Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and David Levinson, founder and chair of Big Sunday, have challenged residents to give their time and effort to Big Sunday’s annual Day of Service in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 7th.

Last fall at Villaraigosa’s first citywide Day of Service (Big Sunday), more than 7,500 volunteers worked on dozens of projects at six public high schools and surrounding communities in Los Angeles.

In organizing these projects, Villaraigosa’s Westchester office teamed up with Neighborhood Councils and community organizations.

Locally, the focus this year will be on school beautification projects and a cleanup of Venice Boulevard.

Local area projects include the Mar Vista Community Council, the Westchester/Playa del Rey Neighborhood Council, the Westchester High School Garden Club, the Grandview Elementary School PTA, and Friends of Walgrove Elementary.

Volunteers will plant trees and gardens, and paint and spruce up school grounds at Westchester High School, the James McBride School for disabled students, and Mar Vista, Grandview, and Walgrove Elementary Schools.

The Venice Boulevard cleanup is organized by the Mar Vista Community Council, Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council, and senior lead officers from the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division.

“Angelenos have always been generous with their time, whether it’s an hour or a day,” Villaraigosa said. “Big Sunday offers our diverse city the opportunity to build our communities through diverse projects that appeal from the young to our older residents.”

Levinson founded the Big Sunday organization in 1999 with 300 volunteers.

Big Sunday has evolved into an annual citywide volunteer day, with Villaraigosa having sponsored earlier Big Sundays as a City Council member and now as mayor.

This year’s Big Sunday, which is a nondenominational and non-political event, takes place all day at locations throughout Los Angeles.

Volunteers interested in Westside Big Sunday events can contact John Brady, Villaraigosa’s representative for the West Area, at (310) 410-1749 or send e-mail to John.S.Brady@lacity.org