Giving that makes you feel warm all over

COSTA MESA — Hundreds of coats and sweaters were donated to a local shelter and the Boys & Girls Club, thanks to the efforts of outgoing Councilwoman Katrina Foley, the police department and the Costa Mesa High School cheerleaders.

On Friday, the group took the coats they collected for the past few weeks to the Boys & Girls Club on Tustin Avenue and then drove to the Orange Coast Interfaith Shelter and donated two 4-feet-high boxes of overflowing coats and sweaters, Foley said. The coats were either new or gently worn.

"I like to do things that directly impact people," Foley said. "I know the coat donated goes directly on a child to keep him or her warm."

Food and warmth are the themes for Foley's efforts. She usually collects canned food to donate to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, but this year she decided to add coats.

She got the idea from Wylie Aitken, a fellow lawyer, who usually asks people to bring coats to donate at his annual Christmas party, she said.

"This year, I asked the Police Department to assist," Foley said. "They are a natural help because they are often working with some of the organizations that aid families in need."

Foley also asked local high school cheerleaders to participate.

"The cheerleaders were also helpful because they have lots of friends and younger siblings with coats that were gently used or new donated," she said.

Kori Johnson, the cheerleaders' coach, said her students enjoyed being part of the project.

"We love giving back to the community," Johnson said. "We're so honored to be partners with the Costa Mesa police and Katrina Foley in this year's coat drive, and we had a great time."

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