Long Beach Free Store

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Free Store Closing at Current Location

Posted by housepartyswapnshop on November 21, 2012 at 1:40 AM

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…. 


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