In 1999, David Levinson created a one-day event at Temple Israel of Hollywood known as "Mitzvah Day" where members of the temple could choose from 19 different community service projects where to volunteer. Since that time, Mitzvah Day has turned into "Big Sunday," a two-day event that now has over 500 projects and 50,000 volunteers. "That growth represents the inclusion of volunteers from a myriad of religious and secular groups, socio-economic brackets, age ranges and geographic areas," says Sherry Marks, who is the associate director of the Big Sunday organization.
Big Sunday's mission is "to build community through community service." The organization is actually the largest regional community service event in America. Big Sunday is amazing because it doesn't exclude anyone from helping; people of any age, gender, religion, or anything else can volunteer in a way that fits them best.
The organization has also made it amazingly simple to find a project that fits your interests. Go to the Big Sunday website to find the perfect volunteer project for you based on criteria like age and skill. Teens can help work in the Big Sunday offices all year round, which is especially helpful in the weeks leading up to the big event. "Young people can help spread the word by engaging their school communities in organizing and running a project on Big Sunday weekend."
Big Sunday's goal is to continue to grow as it has since its creation and by doing so, show the importance of community and that "everybody has something to give."
Big Sunday Weekend
May 1 & 2
(YouthGive Feature By Erin Blagman, 12th grade, Pacific Hills School)
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