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 street. 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?”
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.
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 fourteenth 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 25,000 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.
Founder and Chairman
The Giving Spirit
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 following graphs chart our growth and the success of our outreach efforts over the years.
(Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. All Links open a new browser window).
The Giving Spirit Articles of Incorporation
The Giving Spirit City of Los Angeles Information Card (2013-14)
The Giving Spirit Fed Form 990 (2012)
The Giving Spirit CA Form 199 (2012)
Tom Bagamane, Chairman: email@example.com
Chairman and Founder of TGS, is an experienced executive and successful entrepreneur. Tom has lead TGS since 1999 and grew the all-volunteer organization from a budget of $2,500 to its current level of $250,000. He holds an MBA from the George Mason University School of Management, and a BA from Virginia Tech. The Virginia Tech Alumni Association awarded him their inaugural Humanitarian Award in 2005. For his work helping the homeless in Los Angeles through TGS. Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Tom has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1995. As founder and chairman, he continues to provide the inspiration and vision for TGS.
Tim Ingram, Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary and Director, is an attorney in Los Angeles who handles TGS corporate secretarial duties and helps guide TGS’s compliance with regulatory issues. In addition to his role as Procurement Committee Chairman, 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.
James Segil, Treasurer: email@example.com
Treasurer and Director, 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
Clarence Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, Events Committee, is a Senior 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 marshalling and training both experienced and new volunteers into an efficient assembly and distribution process.
Tim Ingram: email@example.com
Procurement Chair, brings his prior experience in the construction industry and organizational skills from law practice to manage the logistics and process of buying, acquiring, transporting and storing items for TGS’s assembly process and distribution.
Jim Underwood: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair of the Fundraising Committee, brings expertise in corporate and business development to TGS. He is Executive Vice President at Sony Pictures, received an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mark Sleeper: email@example.com
Chair of Outreach and Distribution Committee. As a business owner and real estate consultant in Los Angeles, Mark uses his knowledge of and relationships within the community to cultivate and expand TGS’ outreach. He often speaks at community meetings, schools, etc. about the TGS mission. 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. Mark 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.