American Jewelry and Loan is giving back to Detroit with a reality check 

Hardcore Pawn goes soft for the holidays

The family behind truTV's hit show Hardcore Pawn is known for being a tough bunch, but Detroiters know the Golds have been deeply rooted in the community since the 1920s. And to show they keep on caring Les and Seth Gold are opening their store for a behind-the-scenes holiday VIP shopping event, which will help raise funds to give a gift that keeps on giving: education.

The pawnshop has teamed up with their newest community partner, the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, to help build a scholarship fund for students to attend the school. The academy, which was founded by former NBA player and Detroit native Jalen Rose, was created in 2011 so students could compete academically for higher learning.

Rose, a former Detroit Public Schools student, got a scholarship to the University of Michigan and eventually was drafted to the NBA.

"He first started giving back scholarships for students to attend the University of Michigan; the problem was, they weren't competing academically. So he started a charter school. So that's the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. Interestingly, that school is located very close to American Jewelry and Loan, so we're very excited about that," says Cyndee Harrison, the store's marketing director.

The Golds will be using their celebrity status to bring in more donors. The holiday VIP shopping event is free and open to the general public. However, a donation of $20 or more will offer shoppers an all-access look into the real Hardcore Pawn.

"It's just a cash donation, right on the spot of $20 or more," says Harrison. "That gets a person a behind-the-scenes warehouse tour. It's not a ticketed event; it's a pre-shopping event, so anybody can come. But for a tour of the store, you have to make a donation to the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy."

During the event, the Golds will be spreading plenty of cheer by celebrating their year of giving with previous charity partners like Wigs for Kids, Jay's Juniors by Jay Towers, and THAW. Customers will be able to shop for everything on their holiday wish lists from jewelry to electronics, and even luxury items, all while enjoying food, drinks, and carolers.

American Jewelry and Loan is not only giving people the opportunity to donate money toward charity this year, but they are also putting some extra holiday cash in the pockets of their patrons. Affordable Luxury, which has become very popular at the store, gives frugal fashionistas the opportunity to obtain authentic high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and more for reasonable prices. Harrison highly encourages the public to use their services for easier and safer transactions.

"Consignment is hard, Craigslist can be risky and a lot of trouble, eBay can be a pain dealing with shipping and all of that," says Harrison. "We just encourage people to bring their items. If you have gold, jewelry, or other valuable items, you can probably get a fair price for them and save money. They can also use that money to buy things at a cheaper price than retail."

American Jewelry and Loan's holiday VIP shopping event will be held Saturday, Dec. 5, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

More by Taylor Bembery

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