Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

The Giving Spirit Celebrates 15 Years of Supporting Local Homeless


December 1, 2014

The Giving Spirit (TGS), LA's largest all-volunteer non-profit is celebrating an anniversary this December 13th. At its annual Holiday outreach event, the organization is kicking off its 15th year of service by honoring its 10,000th volunteer at a midday celebration. Since its inception, TGS has touched the lives of over 30,000 local homeless by providing supplies that give help and hope during the winter season.

TGS was founded on the simplest of ideas – meet the homeless face-to-face, where they live -- and provide essential items that will help improve their spirits and their lives. At semi-annual outreach events (Winter & Spring), TGS volunteers assemble and distribute duffle bag survival kits containing over 60 items necessary for daily survival such as socks, blankets, food, and hygiene products to people of all ages living on the streets.

"We've built this organization on people's generous hearts and kind souls; mobilizing thousands of volunteers regularly each year to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves, said Tom Bagamane, Chairman & Founder of The Giving Spirit. "Volunteering with TGS can be a life-changing and humbling experience, showing first-hand the importance of providing help and hope to people in need," he added.

TGS has touched thousands of lives over the years, but two former clients, Ezzie and Detroit, speak to how important receiving that duffle bag (and a smile and hug) was in restoring their faith in humanity and themselves. Ezzie, an Army veteran, said that not only did those bags contain everything that he and others needed; they "contained hope." Both Ezzie and Detroit have moved beyond the streets of Los Angeles and credit TGS' outreach for getting them off the street. They have each volunteered for TGS events, and have spoken to groups all over LA about the experiences that helped turn their lives around.

"We would like to encourage participants of all ages to come celebrate 15 years of service by volunteering with us," continued Bagamane. "The wonderful thing about TGS is that we require no long-term commitment and involve kids as well as adults. We have a ton of fun and make friends along the way. We have also found that once someone has experienced our outreach, it becomes an event that everyone looks forward to.'"

Event Details


December 11, 2014 - December 14, 2014


Brentwood Presbyterian Church

12000 San Vicente Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90049

United States


For those who cannot attend the December outreach event, please consider a donation towards the $60 cost of a duffle bag survival kit. A minimum of 95% of each dollar donated to TGS goes back onto the streets.


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