Long Beach Basket Brigade Making a Difference One Family At a Time

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Basket DeliveryEverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Kym Livesay, Vice President of Long Beach Basket Brigade, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has Long Beach Basket Brigade been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

The Long Beach Basket Brigade has been in existence for 6 years. A local Long Beach couple started the Brigade out of their home with a few friends, collecting money from friends and family and delivering 50 baskets of food that first year.

Describe Long Beach Basket Brigade. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

In 2005 the Long Beach Basket Brigade was formed by a small group of individuals driven to make a difference in their local community. We began in the home of a local Long Beach resident, pulling together all of our resources in order to make a difference. We came together with a common goal to assist families in need. That year the Long Beach Basket Brigade raised $2000 and delivered 50 baskets to needy families. Since that year, we have grown immensely, doubling our efforts every year. What began on the sofa of one family, gradually has become a powerful group making a difference one family at a time. In 2009, we established our Non-Profit and were awarded our 501 (c) (3) status. Every year we raise money and we are able to help struggling families all over the Long Beach Community. Each year the response from the community is astounding. Even more impressive is the response from people all over the globe. We receive donations and encouragement from all over the world. Individuals and local businesses participate by donating their time and resources, local residents become a team of volunteers and are given the opportunity to serve, hundreds of families in need are provided a Thanksgiving feast, and as the result, countless people are filled with gratitude and touched by the generosity of one community uniting together.

Our Mission: “Our mission is to unite the Long Beach community, in order to deliver Thanksgiving meals and bring hope to families in need”

How is Long Beach Basket Brigade different from similar nonprofits?

We believe we are different because our mission is two fold. We strive to unite the business and residential community of Long Beach in order to serve our own residents in need. We are a non-profit that completely focuses on serving the Long Beach Community.

How is Long Beach Basket Brigade involved with the community?

The Long Beach Basket Brigade reaches out to all members of the community in order to get everyone involved in serving our community. Everyone has something to offer whether it be financial resources, product donations or a particular talent that will assist us in our mission to serve.

What are some of the biggest successes Long Beach Basket Brigade has had?

In 2009, we established our Non-Profit and were awarded our 501(c)(3) status.

In 2009 we delivered 640 Thanksgiving meals to local families in need. In addition, we rallied over 100 local businesses to participate as well as over 120 local residents to assemble and deliver the baskets.

What is the most rewarding part of running Long Beach Basket Brigade?

Again, it is an amazing organization to run because we not only get to serve our own community in need, but we also have the opportunity to inspire residents to dive into service and giving back to a great city that serves us so well.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

As most people are aware, the current economy is a big challenge for us. We hope to convey to everyone that every donation, small or large, contributes to a family in need. Everything helps, everyone has something to offer.

What are the future plans for Long Beach Basket Brigade?

We will continue to grow and deliver more meals to more families. In addition, as our organization grows and develops, we will expand our group to provide a variety of services throughout the whole year.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

Friday, September 24th we are hosting our 2nd Annual Texas Hold’em & Bunco Tournament at the Alpert Jewish Community Center in Long Beach. The event will start at 5:30pm. We have extraordinary prizes for both events as well as a silent and live auction. All food and beverages are included in the ticket price!

How can people get involved with Long Beach Basket Brigade? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

There are many ways to get involved in the Long Beach Basket Brigade. People can come to our fundraising event or volunteer at it! In addition, we are taking monetary and product donations for our silent and live auctions. We also need people to distribute flyers and spread the word via email and Facebook regarding our fundraiser. In November we will also need help with our Basket Event. Volunteers and donors can visit our website to get more information and email us directly.

What is the most inspiring advice that you received and who did it come from?

“One small act of generosity on the part of one caring person can transform the lives of hundreds. It takes only one light to dispel the darkness, and even just one basket or a few, to bring hope” Tony Robbins

One Last Thing:

It truly takes a village! We need the support of the entire Long Beach community, Local Media, businesses & residents, to fulfill our mission to serve.

Long Beach Basket Brigade Details:

Address: P.O. Box 91717 Long Beach CA, 90809

Phone Number: 562-900-3574

Website: www.LongBeachBasketBrigade.org

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