David Levinson is a self-described former "reluctant volunteer" who now runs Big Sunday, the largest annual community service event in southern California.
Big Sunday began as a Mitzvah Day at Temple Israel in Hollywood in 1999, when it drew roughly 200 volunteers, according to the Jewish Journal. This year, 50,000 volunteers showed up for the event.
"Make no mistake, I fell into this not out of kindness or a sense of mission," Levinson explained in the introduction to his new book titled, Everyone Helps, Everyone Wins.
"I did it out of frustration and anger and depression," he added.
The Boston native moved to Los Angeles in the 1980s to write feature film comedies - a venture that proved unsuccessful as none of his scripts were ever produced.
"I sometimes joke that I had a choice between becoming an alcoholic or a humanitarian. I'm a lousy drinker, so I became a humanitarian," he wrote.
The 51-year-old refuses to take sole credit for the success of Big Sunday.
"I'd love to say that Big Sunday is a success because I am so brilliant and talented," he wrote. "But of course that's not true. There have been thousands of wonderful people who made it happen, in ways large and small."
Levinson offered more insight on successful volunteering - what works and what doesn't - on the Nov. 1 edition of the CBN News Channel's Midday News. Click play to watch the interview.