Big Sunday

Big Sunday connects people through helping; we provide a wide variety of opportunities and projects that bring people together to improve lives, build community and give people a sense of belonging


2 Submitted Ideas

  • CONNECT ·2016 Grants Challenge

    Connecting Community Through Color

    Color Your School: Big Sunday is Creating Awesome Murals for (and with) Amazing Kids at Incredible Schools

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    Engaging the Reluctant Volunteer

    Actually, our title is a misnomer. We don't see people as volunteers. That suggests "haves and have-nots." At Big Sunday, we think EVERYONE has some way they can help, and that the world is full of "haves and have-mores." That's why our target audience is... everyone. And they're not volunteers, they're participants. Helpers. From homeless people to CEOs, all treated and valued the same. Sometimes the line between who is giving or receiving help is blurred, and we think that's great. And our speciality, it seems, is the reluctant person - the one who thinks they don't have the time, or the talent, or the money, or perhaps even the inclination to help.

    We do this by providing all kinds of ways to help. By making it as easy or difficult as someone wants. To make everything inclusive. To focus on what unites us, not what divides us. To bring people together. And to make it fun.

    Thus, our idea is to create a clearinghouse of giving and helping.

    We are already on the road to doing that. Big Sunday sponsors and promotes all kinds of traditional volunteering experiences, from beach clean-ups to feeding the hungry. We also offer many giving opportunities, whether it's school supplies in August, toys at Christmas or ongoing needs like food or clothing. Some people seek a one-time helping experience while others are looking for something long-term. While many people have skills to offer - be it plumbing, legal expertise, hairdressing or medicine - for many, their gift is their friendly demeanor, or ability to make anyone feel wanted and needed. As such, we host all kinds of community dinners, parties, field-trips and outings for people to get to meet and known one another.

    We want to start by doing it right here in L.A.. And, while we like to think as big as anyone, and have benefitted first-hand from the power of social media, we treasure the interaction between people - something which hopefully be as cherished in 2050 as it is today - so we will at first focus on the greater L.A. area.

    The truth is, people in L.A. are very engaged. For instance, during the 8 week period we are now in, here are just some of the events taking place in the area: the L.A. Marathon, The L.A. Times Book Fair, CivLAVia, Coachella, the Israel Festival, Earth Day, Fiesta Broadway, ShareFest, the Annual FoLAR River Clean-Up, City Lights, and Big Sunday Weekend, plus all kinds of walks and runs and fairs and festivals for all kinds of good causes. Between the events listed above, more than 1,000,000 people will be engaged. That's a lot of people. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. For sure, anyone who has ever driven in L.A. has, at some point, been blocked by the masses of people enjoying one of these events. People want to be involved. They just need to know where they're wanted and needed.

    What can get more problemmatic is when many worthy groups are vying for people, dollars, and attention.

    We'd start by reaching out to the many nonprofit & service organizations, plus festivals and events in town and create a common calendar so that both the public and all agencies would know what the other is doing and thus maximizing everyone's effectiveness and output (while minimizing time wasted as different organizations work hard to do the same thing). We'd build a common website (with links to each group's individual website), as well an annual printed brochure (e.g., like that of the Hollywood Bowl, so that people could see all their options at once).

    If a nonprofit needs something - be it new crayons for their students, new furniture for residents, warehouse space, a new executive director, or cash for any of the above, they can go to one site to see what it needed. Last year, Big Sunday started an initiative like this called theBIGlist. Since then we have made matches for everything from Subzero refrigerators to trees to a basset hound.

    We'd continue & grow our Monthly on Melrose program of concerts, movie screeings, singalongs and parties, designed not just to help people, but to bring them together. These events usually include a meal, where people come knowing the mission is to not just join friends & family, but to mix it up - these events usually include not just regular volunteers, but invited guests such from group homes, shelters, or senior or vets' organizations.

    We want to help get rid of the idea of "the other." If someone is an "other" it can create fear, anxiety, resentment, or misunderstanding. "The other" is often an idea. It's a person, or a type of person that we've heard about or read about, maybe even seen, but never looked in the eye and had a conversation. The "other" is often someone we thing we're working at cross-purposes with, but have never tried to, or had to, engage in something together - even if that something is as simple as counting cans in a food drive painting a classroom, enjoying a game of bingo, or sharing a laugh.