A picture perfect day

Alexandra Juarez

Universal Studios and Operation School Bell partnered together for the 10th annual Day of Giving event.

The event had 250 homeless children from over 30 schools from the Los Angeles Unified School District. Elementary and middle schools arrived at Universal Studios for an unforgettable day on Thursday November 13.

Students eagerly collected clothes, shoes, school supplies and a complimentary lunch as they anticipated an afternoon of fun at the theme park. The children had a chance to meet the minions, from Universal Pictures’ “Despicable Me”, and experience the new “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” play zone.

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Hundreds of Universal’s employees, including executives and mangers volunteered to make the event happen.

“The most important thing is the experience for people, this is a really special day, I want them to have a great experience, and feel a sense of pride in our company and a sense of connection with people,” said Dortothea Scattaglia, executive director of employee services, wellness and community relations.

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Children lit up as they prepared to enter the theme park, as this opportunity is a lifetime experience for most.

“The kids are really excited, alot of them come from families that aren’t able to afford this opportunity, we’re really grateful,” said Ana Zepeda, school psychologist for Nevin Elementary School.

Throughout the day more employees were deployed to five other nonprofit organizations throughout Los Angeles for a full day of giving back to the community. Some of their tasks included stocking food supplies for people affected by HIV and AIDS at AIDS Project L.A.

They also participated in a basketball game with youth and served a hot lunch prepared by Universal Studios’ culinary team at Pacific Lodge Boys’ Home.

Workers also participated fixing up the grounds and classrooms at, Meet Each Need with Dignity’s (M.E.N.D.) Educational Training Center. They also engaged in playtime and arts and crafts with kids with disabilities at Shane’s Inspiration’s playground and provide meals and interact with homeless and low-income women in L.A.’s Downtown Women’s Center.

“My favorite part of today ,is hearing everyone experiences and memories, it meas so much to me that people connect,” Scattaglia said.

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