AS President Merida and The Giving App team organize event focused on giving back to community

AS President Rose Merida, CEO and founder of The Giving App James Mizuki and product manager Justin Punzalan are working together to create and organize events to help their local communities.

Samantha Bravo, Assistant News Editor

Associated Students President Rose Merida, CSUN alumnus James Mizuki and CSUN computer science major Justin Punzalan, the creators of a community service app called The Giving App, are hosting a women’s clothing drive in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday.

Mizuki graduated from CSUN in 2017 and is the founder of The Giving App, an app that allows users to find organizations, charity events, donation centers and places to volunteer locally and globally. The app, which is a year in the making, has yet to launch as the pandemic put its development on hold, but Mizuki has partnered with local nonprofit organizations to organize events to give back to the community.


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Slowly but surely, we’re making progress! Let us know what you think!:)

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Saturday’s event is in collaboration with the Los Angeles Mission and iToo Fashion, a sustainable clothing brand that makes clothes from soybeans. The event aims to provide women living in Skid Row and the greater L.A. area with free outfits.

“(iToo Fashion was) looking for an outlet to be able to give back and we just thought, ‘Alright, well, let’s see if we can create a collaboration,’” Mizuki said.

iTooFashion will provide the outfits which include a pair of pants, shorts and T-shirts in different sizes. Around 2,000 pieces of clothing, worth a total of $5,000, will be distributed, according to Mizuki.

“We have hopes that depending how this event goes, it’s going to be just the beginning of a handful of these iToo fashion collaborations, so we’re really excited.” Merida said. “An opportunity to share a little bit of positivity, especially with everything going on in the world.”

Merida joined The Giving App team last month to help coordinate events, using her experience putting together events for Associated Students and CSUN’s New Student Orientation.

“My role has just begun which is why I am looking forward to “The Giving App Gives Back,” event on Saturday,” Merida said. “It is my first event with this wonderful team and organization.”

Merida said social distancing measures will be in place at the event and volunteers and attendees are required to wear face coverings.Tables will be set up so volunteers can hand off the pieces of clothing to an individual without physical contact, according to Merida.

“We’re also going to make sure that all the volunteers, including us, are wearing gloves and masks, and we’re going to try to maintain that six feet apart,” Merida said.

In addition to the clothing, Merida said the first 20 women in line will receive feminine toiletries she donated herself.

Last month, The Giving App organizers, along with the nonprofit organization Shopping Helpers Los Angeles, provided homeless individuals and community members in Venice Beach with care packages, water and food.

Mizuki said The Giving App team can be reached via their Instagram for upcoming events or collaborations.

More information on The Giving App and Saturday’s event can be found on their Instagram.

Saturday’s event will take place from 12 to 2 p.m. at the L.A. Mission’s Anne Douglas Center for Women at 316 Winston St. in Los Angeles.