New series by Girls on the Grid where we give shout out’s to our favorite [INSERT CATEGORY] around Sacramento. We love to support our local entrepreneurs and businesses. Please feel free to leave your recommendations or suggest categories by leaving a comment below!
Amy – I’ve been involved with the Greenhouse after school program in South Natomas for about 5 years. They are 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!
Ashley B. - While I can’t always find the time to volunteer, I try to make up for it by raising funds or making a donation. Lately, I seem to be a sucker for runs that benefit a cause including the Doggy Dash (benefits the Sacramento SPCA), the Nike Women’s Marathon (benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society), and for the first time this year, I will participate in the 19th annual Run to Feed the Hungry. The Run to Feed the Hungry is a 5k and 10k race held annually on Thanksgiving morning. Proceeds from the run benefit the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. For just $35 ($40 on-site registration), you can burn off a few Thanksgiving calories and help your local food bank. If running isn’t your thing, that’s OK – the Run to Feed the Hungry accepts “virtual” runners, which allows you to make a donation directly to the organization AND receive the race T-shirt. The race starts at 8:30 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, hopefully I’ll see you out there!
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)!
Laura- I’m usually out of town around the holidays so my record is pretty spotty. However, I saw two promising opportunities worth exploring. The first is the Volunteer Center of Sacramento’s (VCS) Adopt-A-Family Program., which partners sponsors with around 500 low-income families in the Sacramento area to help ensure they have a happy holidays. Families go through a careful screening process to ensure that the appropriate resources are given to qualified families. The second (and on the other side of the spectrum) is the Sacramento County Animal Shelter’s Critter Outfitter, which is a pet supply store located inside of the shelter. They’re looking for volunteer sales clerks to assist customers and make sales – and all proceeds directly benefit the Shelter’s animals.
Maureen - 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.