Growing up on a farm in rural Oregon, Bobbi Lampros was raised by hardworking parents who had seven children and little money. Nevertheless, her mother “always found a way to find people who were poorer than us and to help them,” Lampros recalls. “Because of her, I grew up knowing that helping others — especially the less visible — was the right thing to do.”
But even as a farm girl, Lampros had an early affinity for fashion. “I loved the way I could wear clothes to express my personality,” she says. She’d pick strawberries to afford school clothes she liked, and as she grew older enjoyed “the challenge of helping other people look good without spending a lot of money,” she recalls.
Lampros started in banking but realized it was not satisfying her creative edge. She found her niche in the retail world and after many years worked with Norm Thompson Outfitters, where she showed a knack for visual merchandising and other creative endeavors, ultimately opening her own boutique in a Portland neighborhood. “It was the most fun I ever had,” she says. Personal circumstances forced an early retirement, and Lampros later relocated to Rancho Mirage, where she’s now a fixture in the style circuit, including at Fashion Week El Paseo, where for the second consecutive year, she is stitching together two passions: exuberant style and giving back.
As the event’s Giving sponsor, Lampros is shining a light on five nonprofit organizations. Her hope is to raise their visibility and to encourage attendees to donate their time, money, and support. For Lampros, choosing charities that might otherwise be overlooked was paramount. “Sadly, dogs and cats get more money than people do,” she points out. “I will always support a child in need before an animal.” Also close to her heart is the mission of protecting women and children: “They just don’t carry enough weight in this world still. Let’s help them have more equality,” she says. “One of best things we can give ourselves as a gift is to give back to others.”
Five Nonprofits Benefit From Fashion Week El Paseo
Oak Grove Sanctuary
Sanctuary is a transitional housing placement program providing resources for LGBTQ+ youth, age 18 to 21, who are aging out of the foster care system. As they reach adulthood, this community faces higher rates of substance abuse, sex trafficking, incarceration, homelessness, and suicide. sanctuarypalmsprings.org
Offering adult day centers, vocational job training and placement, and other services, Desert Arc serves more than 700 adults dealing with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, epilepsy, and other medical conditions and even provides personal bus transportation to make it more attainable for those in need. desertarc.org
Mizell Center’s Meals on Wheels
The Coachella Valley’s largest Meals on Wheels program, operated by Mizell Center, serves our local communities and those as far away as the Salton Sea. Each weekday, the organization prepares and delivers over 600 nutritious meals to low-income seniors at home and at community centers. mizell.org
SafeHouse of the Desert
Located in Thousand Palms, SafeHouse of the Desert provides 24-hour emergency shelter, intervention, and outreach services to youth in crisis, including those who are unhoused. Beyond basic necessities and a stable environment, it offers transitional-living programs designed to educate at-risk teens to help them find jobs and housing. safehouseofthedesert.com
Palm Springs Pathfinders
This powerful group of women has been helping local children since 1957 through fundraising efforts focused on two organizations: the Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs, providing after-school mentorship programs, and Pathfinder Ranch, a summer initiative designed to foster a connection with nature and provide an escape from the desert heat. palmspringspathfinders.org