Latest Project From Catalyst Network Is Long Beach Free Store

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Catalyst Launches New Long Beach Free StoreAs an old saying goes, the best things in life are free. And with the newest project from the Catalyst Network of Communities, the Long Beach Free Store, everything from housewares to books to patio furniture and clothes can be yours for no cost. At 7 p.m. Saturday, August 13, at the Catalyst Space, 430 E. 1st St., join others in promoting the values of sharing and community-building during the Grand Opening of the Long Beach Free Store. “The store is part of the culture of collaborative consumption and the gift economy,” says Free Store Founder Sharon Moiseiff.

Free Store shoppers are encouraged to bring three to five small-to-medium sized items to donate during the event (which coincides with the 2nd Saturday Artwalk in the East Village), and take home new treasures. “The maximum one person can bring is 10 easy-to-carry items,” Moiseiff said. Those who don’t bring anything to donate can still “shop” the Free Store inventory to find unique, useful, or unusual stuff.

Moiseiff has been active in the “freeconomy” since she began organizing free swaps of clothing, accessories, and household items with a few friends in a backyard two years ago. When looking for places to host the growing swaps for free or low cost, Moiseiff found her way to the Catalyst Network, a Long Beach nonprofit that has been building community connections and nurturing relationships in grassroots efforts since 2006.

“The (swaps) are a way for people to come together and get to know each other,” said Moiseiff. “The Free Store grew out of the generosity of Catalyst members in providing a space for the sharing of resources. In the future, we hope to have enough interest, participation, and items to have a standalone storefront. Having the free store concept grow in other communities is another goal.”

In addition to shoppers and donated goods, volunteers to staff the Free Store are needed. Volunteers can even earn time-banking hours through Catalyst’s partnership with the Long Beach Time Exchange. Moiseiff said business sponsors, especially those in the East Village, are welcome to contribute their support in exchange for promotion through the Catalyst Network.

“The Free Store is a mutually-beneficial starting point for a conversation about meeting peoples’ needs, regardless of their culture or socioeconomic status,” Moiseiff said. “All are welcome to give and receive — we need customers as much as we need donations so that the goods are reused in the community.”

For more information about the Grand Opening event or about donation guidelines, e-mail Sharon Moisieff at freestore@gocatalyst.org or call the Catalyst Space at (562) 628-1100.

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