Faces of Christmas: Phillip Randles

December 24, 2013 

The basics: Phillip Randles, 18, is a freshman basketball player at Fresno Pacific University who's majoring in business management with plans on going into his family's bookkeeping business.

What he does: Before the school year starts, Randles volunteers with the West Fresno Resource Center and helps distribute 1,500 backpacks to Fresno Unified School District students. This year, the giveaway was held at Franklin Head Start. In addition, Randles helps with the Halloween Safe Night Out -- attended by about 300 children this year at the California & Elm Community Gym. He also helps the Toys for Tots drive at the Greater Faith Missionary Baptist Church for Christmas.

Why he does it: "When I was little, my mom would tell my brothers and sisters: 'I need you to come and help me out.' As I got older, I started to like it," said Randles, a 2013 Edison High School graduate. "It's something that felt natural for me. I just like helping people out in the community."

The turning point: Randles has seen the struggles of families and felt that something needed to be done. He was just 8 years old when he started volunteering, and his mother, Yolanda, said he's always had a passion to care for others and make sure everyone around him was taken care of.

Details, details: The West Fresno Resource Center, started in 1999, has been distributing backpacks for 11 years on the Saturday before the school year begins. In addition to the backpacks filled with papers, binders and pens and pencils, the West Fresno Resource Center provides free haircuts and health screenings. Volunteers like Randles help distribute water and snacks during various events and help vendors unload items and set up.

What others say: "He's a very good Christian young man," FUSD board member Cal Johnson said about Randles. "He contributes to the community by volunteering. He was actively involved in every facet of those activities. He does everything."

How you can help: To volunteer in the west Fresno area, call the West Fresno Family Resource Center at (559) 264-7185.

-- Anthony Galaviz

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