Elsie Lodde grew up on a farm surrounded by her own menagerie. She bottle-fed her first homeless kittens and bunnies at a young age and began bringing home and caring for strays in her free time as an adult. She started working for a national rescue group but grew unhappy with the group's restrictions and decided to rescue dogs on her own. Elsie founded Recycled Pets Norcal to give homeless animals a chance they might not otherwise get in shelters. The entire staff consists of volunteers, who foster many animals in their own homes before finding adoptive families for them in Northern California, vowing to follow up with each adoption to ensure the animals don't return to shelters. The organization also spays or neuters homeless animals and assists dogs' adoptive families with training, food, and transportation to veterinary appointments.
Roseville Home Start began as a transitional housing corporation in 1995, but could not afford to continue its services due to the rent it owed at its location—a motel in Roseville. With the aid of donors, Home Start bought the location and renovated it. Today it’s 27 housing units and 99 beds shelter families with children who are experiencing homelessness for one-year periods. During that year, these families work with case managers to gain GEDs, learn about financial planning, acquire work, and find permanent homes. They can also attend therapy sessions to help them overcome any trauma they may have experienced. For the next year after families leave the transitional housing, Home Start maintains contact to ensure they undergo a stable transition into their new lives.
The STAR Enrichment Center and Star Eco work in tandem to enrich the lives of children, adults, and animals. When animals are rescued from dangerous living situations or seized from the hands of smugglers, STAR Eco Station provides them with second chances at peaceful lives. But the facility doesn't just serve as a haven for more than 200 rescued animals. Perhaps just as importantly, it also educates the public as an environmental science museum. During public tours, guides lead guests through exhibits of rescued exotic animals, such as parrots, pythons, and wildcats, while explaining the habits, history, and New Year's resolutions of each creature. The recipient of multiple awards from media and government agencies, STAR Eco Station also provides educational outreach programs to more than 40 California school districts and works in concert with conservation organizations such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Paw Project, and Heal the Bay.
At the STAR Enrichment Center in Beverlywood, learning enrichment takes center stage for adults and children alike. Here, dedicated teaching professionals offer courses in STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math), child development, visual and media art, and language. Through courses that range from pre-natal workshops to parent and child classes, the center has earned a reputation for hosting engaging curriculum for all ages. The Enrichment Center is also home to the STAR Prep Academy and STAR Preschool.
Most families who participate in the RV's 4 Preemies program live more than 50 miles away from the hospital and are already experiencing financial constraints. By staying in an RV on hospital grounds, families can remain close to infants undergoing treatment, while also having a comfortable, clean place to relax and rest. The ABIBF covers the costs of cleaning ($30), propane ($40), gas ($25), and parking ($112) for the RVs.
Run or Dye is making race running a little more colorful, one major city at a time. This 5K is divided up into four separate courses of varying lengths, each designated by a separate color??which also reflects the color of safe, eco-friendly powered dye the participants get splashed with. At the end of the race, they'll cross into the aptly-named Dye Zone?a polychromatic free-for-all, where fluorescent color is thrown freely from all sides, allowing runners to splash their fellow runners or get colorful revenge on their friends, family members, and any cranky art-history teachers that happen to be walking by.
Unlike some races that rank runners by time, Run or Dye only measures success in color and fun. While the safe-to-eat dyes should wash out of clothing, runners are encouraged to wear things they don't mind getting dirty, preferably in white, gray, or another neutral color to give the dyes maximum visibility.