With the expansion of our store in the early 2000s, we also became fiercely committed to community involvement and charitable giving by hosting fundraisers and donating generously to over 100 silent and live auctions annually. These initiatives include giving free silver necklaces to the unemployed during the Great Recession of 2009, community beautification, and volunteering for leadership roles in Ventura. In response to the tragedies of the Thomas and Woolsey Fires and the Borderline Shooting, Fox Fine Jewelry gave more than 900 necklaces to those affected, and raised nearly $70,000.
At the beginning of the Great Recession of 2009, around Valentine's Day, we pledged to give 100 free sterling silver necklaces to the unemployed. The initiative was publicized locally, and ultimately around the world by TV networks, the Associated Press and radio, bringing people from distant cities, creating a line down the street. The overwhelming need prompted us to contact jewelry trade organizations. As a result, an estimated 150 jewelers in the U.S. and Canada pledged to give away 100 sterling silver necklaces each; like Fox Fine Jewelry, most gave away many more. Through these efforts, thousands of necklaces were given away across the country. We ultimately gave away more than 1,000 necklaces.
In 2013, we purchased a dilapidated building in the heart of downtown at 560 E. Main Street. The back entrance led to a neglected alley. Even though we were told repeatedly that the back alley was a magnet for crime, we insisted on making that entrance as welcoming as the front, with a garden patio and viewing windows to the jeweler’s workshop. This renovation, which included increased lighting and security, decreased crime. The dramatic change (and Debbie’s persistence) motivated the remaining businesses and the City of Ventura to renovate the remainder of the alley, modelled after our renovation, transforming the area.
In December 2017, the Thomas Fire raged through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. In response, we pledged to give a free custom made diamond necklace to anyone whose home was flooded or burned. We sold necklaces to the community and donated 50% of the price to recovery efforts. Four different Thomas Necklaces were designed for our communities: Ventura Wave, Ojai Mountains, Montecito Islands, and the Thrive 805.
After the 2018 Borderline shooting and the Woolsey Fire, we created the SoCal Strong necklace. The necklace is designed to cover all local communities: it has a wave, the rolling hills, the “infinity” symbol and the word “strong". The program had a tremendous impact on the community and served as a symbol of strength and caring. In the end, we gave away more than 900 necklaces and raised nearly $70,000.