Communiqué from Rae : Shop for Mom

Rae GabelichBy Rae Gabelich, Long Beach 8th District Council Member

Although it’s hard to believe we are into the fall season with 90-degree temperatures, it won’t be long before we are hanging holiday decorations and sipping on egg nog.
This is a favorite time of year for many of us, but there are families who find themselves in a struggle to make ends meet in providing for the basic needs. In many cases, it is a life pattern difficult to break through.
This December marks our 4th annual “Shop For Mom” Day at Grisham Community Housing. For those of you who may be new to our area, Grisham opened in 2004 to provide housing for 96 low-income households here in the 8th district.
There are more than 100 children under the age of 12 who live at Grisham. Shop For Mom Day allows them to find a gift of their choice that they wrap and take home for mom for their holiday celebration.
Through our community’s generous contributions, we have provided a day filled with music, shopping, wrapping and holiday treats. For some of these children, it may take their entire “shopping” experience before we see a smile. For a few, that smile may not come at all, but you know you have had an impact on that moment of their life.
We are asking once again to check your gift closets for those treasures that you may not need or are willing to donate to Shop For Mom. Only new items please. Also remember that moms come in all shapes and sizes, all with different interests, so variety is great.
You may drop off the gifts at our field office at 3837 Atlantic Avenue or call and we will be happy to pick them up. Please call (562) 570-1326 to make sure the office is open or to arrange for a pick up.
Another opportunity to be involved comes from a dear and thoughtful friend. She and her family will be making their annual trip to Nicaragua in January. This year they are collecting Crocs shoes in all sizes to take to the children in need who have no shoes. If your children have outgrown theirs or have too many pairs to choose from, please consider the donation. You may drop these off at the field office as well.
And as a gentle reminder, please consider your local merchants as you begin your holiday shopping. They are here to provide services and opportunities for us; we must consciously support them if we want to continue to grow our retail corridor.
If art is your thing or you simply need an excuse to get out of the house, please mark your calendar for First Fridays on November 2. This is another opportunity to shop, meet your friends, relax over dinner or take in some fine music in your own neighborhood! This month is the one-year anniversary of First Fridays in Bixby Knolls. For more information, visit www
We are beginning to see many changes in this part of our city. The redevelopment projects range from repaving and new medians on Long Beach Boulevard, the façade improvements on both Atlantic Avenue and Long Beach Boulevard to the removal of crime magnet motels on Long Beach Boulevard. When you see the signature white fencing around vacant lots, these are opportunities for new development—developments that will better serve our community.
Many of you have been waiting patiently (myself included) for our follow-up meeting to view concepts for the new Scherer Park community center. I am told the renderings are in the works, so I am hopeful that we will meet before the end of this year.
Another joint project with our Port of Long Beach, Union Pacific Railroad and the City of Long Beach is to provide a new look for the five railroad overpasses through our neighborhoods. More on that as it unfolds!
Stay Well! Stay Involved!

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