Community joins forces to renovate home of long-time mentor for Fresno youth

CBS47 News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A longtime southwest Fresno community staple was given a random act of kindness. Mary McPeters, better known as Miss Mary or Miss Mac, spent more than 4-decades mentoring the city’s youth.

“I’m Mary. Everybody knows Mary,” she said.

McPeters supported generations of youth working at and living beside Frank H. Ball Park, as well as Fresno Unified.

She’s now a neighborhood staple.

“I’ve been around quite a while,” she said, and so has her house. It was built in 1920 and she’s lived in it nearly her whole life — just over 70 years.

“A lot of people ask you ‘Are you moving out? Do you want to move in different areas? Do you want to move out of town?’ No, this is home. I was born here and I was raised right here. So I’m here,” McPeters said.

But Fresno Police Lieutenant David Ramsey who has done youth work through the Fresno Police Activities League alongside McPeters noticed her house could use a little facelift.

He reached out to retired Fresno Police Detective Tom Flanigan, who is also a board member for Habitat For Humanity, and soon Jerry Zuniga from the organization, community partners, volunteers from Eye Medical Center of Fresno and The Fresno Police Officers Association joined together to show the home some TLC.

“I sit out front in the yard and I cry because I’ve got a new house,” McPeters said.

Even her 15-year-old dog got treated to the act of kindness.

“They bought an Igloo for him and they bought him a big bone, and he’s in hog heaven too. So we’re doing good,” McPeters said.

She said she’s watched countless children grow into adults who still remember her, and it’s clear the lessons she taught have come back around.

“I’ve always been the same way, you treat others the way you want to be treated. And it was just a blessing. It was a blessing,” she said.

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