Thumbs up to Stan and Shelly Grosz of Horn Photo in Fresno for picking up the printing costs for the Christmas cards sent this year by Joel Lopez and his wife, Rachel. Joel is currently serving his first deployment for the Army infantry in Iraq as a part of Operation Inherent Resolve.
Rachel and their daughter, Lilah, are living with her parents. One of the Lopezes’ holiday traditions is their annual Christmas card which, somehow, they managed to create this year even with Joel being so far away.
When Rachel took her pictures to Horn for printing, the Groszes insisted on making her cards free of charge, and she could order as many as she wanted. Through tears, Rachel accepted their gift to her and her family. This is the big difference between shopping local and shopping at the big chains, says Rachel’s mother.
Thumbs down to Grinchy holiday scammers. The Better Business Bureau released a list of what to watch out for this season when it comes to shopping and delivery. Here are a few tips:
- E-cards: There are two red flags to watch for: no apparent sender’s name and you are asked to supply more information to receive the card.
- Shopping online: The BBB recommends that you shop only on secure websites (look for https instead of http in the url). Also, try to use credit instead of debit cards.
- Social media gift exchange: The “Secret Sister Gift Exchange” and other such exchanges are a scam. They claim you’ll get up to 36 gifts if you participate, but it’s actually illegal as it’s a pyramid scheme, the BBB says.
- Donations: Read about charities on give.org before donating.
Thumbs up to Dave Weber, CEO of Gill Ranch Storage and Assemblyman Jim Patterson, for giving a total of $6,000 to be divided equally between six local veteran families to assist them during the holidays. Gill Ranch has been doing this charity project for several years. The veterans were selected through San Joaquin Valley Veterans, a project of WestCare California.
Gill Ranch Storage is an underground storage facility designed to hold 20 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
Thumbs up to Jahwanza Lawford and Make-A-Wish Central California for their joint Christmas project.
Jahwanza Lawford’s wish was granted his senior year of high school in Houston when he was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia (a disease similar to leukemia) and severe liver hepatitis. He wished for year’s tuition at the University of Alabama, where he was gearing up to play football. Upon learning that he would no longer be able to play football due to health concerns, he transferred to Fresno State, where he is wrapping up his first semester, to pursue his other passion: running track.
For a project in their Fresno State group communications class, Jahwanza and his fellow classmates were tasked with choosing a campaign to build a communications plan to support. Because he knew first-hand how Make-A-Wish impacted his life, he convinced his classmates to spread the spirit of the season through Macy’s Believe campaign benefitting Make-A-Wish, where “Believers” of all ages line up to drop off letters to Santa at the big red letterbox at their nearest Macy’s store or sent letters online at macys.com/believe.
Jahwanza and this classmates built a communications plan to distribute Believe postcards in an effort to help spread the word that now through Sunday, for each letter received in store or online, Macy’s will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million, to grant the wishes of children across the country with critical illnesses. He and his classmates hope to instill participation from the community and bring in some additional donation dollars to support the campaign.
Thumbs up to Fresno State for its fifth annual Helping Hams campaign. Ten local organizations received 250 hams to share with families in need this holiday season. The campaign ran Nov. 13 through Dec. 4 and raised $7,795, surpassing its goal of $7,500 to purchase 250 hams. The additional $295 raised will be allocated to the Fresno State Student Cupboard. The largest contribution was a $3,500 donation from RCO Ag Credit, Inc., an agriculture finance company based in Fresno.
Campus-related organizations receiving hams include the Bulldog Pantry, College Assistance Migrant Program, Student Cupboard and the TRiO Student Support Services and Student Support Services Veterans Program.
Other local agencies included the El Dorado Park Community Development Corp., Fresno County Perinatal Wellness Center, Stone Soup Fresno, Tarpey Elementary School Parent Teacher Club, The Way Ministries and Wesley United Methodist Church Food Pantry.