We Love Long Beach (WLLB) announced Friday that the community-lovin’ organization has been awarded $30,000 in Knight Foundation funds through Long Beach Community Foundation (LBCF).
The funds, in the form of a grant from The Knight Foundation, will assist WLLB with their next two citywide events, the third annual Pumpkin Carving and Chili Party in October and a citywide breakfast scheduled for early next year.
Already a wild success with the residents who host these events and the neighbors these get-togethers serve, the grant will aid WLLB’s participating hosts, also known as Block Connectors, with materials such as marketing supplies and grocery store gift cards.
"This generous grant will provide a significant boost to the promising progress that our events have generated over the past 12 months," said Scott Jones, co-founder and executive director of WLLB, in a statement.
“The fundamental purpose of our Citywide Block Events is to connect neighbors with one another through the sharing of a meal and the opportunity for interpersonal communication,” he said. “With help from the Knight Foundation Grant, our vision for Long Beach will take huge strides toward becoming a reality.”
The Knight Foundation Grant is given through the LBCF and goes toward supporting the "success of local communities through investments that attract, retain and harness talent" in addition to supporting civic infrastructure, innovative ideas, and unifying individuals of different socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the Friday announcement.
"We Love Long Beach embodies exactly what the Knight Foundation sees as essential community engagement," said Marcelle Epley, President and CEO of the LBCF, in an earlier press statement. "Engaging with people in our direct neighborhoods from all backgrounds [will] enable our communities to succeed at the simplest and most direct level to make a meaningful impact."
WLLB organizes four citywide events every year with the goal of fostering hospitality and helping residents create positive and lasting relationships with their neighbors on every block of the city.
WLLB believes that safer and healthier communities can be created through these strengthened bonds that every neighbor longs to experience an increased interaction between community members, the release stated.
"The simple We Love LB Pumpkin Party really brought out what a lot of other people wanted to do but were a little bit scared to take the risk," said Christina Ashley, a WLLB Block Connector of the Rose Park South neighborhood on the WLLB blog. "They just wanted an excuse to be neighborly."
To become an Event Host (or Block Connector) in your neighborhood or to attend a citywide event, find out more information here or here. For more information about the LBCF, click here or here.