Long Beach Rescue Mission Celebrates 50 years Of Service With An Annual Gala

The Long Beach Rescue Mission is a local organization that provides food, clothing, shelter, and spiritual guidance to the homeless and less fortunate community of Long Beach. 

This year they are celebrating their 50 anniversary of service after opening their doors in 1972. To commemorate this achievement, they are hosting a gala and fundraiser on June 24. The gala will be at the Westin in Long Beach and will begin at 5:30. Guests of the event can expect good food, music, and many guest speakers including Edward Graham, who will be taking over the Samaritan’s Purse and has been serving in the ministry since 2019. Additionally, a staff member from the Rescue Mission will be sharing her story of how the Mission changed her life.

The goal of the fundraiser is to “[raise money] that’s designed to provide the resources that are necessary for the future ministry. So some of that is going to be helping us furnish this new shelter,” explained Jeff Levine, the new Executive Director of the Rescue Mission. “We need a washer and dryer so that we can do really practical things that are necessary for the shelter to run. Maybe people don’t think about those things when they think about rescuing.”

Levine fought his own personal battles before getting to where he is today. He shared, “I come out of a background of addiction. I started using drugs when I was 11 years old.” 

He went on to express his gratitude for the Rescue Mission, as they helped him out of a dark situation. “My feet hit the ground in the parking lot, and there was this overwhelming sense of peace, that I was right where I’m supposed to be.” 

The mission continues to help those struggling around us on a daily basis. 

As the new Executive Director, Levine has many goals for the organization and milestones he hopes to help them accomplish. “We have this space that just needs to be renovated,” he explained, “and so I worked with an architect to do conceptual design and prepared it. We’re going to share it at the fundraising gala on Friday.” 

He hopes that the gala and fundraiser this week will help them achieve this goal. “The foundation has the resources to do the renovation; we have three years of operating costs covered. So now we just need to raise the funds to furnish it.” 

The theme of the gala is “HiStory,” and the purpose is to recognize how the Rescue Mission has transformed the lives of so many people, as well as how they use their lives to transform others. “You look at the transformed lives of [these] men, women, and children, it is really amazing,” said Levine. 

The Long Beach Rescue Mission is always open to new volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or finding other ways to help and support the Mission, additional information is available here

By Kate Bell