Helping from the ground up

Volunteer-run group says the boxes of goods they collected recently were inspired by inauguration of the new president.

January 31, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

A group of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa women who say they were inspired by President Barack Obama’s recent inauguration have started a grass-roots campaign to collect food, clothing and blankets for the needy.

Using their network of friends, forwarding e-mails, passing out fliers and coordinating with their children’s schools, the woman managed to amass enough food, clothing and blankets to fill three office rooms in less than a week.

Katie Arthur, who oversaw the charity drive, said Obama’s new administration made her want to do something positive in the community.


“This was a few friends brought together in the spirit of a new era to do something,” Arthur said. “It was so easy to something small like this.”

The donations will go to the Costa Mesa-based nonprofit Serving People in Need, or SPIN.

The charity helps homeless and low-income families obtain permanent housing and get help for substance abuse, among other services.

The women said they have recovered and overwhelming response for their call for donations.

“I’ve really been amazed by the people who have gone out bought brand-new stuff to donate,” volunteer Mary Peikert said. “We were just asking for used items, but people have been very generous.”

The women are keeping donation bins for SPIN open this week at the Boys and Girls Club of the Harbor Area, 2131 Tustin Ave. in Costa Mesa, and Boys and Girls Club, Eastbluff, 2555 Vista Del Oro, in Newport Beach. Donations also will be accepted this week at Mariner’s Elementary School, 2100 Mariners Drive, in Newport Beach.

The women also hope their efforts will encourage others to do good in the community, said volunteer Patty Humphreys, who helped with the charity drive.

“We want to get the word out for people to go out and do their own thing to help,” Humphreys said.

BRIANNA BAILEY may be reached at (714) 966-4625 or at

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