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Celebrate February by Giving Back

The month holds numerous ways to make a difference

February is a month of giving, and not just gifts for Valentine’s Day. Instead of highlighting a specific charity or person in this week's Give, we’re going to share the reasons why February is such a special month and how you can take your charitable contributions up a notch in your neighborhood and all over the city.

Kate Atwood, published author, founder of the Atlanta charity Kate’s Club, and founder of Living by Giving, is quite the expert on incorporating more giving into your lifestyle. 

“Sometimes, giving back is just about being aware of the causes that are out there," Atwood said. "And, no matter what neighborhood you live in, there are always things happening right around the corner that you can do to give back to your community.”

National Heart Month
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in our country. February is National Heart Month, so it’s the perfect excuse to work toward keeping yourself heart-healthy and making sure your loved ones are, too. The East Atlanta neighborhoods have endless options for keeping fit and eating right. Walk or run around Grant Park, do a yoga class at in Candler Park, pick up fresh and healthy goods at t in Inman Park, or pick up a quick meal at instead of your favorite burger joint. Or join a gym such as in Ormewood Park or in Glenwood Park. And, encourage your friends and family to do the same.

Atwood also suggests bringing the cause to work.

“Wear red on a certain day at the office and make it a fundraiser-lottery. Have everyone who dons red pitch in $5, select a winner who gets half the pot of cash, and donate the other half to the American Heart Association,” she said.

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month
It’s not the happiest of subjects, but teens today are experiencing dating abuse more than ever due to texting, social media and other technology. Visit the site for Partnership Against Domestic Violence (PADV) and see what the Georgia nonprofit has to say, just so you’re aware. And, if you have teenagers, talk to them about it and stay abreast of all that could be happening behind the high school scenes. PADV’s Second Annual Spotlight on Teen Dating Violence Summit will be held Feb. 19 at the Georgia Tech Student Center and you can register online. 

Valentine’s Day
It’s the holiday for love, so why not incorporate a little charitable giving into the mix, too? The Love is Art Kit is a unique all-inclusive kit designed for two partners to turn their intimate experience into a work of art. Intrigued? Check out the site for more information, and know that 15 percent of your purchase is going back to the , a mentoring program which helps teen kids (many in and around the East Atlanta Village neighborhood) express themselves and give back through their artistic talents.

If you plan on going out to eat with your sweetie, consider brunching at , where all the proceeds of your meal will go towards helping the homeless in the Center for Self Sufficiency program. And, if you brunch on Sunday, you can still save that romantic dinner for the actual Valentine’s holiday the following night. 

“There’s no reason you can't celebrate with your special someone any day of the year,” Atwood said.  “Especially when it’s for a good cause.” 

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