Universal Studios Hollywood celebrated their 16th Annual Day of Giving. It’s a chance for Universal Studios and its team members to give back to the greater Los Angeles area by inviting hundreds of homeless school children to their park through the help of Operation School Bell, a local non-profit.
I’m pretty fortunate to get opportunities to cover events, whether that is exploring the mazes of Halloween Horror Nights or standing on the red carpet talking movies with filmmakers, but Universal’s Day of Giving was unique and heartwarming in a way not even Santa Claus could bring to me. I witnessed a community coming together in ways I haven’t seen in a long time.
The last few years have divided many of us with politics or social injustices, but when I arrived at the Universal parking lot all of those divisions were gone. Day of Giving started in a designated part of the Universal parking lot where several buses of elementary school children lined up to walk through an obstacle course of tables and tents that provided these kids with a snack, fresh shoes, new clothes, books, and school supplies. They were greeted by members from Operation School Bell, the Los Angeles Police Department, and Universal team members.
Despite all of their smiles hidden behind masks, you could see how many of them were excited to get a toy minion as they signed in, and how determined they were to get the best book they could find of the ones available. After they visited each table, kids lined up to go into the park and pay a visit to the many attractions at Universal.
It was a wonderful day for all involved and showed that love, community, and hope are more important than most anything else. For these children, they received a helping hand and a day of escape.
The Day of Giving is part of the Discover a Star Foundation, Universal’s in-house philanthropic organization. The organization works with a number of local partners and helps give back to Southern California. If you’d like more information, visit Community.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com.