San Diego’s ‘Nice Guys’ give back to the community

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — For 37 years, the "Nice Guys" of San Diego has been helping people who are down on their luck.

The all-volunteer, nonprofit provided nearly $700,000 to San Diegans in need last year and every penny was either donated or raised.

They may seem like a group of serious, intimidating men in suits, but they’re not.

"It’s just a fun group. We put the fun back in fundraising," said Ted Rossin of "Nice Guys."

These businessmen are literally "Nice Guys."

"Nice guys are dedicated to helping people in need," said Ronald Blair, also a Nice Guy.

"We are primarily a one-on-one total volunteer organization. When someone needs assistance, we ask them to write a letter," said Doug Moore, the president of Nice Guys.

The Nice Guys of San Diego is a nonprofit of more than 140 men and women. Since 1979, the group has been providing financial assistance to people in need.

"The requests, they break your heart.  These are folks like you and me. They’re just down on their luck you know. The curve ball went the wrong way and they need help just to get to that next step.. To bridge that gap," said Vincent J. Bartolotta, the second vice president of Nice Guys.

"If you see someone who had an accident and can’t make it to work, their car has to be fixed, they’re behind on their bills, you come by and say ‘hey, we’ll help you out with your bills, get you back working,’ it’s very rewarding and we go on to the next case," Blair said.

Nice Guys also help military families. Every year, they hold a special holiday festival. This past year, the group gave $75,000 to the families of Camp Pendleton Marines.

"Here you can see the result almost immediately in what you do and we go out and meet the people beforehand and in the last years unfortunately, we have been involved in men who have been involved in conflicts around the world," said Nice Guy, Louis Ferrero.

What makes this nonprofit extraordinary is the fact that 100 percent of every dollar raised goes to needy recipients.

The group is now gearing up for their "Nice Guy of the Year" event. It’s a big fundraiser where the group honors a businessman that exemplifies what the organization is all about.

And this year, the Nice Guys have chosen to honor KUSI’s very own Mike McKinnon, owner and CEO of KUSI News.

"To be chosen by them, to be part of their organization and help raise money for the Nice Guys is good," Mr. McKinnon said. "For these guys to volunteer their time and put forth the effort to do all the grunt work themselves, that’s unusual and so it identifies what San Diego is all about."

"It feels really good to see somebody smile because we helped them out. It takes the worry away from them," said Nice Guys of the year in 2011, Ted Rossin.

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Categories: Local San Diego News