A happy elder receives her gift card. (Courtesy photo) 

“A group of men wanted to make a difference in a city that had drawn lines based on colors.” Brother Hanan, as he is called, although some know him as Tony Goodall, tells the story of how Fathers of the Community began in 2006.

That organization, which includes men from different neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County, will be hosting and celebrating a Global Day of Compassion on Sunday, July 31. Peer organizations in Atlanta, Georgia, Detroit, Michigan and several other states will be celebrating at the same time.

The special day was established in 2014 when the aforementioned men’s group plus a few others gathered in Atlanta and discussed how they could contribute to their communities in a positive way — whether it meant helping seniors, children or the homeless.

“The intent of the Global Day of Compassion is to bring forth unity and unity through compassion,” Brother Hanan explains. “Setting aside our differences, religions, race, gang colors, economics, everything, just to unite for compassion.”

Specifically, the group makes it their goal to distribute cases of waters and a $25 gift card to 200 seniors each year on the last Sunday of July. This year, members from Baldwin Hills, Pasadena and Watts will be participating, reaching seniors in their respective areas.

Brother Hanan and another Father of the Community prepare to load up and distribute water. (Courtesy photo)

As it has in the past, this year‘s Global Day of Compassion will include a “Movie in the Park” event at Jim Gilliam Park at 4000 S. LaBrea in Baldwin Hills.

“On the baseball diamond at dusk, we feed the children in the community for free and we allow the community to come up there, and put their blankets and chairs on the grass and watch a movie.”

This same location is where Brother Hanan and his colleagues meet earlier in the day at noon to begin distributing the cases of water and gift cards to local seniors.

In order to achieve these goals, Brother Hanan aims to raise $5,000 for the initiative annually.“This year’s sponsors are Gorilla RX Wellness Big Kika, the new president of Interscope Records, Superior Market, My Mailbox on La Brea, Costco, and a couple of others,” Hanan says. Empowering our Youth for Tomorrow is his primary non-profit.

There will reportedly also be a backpack giveaway and community cleanup in the Crenshaw and Slauson area at Crenshaw High School, a backpack and school supplies giveaway in Pasadena at Washington Park, and a new mural painting and dedication at the Watts Center.

Hanan, who works in music management, says this initiative has no relationship or connection to the possibly better-known World Compassion Day, founded by Pritish Nandy, which is on November 28, or the July 6th Day of Compassion, which is in honor of the Dalai Lama’s birthday.

Children benefit from getting involved on Global Day of Compassion as well. (Courtesy photo)

“This concept is like a seed, a home-grown, grassroots movement,” Brother Hanan explains. “I believed in this solution, and brought it back to our Fathers of the Community group and asked each member to take it back to their communities and join forces on The Global Day of Compassion. Every year, we join forces to water this seed and spread more healing through compassion.”

Brother Hanan savors most seeing the faces of the seniors who are surprised at the knock on the door from the community. “Those moments are priceless, and those are the biggest compliments,” he says.

The Fathers of the Community pose together in the early days of uniting as a group. (Courtesy photo)

Involvement is encouraged from people throughout the community to continue to grow the message. Brother Hanan says, “Membership is always open for fathers who truly want to do the hard work of making a change.”

Learn more at IG @GlobalDayofCompassion.