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Local Oprah fan forms a club to help others

Felina Foster

Felina Foster

RIVERVIEW – Felina Foster wants to give big, but she needs some help.

The 28-year-old Riverview woman is trying to organize a group of do-gooders devoted to Oprah Winfrey's new show, Oprah's Big Give. The show, which airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on ABC, judges contestants on how well they give away money to strangers.

The motto: Give big or go home.

Foster formed the club on Meetup.com a few weeks after the March 2 premiere. A handful of people signed up, but they haven't met yet.

Foster hopes the group will watch the show and brainstorm ways to give. They could start small — maybe gather their used clothes for charity — then work toward a larger fundraiser.

"Every time I watch it, I say, 'I need to do something,' '' said Foster, who is single and works as a computer systems administrator.

That giving spirit heartens agencies such as the United Way, which funds nonprofit groups throughout the community.

"Right now there are incredible needs in our region,'' said Doug Arnold, vice president of marketing for the United Way of Tampa Bay. "Primetime philanthropy is a good thing for the nation.''

Watching the Big Give has inspired Foster to think creatively about helping others, even in modest ways.

"People forget that they really have an impact,'' she said. "You'd hope they turn around and do it for someone else and it becomes contagious.''

Foster makes no apologies for sounding like a Winfrey spokeswoman. She's a huge fan of everything Oprah. So when Winfrey called on viewers to do something good for someone else, Foster didn't hesitate.

"Anything that Oprah does, I'm there,'' she said.

In a big way.

Susan Thurston can be reached at sthurston@sptimes.com.

>> fast facts

Here's the deal

For information on the Big Give group, contact Felina Foster at givebigorgohome@yahoo.com.

Local Oprah fan forms a club to help others 04/03/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2008 5:24pm]
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