Who We Are

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The Giving Spirit provides aid to these vulnerable and fragile lives by assembling and personally distributing survival kits to the children, women and families living on the streets of Los Angeles. These kits contain over 70 individual items providing sustenance to the homeless in their time of need. Our efforts have personally and positively impacted the lives of our volunteers and our homeless friends from Skid Row to Santa Monica.

 “There is so much in this bag,” a recipient at the Downtown Women’s Center told our volunteers. “Everything on my list that I prayed for is in here! How did you know exactly what we need?” 

 

The Giving Spirit – Why We Do It

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Thanks to your kind support, our outreach ability to the homeless of Los Angeles continues to grow. We invite you to explore our website, to learn about what we do and the lives we touch, to educate yourself about homelessness, and to get involved – whether by donation or by hands-on participation or both. Without your desire to help those less fortunate than yourself, many lives – from the homeless to the volunteers – would not have been touched by this act of grace. 

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Our Mission

From our founder, Tom Bagamane….

Dear friends:

For those who have been with us since our inception in 1999 and for our new-found friends and family who have become involved with our work, we are privileged to continue The Giving Spirit’s efforts with great hope and promise.

As we continue in our seventeenth year of providing aid to Los Angeles’ homeless community, we find new challenges to our mission. More people need our help due to unfortunate circumstances caused by the still recovering economy. Recently, I spent a day with a friend personally reaching out to the homeless, spending time with them, listening to their stories and hearing about their needs and the challenges they face as they struggle to live their life on the street.

To our dismay, we continued to find more folks that were just recently displaced – with nowhere to turn. We also found more women and children than in years past. Many are eager to return to the workforce but can’t find work. Others simply have been turned away by an overloaded “system” woefully inadequate to handle those society tends to forget when things get tough. The street is their home, and for many, this is where they will spend the rest of their lives.

The street is a far cry from where most of us live our lives. For that we are all truly blessed. Thus, the reason we created The Giving Spirit.

Our format is simple. Your contributions allow us to purchase goods in bulk from discount stores, collect donated items from generous distributors and manufacturers, assemble and fill the bags with the help of volunteers and then distribute the bags directly to our homeless friends throughout this sprawling city.

This is what makes our mission so special. We bring the aid to the homeless, preventing them from traveling long distances with all their worldly goods (or leaving them unguarded). Our small group of volunteers have, thanks to the amazing generosity of you and your peers, personally served more than 40,000 souls in Greater LA. You have helped us provide food, blankets, clothing, toiletries, water – and hope – at the time and place when they feel the most alone.

Routinely our volunteers are told, “Before you came, I had no idea where my next meal was coming from,” or “Thanks for remembering us. Do you know what it’s like to be forgotten?” I don’t, and I hope you and I and those we love never will…

Whether you choose to participate in our work or not, we thank you for your large hearts, your acute social conscience and your endearing friendship and loyalty.

Godspeed and peace to you and your families.

Tom

Tom Bagamane,
Founder and Chairman
The Giving Spirit

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Our Progress

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Over 95% of every donation directly supports our homeless outreach effort, giving our charitable organization one of the lowest overheads. We keep administrative expenses low by seeking the participation of the corporate community in donations of goods and services, while also continually expanding our volunteer and donor base. The graphs below illustrate the results of our efforts!

Founded in 1999, and granted 501(c)3 status in 2001, The Giving Spirit continues to grow, thanks to our grassroots base and the goodwill of our friends and family. The graphs above chart our growth and the success of our outreach efforts over the years.

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Legal & Tax Documents

(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. All Links open a new browser window).

The Giving Spirit Bylaws 

The Giving Spirit Articles of Incorporation 

The Giving Spirit City of Los Angeles Information Card (2016-17)

The Giving Spirit Fed Form 990 (2015) 

The Giving Spirit CA Form 199 (2015)

Financial Statement Review 2015

Updated IRS 501(c)(3) Letter for 2006

California Tax-Exempt Letter 

IRS Income-Tax Exempt Letter 

Volunteer Waivers

    TGS Youth Waiver Releases Authorization     TGS Adult Waiver Releases Authorization

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Our Board

Tom Bagamane, Chairman and Found: tom@thegivingspirit.org

Tom founded The Giving Spirit in 1999 and has led TGS as Chairman during its 17 years of continued growth and service to the homeless in Greater Los Angeles.  Tom has over 25 years experience as an entrepreneur and senior management in the consumer products/retail field, including areas of strategy, operations, global business development, traditional and digital marketing, product branding and manufacturing. He has also operated venture capital, private-equity and owner-financed product companies and has launched and successfully sold two start-up consumer product companies.  Tom currently is Managing Director of Profitable Good Group, a consulting firm for businesses interested in growing their bottom line through social impact programs

Tom’s business, leadership and organizational skills along with his passion for helping those in need have resulted in the assembly and giving out of over 40,000 survival kits to homeless families, men, women, children and youth in Greater Los Angeles since 1999 and the involvement of over 12,000 volunteers.   Through Tom’s leadership, TGS has raised over $2.6 million in funds and in-kind donations for it survival kits.  Tom received his MBA from George Mason University’s School of Business and his BA in Communications/Political Science from Virginia Tech University.  Tom has received recognition from both of his alma maters for his humanitarian work through TGS, in 2005 from Virginia Tech, and in 2016 from George Mason University.

 

James Segil, Treasurer, Director:  james@thegivingspirit.org

Co-founder and President of Edgecast Networks, Inc., a leading content delivery network based in Santa Monica. James brings his entrepreneurial, fundraising and business development skills and experience to TGS. Prior to Edgecast, he successfully developed a software company to profitability as well as an online hosting business. James also served as Product Manager for Hot Wheels Brand at Mattel, Inc. In addition to his duties as treasurer, James provides TGS with an experienced leader for strategic operational and fundraising planning, website development, communications and social media engagement. James is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.

 

Candace Ng, Director: candace@thegivingspirit.org

 Candace grew-up in southern California and graduated from UCLA.  She earned her MBA at Harvard Business School and currently is President and co-owner of a high tech company (IT Strategists, Inc.) located in Los Angeles.  Candace has been on TGS’ board since 2004.  She and her husband have three children and she is also on the board of the Harvard Business School Association of Southern California and the Brentwood Presbyterian Church Preschool.  Candace’s business skills and local community and business contacts have been instrumental in the growth of TGS since she came onto the board.

 

Christine Lee, Director:  christine@thegivingspirit.org

Christine is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. She has worked for corporations including Ralph Lauren and Five Four Clothing. She is a real estate investor and has served nonprofit organizations including The Giving Spirit. She is honored to contribute her experience as a fund raising event planner and manager. 

 

TGS Officer/Operations

Tim Ingram, Secretary and Operations Director: tim@thegivingspirit.org

Tim is an attorney in Los Angeles. After serving on TGS’ Board for 10 years, Tim currently serves as Secretary and Operations Director.  Tim uses his legal experience to guide TGS’s compliance with local, state and federal regulatory requirements. As Operations Director, he oversees the day-to-day management needs of TGS as well as providing reports and strategic advice to the Chairman and the Board. Tim also serves on TGS’ Development Committee as part of TGS’ grant writing program. Tim received a BA in Economics from Washington and Lee University and a J.D., from George Mason University School of Law.

 

Committee Chairs

Clarence Johnson Chair Events:  clarence@thegivingspirit.org 

Clarence is a Principal Engineer at Raytheon in El Segundo, CA, with experience developing solutions for complex problems. He holds Bachelor’s and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tulane University.  Clarence uses his engineering and problem solving skills to design, organize and manage TGS’ assembly process during each event.  This includes marshaling and training both experienced and new volunteers into an efficient assembly and distribution process.

 

Laura Bales, Chair of Procurement: laura@thegivingspirit.org

Laura is an Off-Premise Support Manager at California Pizza Kitchen, providing procurement and logistical support for the company. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs and has her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyan University. As a volunteer for TGS for the past three years, she now leads all procurement efforts for the organization, including managing vendor relationships and in-kind donations.

 

Elizabeth Miller, Chair Marketing and Communications: liz@thegivingspirit.org

Elizabeth is a Senior Marketing Manager for Belkin International and brings her experience in advertising and marketing to lead TGS marketing and PR efforts. Her background includes overseeing branding and integrated marketing campaigns for broadcast TV, digital, social, OOH, print, and in-store for a variety of markets including consumer electronics, home improvement, home furnishings, apparel and accessories, fashion, and technology as well as 10+ years of volunteer experience for a variety of non-profits. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Arizona State University. 

 

Bree McCool, Director of Social Media: bree@thegivingspirit.org

Bree McCool grew up on the California Central Coast in Morro Bay, CA before making Los Angeles her current home.  She has been the Director of Social Media for TGS since 2015. Bree began by assisting the Marketing and Communications team with design and branding, then moving into a role facilitating information, news and announcements throughout our Social Media channels. As a budding producer in the commercial production industry, she balances the numbers life with a passion and skill for Still Photography in live event, portrait and editorial. As a resident for 10+ years, she calls LA home but enjoys traveling as much as possible. She hopes providing acute emergent aid to the homeless in Greater Los Angeles will be a thing of the past through the education and reduction of stigmas surrounding our neighbors in need.

 

Herb Agner , Chair of Community Outreach: herb@thegivingspirit.org

Herb uses his relationships within the community to cultivate and expand TGS’ outreach. His working relationship with Southern California homeless shelters and government agencies ensures that the TGS distribution efforts match the needs of our homeless neighbors in an empathetic, effective and efficient manner. Herb also educates and leads our orientation program for volunteers to insure that their hands-on experience delivering survival kits to homeless recipients is conducted in a safe and enriching manner. Herb has extensive experience in the music and recording industry in both Nashville and Los Angeles and is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.

 

Cintra Charbonnet, Chair of Education and Community Development Committee: leela@thegivingspirit.org 

Cintra was born and raised on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad.  At age 19, she moved to Canada where she earned her BA in Business Administration from the University of Manitoba. She made Canada her home for 12 years and worked in the oil and gas industry as an Account Executive.  Cintra moved to Los Angeles in 2000 and has worked with several companies in Santa Monica in areas of human resources/training and development and management. Cintra has been a TGS volunteer since 2009, she has a passion for helping others and is honored to be leading the Education and Development Committee at TGS. 

 

Mike Salmen, Webmaster

Mike is a broadcast television, video, digital media and IT professional, and winner of over 40 awards for broadcast journalism, communications and public service.  Nominated for an Emmy.  He created and produced the first all computer generated Public Service Announcement aired in the US.  At age 20, while attending the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Mike "fell into" his first television job - and never looked back. Today, Mike strives to make a difference through his social service projects and philanthropic activities.

 

The Giving Spirit
11693 San Vicente Blvd. #113
Los Angeles, CA 90049

310-943-6460

info@thegivingspirit.org

 

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