Today we celebrate the birth of a warrior and a dreamer. Dr. King fought for the acknowledgement of the lives of the disadvantaged, the unequal and their unalienable right to achieve their dreams. We continue to share stories of so many whom we serve who still cling to a dream, a hope to beat immense challenges of living on the streets to reach their vision of the promised land. This struggle, though courageous, is chock full of dark days and hard nights. They seek signs of kindness, understanding and humanity to persevere.
This is where your service of sending a compassionate, hopeful and loving Friendship Card will boost our homeless neighbors' spirits and resolve. These cards are as precious a gift as we can give to those in need.
We make it simple and safe to serve. Watch this video. Write as many cards as you, your family and friends can by February 1st and mail them to us or drop them off at a touchless location, as indicated here. The raging pandemic has provided more reasons for our unsheltered, a tragically disproportionate number of people of color, to see dreams as unreachable. We, manifesting the determined aspirations of Dr. King, must do our part to restore hope in humanity. #TheyAreUs
In December 2020, we delivered 3,600 backpacks to the Los Angeles Unified School District Homeless Education Program for delivery to just as many elementary school children during the Holiday Season, with 2,400 more backpacks underway as soon as Covid-19 conditions improve so that we may gather in a small, socially-distanced group of volunteers to complete our commitment of 6,000 backpacks earmarked for the district's homeless students, our bravelings.
This initiative helps unburden parents of the obligation to provide school and other living essentials allowing them to spare sparse resources. As we complete our commitment to provide valuable school supplies, hygiene items for the entire family, PPE, and encouraging Friendship Cards, we show our precious students that we are vested in their future and want to them to stay in school, graduate and thrive.
To achieve this goal we are expanding our relationship with the LAUSD Homeless Education Program under the banner of The Bravelings Project, that aspires to reach all 20,000 homeless LAUSD students in the near future.
Raising the awareness of the challenges these children face to show up every day and compete with their sheltered peers – pre-COVID-19, a majority never missed a day of class – recognizes the courage and perseverance of our youngest unsheltered citizens. Thank you for your ongoing investment in their future, as it is our future, too. #Backpacks4LAUSDkids #TheyAreUs
Listen to Us on I Heart Radio's Wake-up Call with Host Jennifer Lee
As Los Angeles hunkers down for a restrictive Thanksgiving holiday The Giving Spirit announced its Winter Outreach initiative on KFI 640AM this morning, Monday, November 23rd.
A spin on the organization's typical winter programs, this year's initiative brings together the Los Angeles Unified School District and a highly limited number of socially-distanced volunteers to pack and deliver 6,000 backpacks to homeless LAUSD students over the holidays.
Concurrently highlighted on this morning's I Heart Radio segment was Tom Bagamane, The Giving Spirit founder, who also detailed the #LAPaws4Hope initiative with community partner Cuddly -- that initially paired 2,400 souls -- 1,200 human and 1,200 companion animal.
On May 12th we took a deep breath and embarked on an ambitious mission. We committed to deliver health and safety assistance to 10,000 homeless lives in the midst of a virulent pandemic – over 60 days.
On June 30th, 49 days later, we assembled our last COVID-19 Health+Safety kit and proudly sent it on its precious way to the 10,000th life we promised to serve. 11 days ahead of schedule. We had no time to spare with thousands in harm’s way.
We want to thank our courageous and tireless agency partners for being our conduits to our people during these challenging times. And we thank all of our friends, old and new, near and far for continuing to support our simple, sincere, and powerful mission to serve the needs of our most vulnerable. #theyareus
If you would like to help us build future COVID-19 relief programs, please donate generously.
Flashback: 2019 Winter Outreach
Since 1999: 55,000+ lives served 20,000+ volunteers Over $4 million raised
Our 20th Winter Outreach was yet another incredible gathering of community, with over 2,000 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds coming together to serve the enormous population of unsheltered men, women, and children in Los Angeles. Once again, Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin were on the scene to lend a hand and raise their voices in support of The Giving Spirit and the work that its volunteers do. The Mayor spoke of LA’s first, small decrease in homelessness in many years, and his pride in The Giving Spirit’s role in helping to mitigate the effects of poverty in our City.
Abundant appreciation to all of the generous donors who helped make this happen. What many may not know is that only 20% of our goods in our sustenance kits are product donations. The rest we purchase using your donations. To help fund the life-critical items in our kits, help us close our $40,000 budget gap and donate now there are only 7 days left to make a tax-exempt contribution.
Remember, a minimum of $.90 of every dollar goes back to the lives on our streets. And as we enter 2019, we set our sights higher, with even bigger goals to help those in need!
We Assembled. We Distributed. We Learned. We Connected.
We owe so much to the many who tirelessly and selflessly strive for us and for others to better serve the unsheltered of our City. Thank you to all as we appreciate every man, woman, and child who comes to lend a hand.
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of others.”
What We Do
The Giving Spirit provides immediate aid and a human connection to homeless lives--men, women, children and families in Greater Los Angeles. We also educate volunteers and communities about the human face of homelessness with the goal of recognizing that homelessness does not mean hopelessness and lives can be improved and housing challenges resolved through community awareness and action.
Volunteer. Give. Learn.
Listen to Tom on “Legends & Losers” - Motivational & Inspiration Stories with an Edge. Go to iTunes and listen or download episode 98 with Silicon Valley Host Christopher Lochhead and Tom as they discuss 'Solving Big Problems like Poverty and Homelessness'.
The HuffPost RISE show helps spread the word about The Giving Spirit and the Homeless Survival Kits being distributed throughout Los Angeles
"A Simple Act of Kindness" - State Farm and AOL/Huffington Post recognizes The Giving Spirit
The Giving Spirit is humbled and honored that State Farm on Giving Tuesday recognized the community service commitment of Founder and Chairman Tom Bagamane in its AOL/Huffington Post series “A Simple Act of Kindness”. This national series profiles people from across the country who take action to positively affect their communities.
Take a few minutes and watch this wonderful tribute to our friend and founder Tom Bagamane.