FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Local businesses are embracing this season of giving. From toy drives to adopting families, Valley business owners and customers are building goodwill in their communities. We visited a few to see how and why they're practicing social responsibility in the workplace.
At Nation's Barbershop in Northeast Fresno, customers come for cuts, conversation, and camaraderie with owner J. Mason. Lately, though, the countdown to Christmas is on. Mason is hosting a toy drive for the children staying at the Marjaree Mason Center. "This is the second year. So it's become an annual thing. We're really proud of that." Mason has a very personal connection to the center. Marjaree Mason was his aunt, and says this is a way to honor her memory. "I was like her baby growing up. She didn't have any children so I was the one that would always be at her house. Her and my father were really close."
At Julia Vogue in North Fresno, customers are snatching up "Alex and Ani" jewelry and accessories. A portion of the "Charity By Design" line goes directly to over 25 non-profits... $25,000 worth so far. Owner Vincent Cho explains, "A lot of the customers that come in, they can usually find one, donating to a charity that's really close to their heart. I think that at the end of the day we're always trying to do more than sell things." Cho just wrapped up a Toys for Tots promotion as well, matching every bracelet sold with a toy. Now he finds himself shopping for 300 toys to donate!
Nearly everyone at CheerForce Fresno is involved in giving back. From the students to their parents to the staff practice philanthropy. The gym has adopted a family for the holidays, providing everything from food to decorations to presents. They're hosting a pajama drive this weekend and fundraise year-round for St. Jude. Owner Stephanie Howell says it's a vital life lesson beyond the mat. "If they learn it when they're young, it's something they'll continue doing, is to give back to the community and realize how fortunate they are." Which she says, will help to create the next generation of givers.
To donate a new, unwrapped toy to the Marjaree Mason Center, you can drop it off at Nations Barbershop Tuesday through Sunday, at 5783 N. First Ave. at Bullard Ave. (559) 549-9146.
Alex and Ani "Charity by Design" bracelets are sold at Julia Vogue River Park, call (559) 432-3400
CheerForce is accepting monetary donations as well as new children's pajamas of all sizes to benefit Rescue the Children. Saturday, December 12th from 9am to 3pm at 4057 W. Shaw Suite 110. (559) 908-5969.