Nine fun ways to give back this holiday season

Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army
Sacramento volunteers are needed this holiday season to pack boxes of food and gifts for locals in need.

’Tis the season for giving, and we’ve rounded up nine great ways to be charitable and spread cheer to others around the region this holiday season—whether it’s taking a selfie, sporting a Santa suit, or ROTFL at a comedy show.

Trot through a fun run

Nov. 24 The Sacramento region plays host to a handful of turkey trots each Thanksgiving, including the Run to Feed the Hungry, which is touted as one of the largest Thanksgiving Day fun runs in the country and benefits Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Davis, Elk Grove, Folsom, Herald, Roseville and Woodland also host their own fun runs, some with kids' races, costume contests and post-race snacks. Don your feathered hat and strut your way to the finish line before gobbling up your Turkey Day feast. Prices, times and locations vary. For a full list of regional Turkey Day trots, click here.

Pass the pie

Through Nov. 20 One of the region’s largest holiday feasts, Sacramento Loaves & Fishes annual Thanksgiving meal, is aiming to serve 1,000 people in need. The organization needs a whopping 300 turkeys, 400 pies, 200 cans of yams and 100 gallons of apple juice, among other essentials, for the meal that will take place on Nov. 22 at 11 a.m. Add a few more groceries to your cart this holiday season and bring those donations to Loaves & Fishes' warehouse on North C St. through 4 p.m. Nov. 20. Drop off hours vary. Sacramento Loaves & Fishes. 1351 North C. St. 446-0874.

Snap a selfie

Through Nov. 30 Channel your inner Kardashian for a good cause by participating in Sacramento Better Business Bureau’s selfie campaign. For every photo uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BBBDonateYourSelfie through November, the group will donate $1 to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. Last year, Sacramento’s selfies garnered about $1,300 for the organization. Bonus: if you can squeeze a few friends in there à la Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars, the BBB will donate an additional dollar for each person in the photo.

Say “Ommm…”

Nov. 29 After Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, and as part of the event and its end-of-the-year fundraising campaign, downtown’s Yoga Seed studio will host a relaxing day filled with classes like vinyasa and chair yoga, as well as perks like free massages. Get in the flow to support Yoga Seed’s outreach programs like yoga classes and health and wellness seminars for the homeless and underprivileged who find themselves in shelters, prisons or a state of need throughout Sacramento. All classes are open to the public and beginner yogis are welcome. Namaste! Donations accepted. 6 a.m.-10 p.m. The Yoga Seed. 1400 E St. 978-1367.

Pack gifts and goodies

Dec. 3 & 21 Many hands make for light work at The Salvation Army this holiday season, with two major opportunities to get involved and spread good cheer through the region. On Dec. 3, the organization will provide lunch to volunteers who arrive to sort and assemble 5,000 boxes filled with canned goods, potatoes and loaves of bread for families living in hunger. On Dec. 21, you can help distribute toys and food to locals through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Donate your time to greet families and load toys and boxes of food into cars. Dec. 3 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 21 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Cal Expo. 1600 Exposition Blvd. 563-3712.

The Sacramento Santa Run through downtown Sacramento (Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Santa Run)

Have a spooktacular holiday

Dec. 3 For a real nightmare before Christmas, head to the Colonial Theatre in Oak Park to watch Reel to Real Films’ double feature of the cult classic 1984 comedy horror flick Gremlins, which was produced by Steven Spielberg, followed by a showing of its sequel, Gremlins 2. Don your ugly Christmas sweater for a chance to win a best-dressed contest, and bring non-perishables to a canned food drive to win Gremlins prizes. The evening will also feature an art show by local makers, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. $12 in advance. $15 at the door. 7-11 p.m. Colonial Theatre. 3522 Stockton Blvd.

LOL all night

Dec. 7 Local comedians like Kiry Shabazz and Michael Calvin will join JR De Guzman (who has shared the stage with the likes of Margaret Cho and Tim Allen) at the Crest Theatre for this year's Stand Up Sacramento. The night of laughs benefits TLCS, Inc. (formally known as Transitional Living and Community Support), a non-profit that has assisted over 4,000 people struggling with mental illness. Sip wine from Bronco Wine Company and beer from Hoppy Brewing while you partake in a silent auction led by David Sobon. VIP tickets include an assortment of small plates from Miss Kitty’s Catering and Darna Mediterranean Cuisine. $20 general admission. $100 VIP. 7-9:30 p.m. The Crest Theatre. 1013 K St. 476-3356.

Don a Santa suit

Dec. 17 Ho, Ho, Ho! The Sacramento Santa Run is back for its 4th annual 5K run/walk and Merry Mile through downtown Sacramento. The route, which begins at the Capitol and finishes at Downtown Commons, includes snow flurries and carolers along the way. And don’t worry if your St. Nick wardrobe is lacking: the run provides each participant with a red Santa suit, hat and frosty white beard, along with milk and cookies to fill your bowl full of jelly upon crossing the finish line. Proceeds from event registration will go toward Blessings in a Backpack and Toys for Tots. $30-$50 ($30-$35 for youth ages 17 and under). 9 a.m. State Capitol. 1315 10th St. 530-346-3881.

Give the gift of farm-to-fork

Farm Fresh To You, which delivers boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables grown at Capay Organic farm to the community through its CSA (community supported agriculture) program, has an ongoing Donate-A-Box program for anyone to contribute provisions to either the Sacramento Food Bank or the Yolo Food Bank. Since the program’s inception in August 2014, Farm Fresh to You has donated 22,000 boxes of homegrown produce to those in need. Thanksgiving week's box recipients may receive fall foods like Gala apples, butternut squash and potatoes, along with other festive goodies like holiday wreaths, maple candy and local honey. $26-$58. 800-796-6009.

You Might Also Like
Global Winter Wonderland dazzles at Cal Expo
Shake your tail feathers at these 7 local Thanksgiving fun runs
10 great restaurants to go to for a Thanksgiving feast worth celebrating