inviting, inspiring, organized and heart-lovingly-fulfilling for every member, of any and every age, of our family. Big Sunday has completely re-wired the word Community Service in all of our hearts and minds to Community Passion - Love, Support and One-ness. Through Big Sunday and because of Big Sunday, for the last 6 years (almost 6!), my children and I have had some of our most favorite and special times together, with leaving our electronics back at home or in the car and being fully together while working, creating, building, organizing, etc., for those who are in need ...and when our time in each day or activity is through, we all feel happier, hug each other a little longer and tighter and know that we have made a difference and will hopefully add a little love and happiness into the heart of someone whose day could really use a little glimmer of hope, love and kindness. These are the moments that you can't buy. Even though our time at Big Sunday or working with Big Sunday is for others, it is truly our favorite gift to ourselves.
To say that Big Sunday has changed my life -- and the lives of thousands of people -- is an understatement.
Over 10 years ago, I got my first glimpse of what Big Sunday was all about. I started volunteering on a small scale, making lunch and doing craft activities with Ability First, an apartment complex for adults with disabilities. After two years, I became Social Action Chair at my temple and had access to hundreds of volunteers. I got "promoted" within Big Sunday and was asked to create a carnival for foster children at Penny Lane in North Hills, while their foster parents participated in classes. With over 80 volunteers, we set up a homemade carnival, fed them hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream, found a DJ who offered her time, set up donated bouncies, and gave out tons of prizes, including a trip to Disneyland! This was all free to the families, of course, thanks to Big Sunday and the many donations we snagged. The kids never could get over that they didn't have to pay for any of it. I ran that highly rewarding event for four years and I believe it continues on today.
Meanwhile, as Social Action Chair, I modeled our many temple activities after Big Sunday. I completely (with permission and blessing!) plagiarized their brochures and ideas and implemented them into our temple social action activities. Our participation EXPLODED. For example, over 400 people joined in for our annual community giving day (aka "Mitzvah Day"). Not bad for a congregation of 600+ families. I attribute much of this success to the Big Sunday format which simply WORKS.
For the next three years on Big Sunday, I co-led a food and clothing collection with a local school board member. We tapped into our suburban school district and collected truckloads of important items for local shelters and food banks, while our school kids sorted and delivered. They loved the hands-on feeling of helping out alongside our superintendent, and organizations were thrilled with the bonanza of donations.
For the last two years, I have been working with L.A. Family Housing. They house homeless families temporarily, and we volunteers serve them lunch and do many fun games with the kids like Perler Beads. We take family pictures for them and give them frames and albums ... something simple that they often don't have. They love it!
The biggest thing to say about Big Sunday is what happens outside of Big Sunday. Thanks to their Holiday Giving List, I have a decade-long relationship with Covenant House in which my family donates gift cards to their youth every Christmas. I won a Volunteer of the Year award from Penny Lane, and my family joins another family later in the year to volunteer for L.A. Family Housing's "Birthday Club," giving gifts to the kids in the shelter whose birthdays fall that month.
Big Sunday has changed my life, the lives of hundreds of volunteers I work with, and thousands of people whom I have been honored to meet.
This was my third time to volunteer with Big Sunday. Like my first two experiences it was a well planned event that was to benefit underprivileged children and families in the greater Los Angeles area. The staff from Big Sunday were professional and friendly. I would volunteer for this organization again.
Hello, My name is Maya Nichole and I'm a 12 year old Philanthropist in training! "Big Sunday" gives me the opportunity to give back to lots of kids while feeling good inside. The events are so fun, I don't even realize I'm volunteering!
@LILMayaNichole on twitter
Big Sunday makes community involvement and volunteering rewarding and easy. I have been a volunteer project leader with Big Sunday for about 4 years. Through their support, we planted trees and shrubs and continue to beautify a local elementary school campus. They provide a terrific online system to attract and register volunteers for specific projects, support materials, and a bit of funding. Most of all, Big Sunday is focused on fun ways to connect people with meaningful opportunities. One sign of success for our project: Many people don't want to leave after a few hours of digging, planting and sharing lunch together.
Big Sunday is an incredible nonprofit. I loved working with them, they make you feel like family and we have so much fun. I went for the first time and they were awesome. I'm definitely going back for more events in the future.
I am so very impressed by Big Sunday, they truly reach out to the community in all areas and most
of all make the volunteers feel welcome, acknowledged. You leave feeling you really want to come back and help more. I volunteer a lot and feel Big Sunday is one of the better organizations to be involved with.,
Big Sunday is truly the greatest of the great non-profits-I have been a volunteer for many years and the more I get involved the more I know people here just want to do good, touch people's lives and make them better. They are unstoppable and don't have "can't be done" in their vocabulary. It brings people together in a common bond of helping our fellow man and nobody does it better.
As a teacher and a mom of school age children, summertime usually means long days to fill. This past summer, I was looking for a way to spend part of our days, that was meaningful and fun for myself and, my children that range in age from 8 - 21. Big Sundays Mornings on Melrose was one of the best things that happened to us this summer! Big Sunday is a fantastic, kid/family friendly way to share with and serve others. We met great people, my kids loved the activities, and they got to learn the importance of giving back. The kids loved it so much, they started inviting friends to come with us, and everyone was able to participate and contribute. LOVE Big Sundays!
Big Sunday is the most wonderful, warm, friendly, helpful, generous organization! They have helped the Sherman Oaks community year after year with beautification projects that benefit and bring together our whole community. They have helped us with organizing, funding and donating supplies, marketing and promoting our events and contacting our volunteers. We couldn't ask for a better non-profit with which to be involved!
Big Sunday Captain