City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 051021
After Successful Toy and Book Drive, Long Beach Launches New Letter Writing Campaign for Migrant Children
City of Long Beach Joint Information Center

Samantha Mehlinger
Director of Communications
Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

Long Beach, CA - This past weekend, the City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), wrapped up a successful toy and book drive that concluded with the community providing approximately 30,000 toys and books for the children temporarily being housed at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) humanitarian shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center. Today, the City announced a new community campaign to bring letters of encouragement to the children as they await reunification or to take with them as they are reunited, which is currently happening for many of the children.

“It doesn’t surprise me that our community donated tens of thousands of toys and books for these children,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This is what Long Beach is all about. I’m looking forward to continuing to support these kids through this letter writing campaign.”

“The last two weeks have been amazing. From the beginning, we were extremely impressed at the volume of donations coming from not only the Long Beach community but surrounding communities as well,” said Steve Goodling, President & CEO of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. 

“Once again, Long Beach has demonstrated how generous a community it truly is—from families driving up with their children to drop off new toys at the collection centers, to community groups arranging their own drives and dropping them off at our collection stations, the stories have been numerous and amazing. The number of toys and books necessitated almost daily pickups from our various hotel partners, whose bell closets were overflowing with gifts. We thought that this gift giving would continue at that level for the first three or four days, but it continued for a solid two weeks, with many donors dropping off gifts until the very last minute — allowing the collection effort to gather 30,000 books and toys. We appreciate everyone who helped extend a warm welcome from Long Beach to the migrant children,” Steve concluded.

Today through Saturday, May 22, the community can drop off encouraging letters for the children at various locations in Long Beach. HHS will provide letters directly to the children and also display them within the shelter so the children can read positive messages from the community throughout their stay.

For the letter writing campaign, the letters should:

  • Be 8.5 x 11 inches in size
  • Be one-sided only
  • Be in English or Spanish
  • Contain appropriate pictures and drawings if able
  • Be unsealed if placed in an envelope

Letters can be dropped off at the following locations:
The Long Beach Public Library (LBPL) will accept letters from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, at the following LBPL To-Go locations:

  • Billie Jean King Main Library, 200 W. Broadway
  • Bay Shore Library, 195 Bay Shore Ave.
  • Bret Harte, 1595 W. Willow St.
  • Los Altos, 5614 Britton Dr.
  • Mark Twain, 1401 E. Anaheim St.
  • Michelle Obama, 5870 Atlantic Ave.

Letters can also be dropped at the following area hotels from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily:

  • Golden Sails Hotel, 6285 Pacific Coast Hwy.
  • Hilton Long Beach, 701 W. Ocean Blvd.
  • Holiday Inn Long Beach Airport, 2640 N. Lakewood Blvd.
  • Long Beach Airport Marriott, 4700 Airport Plaza Dr.
  • Westin Long Beach, 333 E. Ocean Blvd.

The City’s previous toy and book drive for the arriving migrant children was a tremendous success thanks to the Long Beach community, people and organizations throughout the region and the over 8,000 community volunteers who spread the word. Approximately 30,000 books and toys were collected. The children, both current and future, now have a large library of books to choose from to read at their own leisure and plenty of toys, games and drawing materials to use to spark their imaginations.

In addition, monetary donations continue to be accepted through the Migrant Children Support Fund, launched by the Long Beach Community Foundation. All donations are tax-deductible and are designated specifically to provide assistance and supportive resources related to the migrant children humanitarian effort in Long Beach. Donations can be made online, or by mailing a check to the Long Beach Community Foundation at 400 Oceangate, Suite 800, Long Beach, CA 90802. Check donations should include “Migrant Children Support Fund” on the check designation.

For more information regarding the temporary HSS migrant shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center, visit the City’s online portal.