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Best Doing Good
Best Place To Order Big and Tip Generously: Casa Garden Restaurant
All gratuities and surplus profits from this mostly volunteer-run restaurant in Curtis Park support the Sacramento Children’s Home.
Best Haven for Weary Souls: ARK 2000
Since 2000, Galt-based Performing Animal Welfare Society has welcomed elephants, lions, tigers—and soon, bears—to its 2,300-acre foothills sanctuary in San Andreas, where these refugees from circuses, zoos and the exotic animal trade are living out their lives in peace.
Best Community Mealtime: Sikh Temple of Sacramento’s Langar Hall
Everyone’s welcome to come for a free vegetarian meal at the Langar Hall (community kitchen), where all eat together regardless of race, religion, economic status or gender.
Best Self-Esteem Boost: Compliment Booth
If you stop by the booth on Second Saturday—it’s usually on J Street near the MARRS complex—booth staffers will pay you a compliment, sometimes in Spanish and always for free!
Best Helping Hand With a Green Thumb: Robert B. Hamm
For nearly 20 years, this local plant expert has raised perennials and specialty annuals for his Benefit Plant Sales, raising almost $150,000 to date for local AIDS charities.
Best Home to Animals Often Bypassed at the Shelter: A Chance for Bliss Animal Sanctuary
Founders Deanna and David Bartley provide a “forever” home to some 80 senior and special-needs animals at their Penryn-based sanctuary, and through awareness and education hope to encourage others to adopt a senior or special-needs animal themselves.
Best Land Developers: Soil Born Farms
Celebrating 10 years, this nonprofit urban agriculture project not only supplies organic produce grown on its two urban farms to farm stands, farmers markets, CSA subscribers and local co-ops, but through its many programs inspires us all to reconnect with what we eat, raising our awareness of the importance of everyone having the opportunity to eat healthfully, locally and sustainably.
Best Show of Homeless Families’ Talents: Staging a Miracle
During this five-week summer program, more than 100 volunteers in collaboration with First United Methodist Church of Sacramento teach visual and performing arts to families that are transitioning from homelessness. Every evening that the workshops are held, volunteers and students eat dinner side by side. The program culminates in an inspirational musical production for the community.