A shelter told a Hollywood exec that their residents wanted to help. So he ran with it.

A shelter told a Hollywood exec that their residents wanted to help. So he ran with it.
In 2002, entertainment producer David Levinson wanted to do something good for his community. So he called up a local shelter for runaway teens and asked what type of help they needed. He says the caseworker he spoke to said something really interesting: "She said, 'Our kids don't need help. They want to give help.'"That surprised him. The kids at the shelter didn't have much — and yet, they still wanted to give to others. All photos courtesy of Big Sunday. With this in mind, Levinson organized a carwash to raise money for Students Run LA, which trains at-risk youth to run a marathon. Volunteers came not just from the shelter as well as many different youth groups from around the city."They raised about 400 bucks, which was nice," Levinson says. "But what was great was that they did it together." That was an aha moment for Levinson, who decided his goal wasn't community service, but rather, community-building.From this, Levinson created Big Sunday — a nonprofit with the mission of using service to bring communities together. Big Sunday does lots of things to help build communities. They organize events to bring people together. They coordinate places for people to donate their old stuff. They find sponsors to create emergency funds for people in need. And, no matter the person, they will always have something for everyone to do — and everyone is always welcome. "We have people who help us who are homeless people and we have people who are movie stars and CEOs," Levinson says. "Everyone is treated and valued the same."Not all of their events are service-oriented, but service does make up the majority because, according to Levinson, its inclusivity makes it the best way to bring people together. "You're never too young, you're never too old, you're never too rich, you're never too poor, you're never too abled, you're never too disabled to help somebody else," says Levinson. Community service isn't just for people with tons of extra money and time. It's for everyone.