AIMEE – A few years ago my dad asked me to help him deliver Meals on Wheels on Thanksgiving morning and it’s become our tradition. It’s kind of fun hunting down the addresses together and people are so grateful to receive a meal and chat. He inspired me to sign up to volunteer with California Food Literacy Center the morning of Christmas Eve. The Center is raising money to bring food literacy into more schools next year and Peet’s corporate will be matching donations during the holidays! Stop by Peet’s on Folsom and Alhambra between now and Christmas to make a donation at the register.
AMY – I’ve been involved with the Greenhouse after school program in South Natomas for years. They’re a community enrichment center in a neighborhood that offer after-school tutoring, mentoring, spiritual development, and leadership development for under-resourced youth. What I love about the Greenhouse is they are a dignity-based program – the emphasis is on lifting up rather than handing out. They’re extremely progressive, efficient and effective. I can’t speak of them highly enough. And they need your help!
CHELSEA – How about adding a “giving” aspect to your holiday parties? We are hosting a little holiday get together and asking party goers to help brighten someone else’s year by throwing in a couple bucks to be donated to a local charity. After the party, guests will receive an thank you note with the total amount that we are able to collect, so they can see what a difference their donation made. I know everyone is having fun holiday gatherings this year and it’s really important to remember that there are others out there who may not be so fortunate. And every little bit helps. Especially in this economy.
JAMEE – My favorite place to volunteer in Sacramento is at The Sacramento Food Bank. Being an active member in the Junior League of Sacramento, I have had many wonderful experiences with the staff and families who need the services provided by the SFB. My favorite memory is participating in the Annual Turkey drive! Hundreds of people drive through the parking lot which is staffed by many volunteers and drop off Turkeys and food for the Holidays. There is an overwhelming amount of energy from beginning to end regardless of the weather! The most rewarding part is seeing the faces of the families who pick the turkeys up the next day to take home and cook. They are so appreciative as they would not had a Thanksgiving without this amazing community driven event. If you are interested in participating this year, contact me (simsjamee AT gmail.com)!
KELLIE: After being really sad to see that the Sacramento Adopt-a-Family program is no more do to lack of funding, I started trying to research where else I could volunteer and donate this year. I came across the Children’s Recieving Home of Sacramento Holiday Angels drive. You can volunteer to man one of the booths at one of 3 locations or you can pick out a special gift or gifts for a child or children on their wish lists. Many of these kids are coming from abuse and neglect and this is one way to make their holiday really special. Also, every year Loaves & Fishes does a holiday stocking drive. These are items that the homeless can really use and benefit from. We did this last year, and definitely plan to do so again!
KELLY – I went through the training process for Sacramento County Animal Care & Regulation to become a dog walker a while back. Even though my normal work schedule doesn’t usually accommodate volunteering hours, it’s really fun to use paid holidays to help out while the shelter is closed to the public. Going in on Thanksgiving or Christmas day is a great way to spend your morning giving and receiving some puppy love. If you’re short on time but have some money to give, our local Sacramento pit bull rescue (Chako) is saving up their donations to buy property for a pit bull sanctuary!
LAURA – Clearly I’m biased, but I love GOTG’s annual Toy Drive to benefit our long-time partner WEAVE. Last year, they provided toys to nearly 200 Sacramento families so we want to help WEAVE expand their reach into the community. Partnering with the Midtown Business Association and Handle District, this year’s happy hour is Monday, December 2 at 5:30pm at 58 Degrees (Invite/RSVP here.) We’re asking attendees to bring either a $20 donation or new/unwrapped gift. We’ll have free appetizers and drink specials for beer, wine and champagne. Bonus: one lucky lady/gent will receive a $100 gift certificate to Identity Boutique (2600 J St) and Established Apparel (2728 J St). We hope to see everyone there!
LYNDSEY – Even though it’s hard to find time to volunteer for a charity there are many other ways to give back. One of my favorite charities to give back to is Loaves & Fishes. And this year I’ve set up a sock drive for them on December 18th. Little things such as socks can go along way to someone that is homeless. We have set a goal of 500 pairs of sock and hoping to exceed that by lots!
MAUREEN BOTOMAN – Adopt-A-Family is an organization that provides presents and food to local families in need during the holidays. Every winter, my friends and I pick a family and go shopping together for that family, then we go home, drink eggnog and wrap presents together. It has become one of my favorite holiday traditions.
PAOLA – To be honest I just do some donations to my local church during the holidays, but this particular holiday season is a little different. With the typhoon hitting the Philippines, my homeland, I’ve done a little bit more and donated to Doctors without Borders.