Robin Jones of the Long Beach (Ca.) Grace Brethren Church (Lou Huesmann, pastor) was recently honored and featured in local media. Here is an excerpt–to read the entire story click here.
Robin Jones never guessed her enjoyment of throwing a party could lead to this.
In just three years, We Love Long Beach has gone from a simple sort of “getting to know you” event to one of the more impressive grass-roots community building forces in Long Beach. Robin and her brother, Scott Jones, formed We Love Long Beach in 2008 with a simple premise.
It was around that time Scott Jones realized that although he and his sister had lived in Belmont Shore almost all their lives and were the fourth generation of a Long Beach family, they didn’t even know their neighbors.
That led to the brother and sister organizing a neighborhood breakfast at the triangle-shaped park across the street from their home.
To their amazement, 50 people showed up. By the time the siblings had hosted their second barbecue, more than 700 attended.
Robin Jones says sometimes all it takes to build a community is “that first, `Hi, how are you.”‘
Three years later, We Love Long Beach, has been “Hi, how are you-ing” all over the city. They have hosted at least one breakfast in every council district and become a seemingly ubiquitous presence at community and neighborhood events. Their mission is deceptively simple, “to know and serve the people, the neighborhoods and the city of Long Beach.”
The breakfasts have proved to be a nice no-pressure way to bring people who want to get more involved in their communities into a room or a park space together.
“We’re trying to build relationships,” Jones says. “With relationships you get trust. With trust you build ties.”