Long Beach Free Store

share what you have
find what you need

Free News!

view:  full / summary

New Free Store Location in Whittier

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on June 1, 2015 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (1)

We Love the whole idea of a “Free Store”. We love the intentional placemaking practice of creating a public space for people to come together and make connections & build community – simply by sharing our “stuff”. We want to see a Free Store and/or Free Community Exchange events in every city, every neighborhood.

Since we started the Long Beach Free Store project a few years ago – we’ve met a lot of great people, made connections, facilitated community connectedness and shared a lot of stuff. We’ve done it at 3 locations with a Brick and Mortar Free Store, with a monthly Free Community Exchange that ran for over 4 years (and will hopefully find a new home and come back), and countless PoP Up Free Store events.

One thing that is hard about maintaining programming for a Free Store is funding. Since we don’t charge for the “stuff” – we have no income. One way we are trying to address that is by the introduction of Supporting Membership – this is a contribution by community members to help support Free Store programming. While we are here to help you share freely, but it is not free for us to be here.

Looking at options for increased sustainability for this programming – we saw the potential of partnering with a Make Space to help fund our operations. Well – now the Catalyst Network of Communities has found the right community partners in the Whittier Time Bank and The Whole Place at First Christian Church, Whittier – to bring this vision to life.

We have the space to bring together these two ideas in Make Space: Whittier Free Store and Artisan Work Lab in Whittier, CA.

We are almost ready to open the Whittier Free Store (phase 1 of this) – and are planning the opening this summer 2015! We need to raise funds to cover expenses to get this done. To do this – we have launched a Kickstarter campaign & membership drive. Contribute $25 or more and become a Supporting Member of the Whittier Free Store.

Please help us with this by contributing what you can, and by sharing this Kickstarter Campaign with your friends and family by word of mouth, in an email, and on your social media platforms – and urge them to do the same.

Together we can build a sustainable model for a Free Store that can be duplicated in other communities – and then we can do it again. Join Us.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/48566235/make-space-whittier-free-store-and-artisan-work-la" target="_blank">DONATE NOW

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.


Free Store at Art Exchange Closing Message : Part 2

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on September 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

We are amazed by the response to our announcement yesterday about closing our current location.  We appreciate all the support that has been expressed for the Long Beach Free Store and the work that Catalyst is doing to help people and groups to connect, collaborate, and share resources.

We wanted to be clear that it os not our intent to fight the decision made by the Art Exchange or to make appeals for us to stay.

Catalyst and our Long Beach Free Store program’s intent is to focus on moving forward productively so that we can continue promoting the values of sharing and reciprocity between neighbors in any community.

We know that there is a broader conversation happening about how to cultivate a vibrant arts culture in our very diverse community.  Many people have different perspectives for what that looks like. It is our hope that these important conversations happen through the lens of respect, creativity, and empathy.  

Please stay connected with us through our Facebook pages for both the Long Beach Free Store and also the Catalyst Network of Communities, and at our web site at www.lbfreestore.com. If you would like to help sustain our efforts, you can make a donation at http://www.gofundme.com/46lrqw.


Thank you!

Free Store Location at Art Exchange Closing

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on September 4, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

We regret to announce that the Long Beach Free Store at the Art Exchange location on 3rd Street and Elm Avenue will be closing. The Art Exchange has decided that our program does not align with their mission of supporting art, working artists and arts education in the community so they have asked us to leave by the end of September.

Although it seems that the Long Beach Free Store has been somewhat of a nomadic tribe over the last 3 years, this Catalyst program has continued to have impact where ever it lands. While admittedly not a traditional arts program, we believe that the Long Beach Free Store bridges a gap for the arts to reach new audiences. In the last 5 months at the Art Exchange location, the Long Beach Free Store has enrolled over 300 free memberships, received over 5,300 donated items from the community, and given out over 3,500 items back to the community. We have been serving neighborhood residents and also bringing hundreds of people to the East Village Arts District, and facilitating thousands of exchanges while educating people about the values of sharing resources and reciprocity, and the concepts of upcycling and reusing material items as a way of extending their lifespan before reaching the landfill.

As always, we continue our mission to promote the values of sharing resources in our community. We will explore options for finding another physical space in the future, but that has never stopped us from continuing to help people to connect. We will continue to host the Seven-Ten Swap, our monthly free community exchange and potluck event held every 3rd Friday of the month in Long Beach (for the past 3 years). For more info, go to www.710swap.com.

For now, we could use your help! There are a number of ways that you can give back. You can join the team by volunteering regularly for the Seven-Ten Swap and/or a future Long Beach Free Store location. You can also help us pack and/or deliver our remaining inventory to other donation centers. If you would like to volunteer, please email [email protected] You can also help by making a financial donation to help us sustain our efforts. Go to www.gocatalyst.org/make-a-donation/.

Stay tuned for more news in the future. Thank you for your continued support!


Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}

Free Store Progress...

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on February 6, 2013 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

We've been making progress on setting up the Free Store!

You can see all the photos in the Photo Album at our Face Book Page

You can check it out in person during the 2nd Saturday Art Walk in Downtown Long Beach on 2/9/13.

The Long Beach Freestore and Makerspace will be unveiling our new home at the ArtX during this month's 2nd Saturday ArtWalk. We've been working very hard to create a lovely space for the community to share and find underused items for FREE. Please join us during the ArtWalk from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to find out how you can become a member of the Freestore and sign up for your FREE membership. During the ArtWalk you can also create some upcycled art from found objects and learn about other Makerspace activities and services that will be accessible in the Freestore and community art studio at the ArtX. This will also be the best time to meet with our Freestore team to find out about volunteering and to sign up for an upcoming volunteer orientation.

The Long Beach Freestore and Makerspace are projects of the Catalyst Network of Communities.

coming soon... LB Free Store at the Art Exchange Long Beach!

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on January 21, 2013 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

coming soon... our new location at ArtExchange Long Beach 

340 E. 3rd Street Long Beach, CA 

"before" we get in to paint / build and set up

Thanksgiving Weekend 2012

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on November 21, 2012 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Take Back Thanksgiving Weekend and focus on being thankfulfor all we have, and the spirit of giving and sharing.

Ditch Black Friday for something more relaxed and fun.

Two great Options – (you can do BOTH)

Black Friday at the Long Beach Free Store

November 23, 2012 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm

1730 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90813

Join us for a Pot Luck and your Last Chance to Shop the FreeStore and experience the Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability before itshuts down.  Regular Operations endedWednesday 11/21/12 as the Center Shifts to Shut Down mode.



Black Friday Art Market

November 23, 2012 from 12:00 noon to 9:00 pm

Bungalow Art Center # 3 at 737 Pine Ave. Long Beach, CA  90813

Buy Art for holiday gifts. A pop-up art show for BlackFriday with great art gifts.

Cultural Alliance Long Beach




Free Café every Saturday at The Farm

November 24, 2012 from 10:00 am to12:00 noon

Strub Avenue Farm: 8826 Strub Avenue,Whittier, CA 90605

Come eat baked goods we made ourselvesand drink fresh-squeezed orange juice from the farm at the Free Café

A Whittier Time Bank Event



Shop Small Business Saturday November24, 2012

–     Stay out of the bigchain stores and shop local / shop small (for big impact)




Pickup some Hand Made gifts at Crafted at the Port – This Gem is a Year Round CraftFair right across the bridge from Downtown LB



Or – Get Crafty yourself and getinspired at the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse. Pick up something to makegifts or cards yourself, or get a gift certificate for someone as a gift. 




Really Really Free Market – Long Beach

Last Sunday every month (November 25,2012)

From 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm

at Bixby Park in Long Beach (corner ofBroadway and Junipero)

Share Skills and Stuff for Free – jointhe Gift Economy



Free Store Closing at Current Location

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on November 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The Long Beach FreeStore location at the Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability is closing.

Our last day of regularoperations at the current location will be on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. Weinvite you to come and take from the Free Store – but to limit your donationsas we have to gear up for our move.

We will be open on Friday, November 23, 2012 – for a special “Black Friday” Free Store Event and potluck  from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. We hope you stick around to meet with others and to talk with us about your ideas for the Free Store. We ask that you only bring items you can also take back home with you as you leave at the end of this event – as we will no longer be able to accept donations to keep in the Free Store.

Hancock University, who had allowed us to use their space, has now decided to use the property for their own purposes. Although we just recently had an awesome opening, it saddens us to have to close the doors so soon.  We quickly reached hundreds of people and had already amassed many powerful moments in our short stay here. With Thanksgiving a few heartbeats away, we choose to remain in a spirit of gratitude for all that we have accomplished here. May this community, who experienced what we do for the 1st time in this place, continue to be open to the notion that we can live abundantly.

Finding a permanent space for a project like the LB Free Store is a challenge, but the ideals of this project continue to have real value; it promotes the spirit of sharing, reduces waste in our lives and landfills, and builds community. We will continue with our efforts to secure a new location because, regardless of present circumstances, we still believe wholeheartedly in its mission.

Now – more than ever –is the time to get behind this project if you share these values. You can help the LB Free Store move forward so that we can continue to make a positive impact on the community and everyone else who is touched by our efforts. We invite you to help us keep going.

Moving forward– We will continue to have the following focuses:

1) We will continue to plan and provide the community with opportunities to participate in free exchanges by hosting Pop Up Free Store events. We need volunteers to help us plan and execute these Pop Up Free Stores. You can help us to find locations to host these events. If you have, or know of any, upcoming events that you would like for us to set up a Pop Up Free Store then please let us know.

2) We will continue to hold our monthly Free Community Exchange, the Seven-Ten Swap on the 3rd Friday of every month. To stay in the loop of that event you can visit www.710swap.com 

3) We will also promote and participate in other sharing events in the Long Beach Area such as the monthly Really Really Free Market at Bixby Park every last Sunday (The Bluffpark off of Cherry & Ocean, by the LB Museum).

4) We will continue to build our team by finding others to contribute their gifts and ideas to our vision. In staying true to our values as an organization, we intend for this to be a collaborative project. We invite people to join our core team to move us forward. You can help us seek a permanent location for the Free Store, to recruit volunteers to work the Free Store and its events, to promote and expand this project and take it to new and exciting directions.  Who shows up is who shapes it.

5) We will also continue to promote our ideas in other communities by speaking to various groups to support them with our time and resources. If you would like to learn how to host your own free community exchange events please let us know. If you know of a great group that might be open to starting a sharing network in their communities, then please let us know and we will be happy to continue this dialogue with them.

 As we focus on closing and moving, the shipping container that houses the free store will have to move from its current location.  The future Free Store could be in this shipping container on a lot or in any good space where there is room for it. We need to find another place willing to accept and utilize the empty shipping container – whether or not it is to house the Free Store.

Ideally, we are also seeking the opportunity to relocate with the Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability as a whole, because it includes other worthy projects like our Community Bike Shop, the DIY Maker Space, the Urban Oasis container garden, the Butterfly Cove, our Solar / Bike / Water & Recycling Education Stations, Fitness & Wellness Programs, Workforce Development Programs, Arts programs and Children’s Programming. 

During our precious time at the Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability we saw a small glimpse into how rapidly the impact of each program had multiplied when they were housed all together. The end result has been both breathtaking and inspiring. Our 1st choice is to continue our work all together.

At the same time – if we are not able to find adequate space to keep the complete Catalyst Center together – we know that each project can stand on it’s own to continue its work of having a real and meaningful impact on the community. With this in mind – we are seeking help in moving & relocating any and all parts of these projects; in one unit, or piece by piece in different locations in the greater Long Beach area.

We are putting the call out for anyone to get involved and join the Free Store Team – as a leader, as a volunteer, or as a supporter to help us relocate and expand.  Send us an email at [email protected] if you or someone you know is interested. 

Feel free to send us a message with any constructive advice or input, suggestions or recommendations, well wishes or leads – even if you can’t commit to be a part of this team. We could use all of your positive thoughts & good vibes right now…

You can also help by making a tax-deductible donation to the Long Beach Free Store/Catalyst to help cover the expenses of relocation.

You can also help us by getting the word out. Let people know about our situation, our goals, and our events. Even if you can’t help out yourself, maybe this is the right time and opportunity for someone else you may know. 

If you have any input regarding the relocation and preservation of the entire Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability, or any of its programs – please send us an email at [email protected] .

This is not the end of the Free Store – but rather an opportunity for a new beginning.

Thank you to all of you who have donated, shopped or helped out in any way. All of your contributions made this endeavor a truly special experience and you are greatly appreciated. We look forward to finding out what happens next.


The Long Beach Free Store Team 


To be continued…. 


Free Swap / Sharing & Community Exchange Events Coming Up On Us FAST!

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on September 28, 2012 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

There are a lot of great free swap / community exchange / sharing events coming up in Southern California, including a lot of Costume Swap Events for Halloween.

We list ALL OF IT ( or all we find out about ) - on our calendar of events page at www.hpswap.com

Here is a quick run down:

Fri. 9/28 7:00 PM Wine & Chocolate Tasting + Accessories Swap WhittierCA

Sun. 9/30 9:00 AM Halloween Preparedness with Los Angeles Costume Swap& Family Dance Jam!  Los Angeles

Sun. 9/30 12:00 PM Really Really Free Market in Long Beach 

Sat. 10/6 10:00 AM Free Market at Cardboard and Imagination Day ofPlay- Whittier CA

Sat. 10/13 10:00 AM Costume Swap - Monrovia, CA

Sat. 10/13 10:00 AM Costume Swap - Los Angeles, CA  Grow Kid Grow

Sun. 10/14 9:00 AM Los Angeles Costume Swap & Zombies March celebrates National Costume Swap Day™

Sun. 10/14 11:30 AM Costme Swap - Encino Encino, CA  A Mother's"Haunted" Haven for a baby/kid/teen & maternity Halloweencostume, clothing & gear swap!

Sun. 10/14 12:00 PM Costume Swap - Anahiem, CA Anaheim, CA The Karneval Club(German Mardi Gras Club) of the Phoenix Club in Anaheim will host OrangeCounty’s first Costume Swap.

Sun. 10/14 12:00 PM Halloween Swap-o-rama-rama  reDiscover Center LosAngeles, CA

Fri. 10/19 6:30 PM The Seven-Ten Swap ARTSwap! 

Sat. 10/20 11:00 AM The Catalyst Network Assembly / LB Free StoreGrand Opening 

Sun. 10/21 1:00 PM Halloween Costume Swap & Zombie Maker WorkshopLong Beach, Ca

Sat. 10/27 2:00 PM Riverside Really Really Free Market 

Sun. 10/28 9:00 AM Los Angeles Costume Swap at Mar Vista FarmersMarket Los Angeles, California

... and that's just what we know about - so far!


We always appreciate any heads up about a swap / RRFM / Community Exchange or sharing event in So Cal - shoot us an email or post any you know of that we miss...



The Assembly of the Catalyst Network of Communities

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on September 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

This is the Event of the Year!


2nd Annual Assembly of the Catalyst Network of Communities

What:The annual gathering of the entire Catalyst Network of Communities

When:Saturday, October 20th, 2012 from11:00am ‐ 5:00pm

Where:The new Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability

1730 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90813 (one block south of PCH at Esther)

Who:Everyone! All collaborative partnerorganizations and businesses, Catalyst‐adopted

fiscally sponsored, Catalyst projects and programs, including all of your members,

friends,family, customers, funders, and constituents.

Why: To build camaraderie, facilitate connection, and showcase the impact our collaboration

has had onour city. To celebrate the Grand Opening of the new Catalyst Center for

UrbanSustainability and the Grand Re‐Opening of the Long Beach Free Store.

TheAssembly of the Catalyst Network of Communities is a unifying community experience that

provides a tangible connection between individuals and organizations throughout our various

relational networks while showcasing the impact that collaboration has on our city.

The idea isfor everyone to bring everyone! Not just a representative ‐ but bring your entire

organization, network, family, friends, co‐workers, associates, members, customers, and constituents.

Imagine what would happen when we all just show up!

+Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability

+CenterSpace: WestLB

+Conscious Community Project

+Esteem Catalyst Advisory Group

+Fit toLive

+Foodscape Long Beach


+Gem‐In‐Eyes Arts Festival

+Green Long Beach!

+J&J Imagination Unlimited


+Leap Frog Yoga

+Long Beach Free Store

+Long Beach Grows

+Long BeachTime Exchange

+Operation Community Stimulus

+Orange County Time Bank

+Out Faith

+Pink Cloud Foundation

+Pots 2 Pans Nutrition

+Powerhouse School

+Shift Long Beach

+So Cal Harvest

+The Narra Project

*And all collaborative partner organizationsin the Catalyst Network!

The 2nd Annual Assembly of the Catalyst Network of Communities will feature:

The Grand Opening of the New Catalyst Center for Urban Sustainability!

The Grand Re‐Opening of theLong Beach Free Store!

Musicians and Dancers!

Donation Drive!

A Chance to Engage With Fellow Change‐Makers in our Community!




Celebrate the Long Beach Time Exchange

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on September 11, 2012 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Long Beach Time Exchange 2 Yr. Anniversary!

Two years of helping the community share skills and services - the Long Beach Time Exhcange is celebrating Sunday, September 16, 2012 at the space of the new home for the Long Beach Free Store.

Just like the LB Free Store helps you reuse, reduce and share unused items by passing them on to someone else who can use them - or give a new home to items that have a lot of life left in them.... the Long Beach Time Exchange allows us all to tap into the unused resources and greatest assets in our community - our neighbors.

Both are part of the Sharing Networks in the Long Beach Area - which are initiating a shift from a position of scarcity - to one of abundance, by helping us all access the goods and services that are already here. 

Tough economic times means less cash for a lot of us, but a lot of what has ALWAYS been here - is STILL here. We just need a different way to access it - and the Long Beach Time Exchange is a huge way we can do that.

Come check it out up-close at the 2 Year Anniversary Celebration!

ALSO - check out this article about the event at the Long Beach Press Telegram:



The Long Beach Free Store is a project 
of the Catalyst Network of Communities.
 “connect and affect” 

Upcoming Events

Sunday, Jun 25 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday, Jul 7 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Sunday, Jul 23 at 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Friday, Aug 4 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Help Support the

Long Beach Free Store

We help you share freely
But it's not Free for
us to be here.
Help cover the rent,
utilities, store fixtures...

Like Us On Facebook

LB Time Exchange

Volunteer with the

Long Beach Free Store

And Earn Time Dollars with

The Long Beach Time Exchange!


Follow Us on Twitter!