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City Heights Tattoo Shop Will Ink For Charity

Cari Coleman tattoos the arm of a customer at Diego Tattoo Gallery in San Die...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: Cari Coleman tattoos the arm of a customer at Diego Tattoo Gallery in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood, Nov. 2, 2017.

Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, and organizations are helping with water, food and cash donations, but one San Diego business is assisting in a unique way: needle and ink. Artists at Diego Tattoo Gallery will tattoo customers on Sunday with one of several dozen designs and donate the profits to a disaster-relief charity.

Cari Coleman, co-owner of the shop in San Diego's City Heights neighborhood, said the staff was inspired to act after Hurricane Maria devastated much of the Caribbean region.

“It just hurts to see it and we want to do whatever we can to help,” she said.

Designs initially selected represent giving and service, such as embraced hands, but then expanded to create sketches that included pop culture references and explicit images.

"We'll have an interesting selection on Sunday," Coleman said.

Nicholas Mcvicker,

She said Diego Tattoo co-organized a previous fundraiser to support Planned Parenthood when federal dollars for the organization were in jeopardy. Similar events took place in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. This time, any money raised after expenses will go toward Direct Relief, she said.

Coleman’s wife and co-owner Diana DeAugustine said she knows what it is like to need assistance. Her dog, Diego, after whom the shop is named, was diagnosed with brain cancer a few months back. She said health bills totaled nearly $7,000.

The community raised money to cover the costs, which she said brought her some relief. The Helping Hands Hurricane Maria Tattoo Fundraiser will be a small way to pass that feeling along to others who are struggling.

“It makes a big difference, especially people who are grieving, who are in crisis," DeAgustine said.

Helping Hands Hurricane Maria Tattoo Fundraiser

Diego Tattoo Gallery, 3434 University Ave., Suite A

Nov. 5, 12 - 8 p.m.

Starting at $50, you can get a new tattoo and a good conscience at Diego Tattoo Gallery on Sunday.

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