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Big Sunday’s day of community service commemorates 9/11

by Ryan Torok

September 13, 2011 | 2:30 am

A volunteer carries food for Big Sunday's community breakfast on 9/11. Photo by Joel Lipton.

Families and friends of all ages boxed cans of tuna and beans and boxes of cereal. A former Red Cross volunteer drew a picture of someone inside the rubble of the Twin Towers following the attacks.

They were volunteers at Big Sunday’s food drive and community breakfast, which took place on Sunday, September 11 and commemorated the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The food drive collected goods for SOVA in Van Nuys, and volunteers wrote letters to U.S. military soldiers in hostile regions overseas.

The idea being to do something good out of something bad, said David Levinson, Big Sunday’s founder and executive director.

Approximately 500 people turned out throughout the day, coming to Big Sunday’s headquarters on Melrose Ave.

“Doing things like this makes me not think about it,” said Diane Gross, a Disney employee. A former New York resident, she lived there at the time of the attacks and attended Big Sunday’s event on Sunday.

“Everyone is finding a way of remembering and memorializing,” Gross said. “Everyone is finding a way that works for them.”

Chatsworth resident Gayle Jacobs volunteered with her husband.

“We’ve watched all of the different stories about people who were killed—it’s the least we could do to come out today,” she said. “And we’re meeting cool people.”

The event started at 6 a.m., since the West Coast heard about the attacks at 6:30 a.m., and wrapped up at noon. It was one of dozens of events happening as part of the L.A. Remembers Coalition, a group of agencies, nonprofits and community organizations that hosted community service projects last Sunday as a tribute to the victims of 9/11.

City Year, Habitat for Humanity and the Muslim Public Affairs Council were among the L.A. Remembers Coalition groups.

“There’s so much focus on what divides us, said Levinson to KCAL 9 News, prior to the event. “I think people want to know what unites us.”

Big Sunday is known for Big Sunday Weekend, an annual service weekend that draws thousands of people to community service projects.

All photos by Joel Lipton.


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