Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services has been dedicated to bettering the lives of individuals and families in need since 1976. With the help of a staff team of 45 and more than 5,800 volunteers, the non-profit agency distributes emergency food, clothing, and other services to more than 40,000 individuals in the community each month. Along with fresh grocery items donated from local stores, organic farmers, and individuals, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services provides individuals and families in need with gently used clothing, donated by community members. The organization also offers youth, adult, and senior educational programs at no cost, including GED preparation, computer basics, and resume-building courses.
California Conservation Corps (CCC) serves a dual purpose: it provides job training and leadership opportunities for underserved youth while using their skills to help protect our natural resources. CCC members come from diverse backgrounds—half of them don't have a high-school diploma—and range in age from 18 to 25. Participants are placed in crews of 15 and equipped with uniforms and safety gear so they can complete more than three million hours of public-service conservation projects every year. They act as emergency responders in the event of natural disasters, retrofit buildings to increase energy conservation, plant trees, install irrigation systems, and help restore wildlife habitats. After they finish one year of service, CCC members can receive educational scholarships through the state of California and AmeriCorps to continue their studies.
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.
The Audi Best Buddies Challenge has four fully supported bike courses open to all riders—15-, 30-, 62-, and 100-mile courses—which takes riders from Carmel to San Simeon. Having conquered the challenge multiple times, Michael is aiming to complete the 100-mile course once again. Michael is fundraising to acquire the $1,500 needed to enter the race, which is held to benefit support programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.