11 fun ways to give back this holiday season

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Image courtesy of Human Movement Inc.
The Ugly Sweater Run through Land Park on Dec. 12 is just one fun way to be charitable before the year ends.

The Sacramento region has no shortage of great causes to support and the holiday season is the perfect time to give back. We’ve rounded up some unique ways you can get involved in community movements—from an ugly sweater fun run to a social media selfie campaign.

Put a sock in it
Through Nov. 13
If you’ve always wanted to help out St. John’s Program for Real Change or Loaves and Fishes, now’s your chance to put your best foot forward. Earlier this year, Hot 103.5 morning-show host SugaBear was in the El Camino area when a homeless man asked for his socks. Now the radio host is camping out in front of the Walmart on El Camino Ave. through Nov. 13 to raise awareness of the homeless population's living conditions and is collecting sock donations for the two nonprofits. Walmart. 3460 El Camino Ave. Donations can also be dropped off at Hot 103.5 studios between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. daily. 1436 Auburn Blvd. hot1035.com

Sing Happy Birthday
Nov. 17
Help give homeless children their own special day by providing gifts for group birthday parties that HandsOn Superior California host once a month at local shelters like St. John’s Shelter and Birth & Beyond. Donate monetary gifts for party paraphernalia like cake, candles and gift cards for the older kids at HandsOn headquarters (8001 Folsom Blvd.), or volunteer to be a part of the next bash, which will take place Nov. 17 at housing center Next Move (4516 Parker Ave.). 6-8 p.m. Next Move. 4516 Parker Ave. 447-7063 x101. handsonsacto.org

Say “ommm…”
Nov. 26
Downtown’s Yoga Seed studio will host a Thanksgiving Vinyasa FUNdraiser to support its outreach programs like yoga classes and health and wellness seminars for the homeless and underprivileged population who are in shelters, prisons or a state of need throughout Sacramento. Open to the public and beginner yogis, this class will focus on gratitude and allow you to work up a sweat before you settle into the Turkey Day festivities. Namaste! $20 suggested donation. 9:15-10:30 a.m. The Yoga Seed Collective. 1400 E St. 978-1367. theyogaseed.org

Run for the money
Nov. 26

If feasts and football are on your agenda this Turkey Day, add fun runs to your list. The Sacramento region is home to some spectacular Thanksgiving morning 5 and 10ks, offering you and yours an active way to give back during the holiday. Before gobbling down turkey and stuffing, join the Sacramento Food Bank’s 22nd annual Run to Feed the Hungry. This walk/run through Sacramento State and the tree-lined streets of East Sacramento is the largest Thanksgiving Day run in the country. [$20-$35. 8:15 a.m. for 10k. 9 a.m. for 5k. Sacramento State. 6000 J St. runtofeedthehungry.com] Over in Woodland, don your tutus and turkey feathers for the 7th annual Running of the Turkeys, which will circle downtown and benefit the Yolo Food Bank. At this family-friendly 5k, prizes will be awarded for the best costumes, first dog to finish and first stroller to finish. [$15-35 (free for children 5 and under). 8 a.m. Heritage Plaza. 600 Main St. runningoftheturkeys.org] Elk Grove will also host its own 5 and 10k run to support Courage House, a haven for girls rescued from human trafficking. The Elk Grove Turkey Trot will offer t-shirts to every runner and a quarter-mile kids fun run for ages 10 and under. [$14-$38. 8:15 a.m. for 5k and 10k. 8 a.m. for kids run. 8280 Longleaf Dr. Elk Grove. courageworldwide.org]

Take a selfie
Through Nov. 30
Add one more hashtag to your selfies this month to help someone in need. Through the month of November, the Sacramento Better Business Bureau is donating $1 to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services for every selfie uploaded to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BBBDonateYourSelfie, as well as an additional dollar for every friend or family member that is tagged in the picture. Take a selfie, fill a belly—it doesn’t get much easier than that. bbb.org

Laugh it up
Dec. 2
Local comedy acts like Kristen Frisk, Michael Calvin Jr., and JR De Guzman (who has shared the stage with the likes of Margaret Cho) will take the Crest Theatre stage on Dec. 2 for a night of laughs benefiting TLCS, Inc. (formally known as Transitional Living and Community Support), a non-profit that provides assistance to people struggling with mental illness. Upgrade to a VIP ticket, which includes a pre-giggle reception with appetizers and drinks, a silent auction and raffle. $20 general admission ($100 VIP). 7:30 p.m. Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. tlcssac.org

Rock the jukebox
Dec. 10
Since 2009, Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox has been building a cult following on YouTube by transforming Top 40 hits into vintage-style remixes. (The band’s doo-wop rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” has garnered more than 14 million views). See this retrofitted group perform as part of a benefit for the Alzheimer’s Aid Society of Northern California, where period dress is encouraged and a red carpet entrance will allow for glamorous photo-ops. $38-$125. 8 p.m. Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. 476-3356. crestsacramento.com

Raid Grandma’s closet
Dec. 12 The festive Ugly Sweater Run 5K in Land Park will feature hot chocolate at every mile, a faux fireplace backdrop on the course for Christmasy selfies, and contests for Best Fake Mustache and Best Ugly Sweater. While sipping on a complimentary Kahlua coffee or Sam Adams lager, relish the fact that you helped the international nonprofit Save the Children with your ticket purchase ($5 extra); or bring a thoughtful gift to add to a holiday care package being sent to military troops overseas by Operation Gratitude, who will be on site. $50 ($40 in advance; Free for ages 5 and under). $5 extra for donation to Save the Children. 11 a.m. William Land Park. 3800 South Land Park Drive. theuglysweaterrun.com

Hop a fence
  Soil Born Farms’ Harvest Sacramento program extends an open, year-round invitation to join neighborhood groups—like those in Oak Park, East Sacramento and La Riviera—or large troops of volunteers to glean citrus like Clementines, lemons and other fruit from local trees, which is then donated to regional charities. Some groups harvest as much as 5,000 pounds in a day. So hit the streets, or if you have fruit trees with citrus galore, sign up to have Harvest Sacramento collect it from your yard. soilborn.org 

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