‘Tis the season for giving thanks for what we’ve got.Â ‘Tis also the season for reminding ourselves that others don’t got nearly as much as we got. So the inevitable question arises in this season of bounty, “What can I do to help share that bounty with others?”Â I’m so glad you asked.
Sacramento is rife with opportunity for donations of time, money, food, or all three.Â While some high profile Thanksgiving Day events like Run to Feed the Hungry are chock full of volunteers for “day of” activities, help is still needed for set-up and registration.Â If you’ve got some free time and want to help with the race, click here to help out.
Other opportunities can be found throughout the city, through a variety of organizations.Â One of the best resources for finding volunteer opportunities is Hands On Sacramento, a volunteer coordination organization.Â Hands On can match you, or even your whole family, with a one-time or ongoing volunteer opportunity that fits your interests and skills.Â If you’re outside of Sacramento, check the Governor’s official volunteer site, CaliforniaVolunteers.org.Â Â It’s a great resource for volunteering throughout the state, especially during emergency situations like the recent fires.
However, don’t get so Thanksgiving-centric that youÂ forget about Christmas (like that’s easy to do when the candy canes have been on the shelves since November 1).Â Whether you want toÂ be Santa to needy seniors, volunteer at the Sacramento Food Bank, or El Dorado Food Bank, or even the Yolo Food Bank, or just find out where to drop off gifts for needy children, you don’t have to look far to find out where to go and what’s needed.Â I especially want to single out the Christmas Promise program run by the Point West Rotary.Â This program has been going on for many years and actually sends “Santas” and “Elves” to needy homes to deliver gifts on Christmas Eve.Â It’s a very special hands-on program that really affects peoples’ lives.
Two things to remember:Â 1) Look for well-established churches, organizations, or agencies when trying to find a placeÂ to which toÂ donate money, time, or both.Â Using Craigslist’s volunteer listings might seem easy but might not actually hook you up with the most reputable players in the charity game.Â I mean really, would you click on a link that read “Get Paid to Volunteer!”Â 2) Don’t forget that you don’t have to limit your volunteering to the holiday season only.Â There are those who need your help all year, and you can make a difference all year.Â So get involved, give, and make our community a better place.