The Best Track for Hurricane Relief Starts Here

Georgia is still reeling from the effects ofHurricane Matthew, but repairs and rebuilding are underway. Georgia has not been immune to disasters. In 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto brought 25 inches of rain in less than 24 hours displacing more than 50,000 people and dislodging at least 400 coffins into flooded streets.  In the  1996 Olympics, we experienced the terrorist bombing at Centennial Olympic Park. In March of 2007, twenty-one tornadoes touched down in Eastern, Middle and Southern Georgia. In 2009, continuous rain resulted in the 500-year flood and now in 2016, we're dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. At least 3 people have been killed in Georgia by this storm and more than 370,000 were without power the Saturday morning following its arrival. Thirty counties were declared federal disaster areas and St. Simon Island was considered a public health hazard due to raw sewage on the streets. On Tybee Island, the storm surge on the island reached 12.5 feet breaking the previous record of 12.2 feet set when Hurricane David struck in 1979.

What does all this have in common?

Georgia's resiliency and perseverance.

We always bounce back Georgia! We are a state that comes together in a crisis and gives support and help whenever we can. Organizations like the American Red Cross which had local chapters helping during the immediate crisis, are helping even more afterwards so the healing can begin. They offer special care long after the visible signs of the disaster have faded. With programs that help individuals heal emotionally, financially and physically the American Red Cross truly lives up to their mission statement which is "to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors."

If you'd like to be a donor, consider signing up on Giv360. Our Giv360 app is dedicated to helping support your chosen non-profit. When you visit a Giv360 merchant and make a purchase, they'll in turn donate up to 5% of your bill to the charity you picked. It's just one of the many ways people across Georgia are able to help each other one dollar at a time.  

Another great organization with its corporate office in Columbus, Georgia is Food Aid International. They've set up distribution partners providing immediate food relief for the millions of people impacted throughout the Caribbean, including Haiti and Cuba which were so hard-hit.

And I'm sure everybody recognizes those red Emergency Disaster Service jackets worn by The Salvation Army. Their Southern Territory headquarters are based right in Atlanta. In the latest tally, in response to Hurricane Matthew, The Salvation Army  provided over 20,659 hours of employee and volunteer services, sheltered 791 people, provided 115,640 meals, 146,871 snacks and 89 mobile feeding units. In addition to cleanup kits, comfort kits, food boxes and drinks, they're also providing comfort and hope.

Your donation can provide hope as well to all the wonderful non-profits coming to the aid of Georgia and the rest of the country affected by Hurricane Matthew. Sign up today at Giv360 and you'll become a treasured part of the relief efforts.

 

 

 

 

Every 66 seconds in the United States, someone gets this disease

Do you know what disease ranks in the top 10 causes of death in America but can't be prevented, cured or even slowed? 

Do you know this same disease will strike someone in the United States every 66 seconds?  And sadly, that number will jump to every 33 seconds by 2050....unless we find a cure.

Are you still trying to figure out what it is? Here's a few more clues:

All of these people died of from it: Charles Bronson, Charlton Heston, Norman Rockwell, Casey Kasem, Peter Falk and Ronald Reagan. 

It's Alzheimer's.

It led President Reagan to designate November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in 1983, a time when fewer than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer's. Only 32 years later, in 2015, Barack Obama did a similar proclamation and declared November, 2015 as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness month.  Unfortunately, the numbers have increased to epidemic proportions as it is now the 6th-leading cause of death in the US.

Sadly, one in three seniors die with Alzheimer's or another dementia, and almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer's are women.

Giv360 wants to recognize the millions of Americans living with the disease and the additional 15.9 million caregivers who help people with Alzheimer's and other dementias.

Giv360 merchants also want to help!

All you have to do is visit them and they'll do the rest. It doesn't matter if you're getting your broken car fixed at A Plus Collision Center or your broken back fixed at Gala Davis Family Chiropractic, both merchants will donate 5% to your charity. Do you understand how easy it is to help? You can buy sushi at Gekko Sushi, wings at HJ Wings and Things or burritos at La Hacienda and it will still provide support to the non-profit you picked.

If Alzheimer's is near and dear to your heart, there are several opportunities to show your support.

There are over 600 communities holding events known as Walk to End Alzheimer's which raises awareness and funds for care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities.  Several walks are scheduled in Georgia in October. On the 1st, it's in Peachtree City. October 8th  there is one held in Duluth, and on October 15th you can walk in Cartersville with a wrap-up October walk on the 29th in Carrollton. To find more details about these walks or if you're in another area, click Find Your Walk.

Another option is to walk into a Giv360 merchant.  You can support Alzheimer's research by choosing one of the many non-profits dedicated to this disease on the Giv360 charity site. When you sign up for free with Giv 360, you can even choose a local Georgia Alzheimer's chapter and every time you visit a participating Giv360 merchant, up to 5% of yourpurchase is donated to the one you chose.  The money will help keep the support groups in your area mentoring and helping patients as well as caregivers.

Don't Forget To Remember what a difference you can make!

The Atlanta Falcons and Murphy's Law

The season is upon us. Football Season that is. And it's no surprise that Americans love to watch it. In fact, the top 12 shows of the 2015 fall season were NFL games! And Sunday night football was the No. 1 show all 17 weeks of primetime!

While football appreciation is up, ticket sales at live games may not be. Fans say the long lines, parking fees, ticket costs, travel time and expensive food and beer certainly add to the experience. But being there live is not necessarily a good thing, for the wallet or the show. Many fans believe you can't beat watching football on TV at a bar or at home with friends.  

Leagues are recognizing this move to the couch and barstools and how it is hurting attendance. So they are coming up with strategies to lure fans back to the games. Some are adding Wi-Fi to the stadiums, building separate corners with big screens, and even planning fantasy football lounges where fans can get in early and watch the games their fantasy players are in. These innovative ideas from league owners are competing for fans like Brendan Murphy who gave up his season tickets to spend time watching his favorite team from a bar.

Murphy's reasoning- "the view."

 He explained how he'd be at the stadium watching the game, and he was lost..."they don't tell you anything. He couldn't understand what happened on the field until someone called him who was watching the game on TV. They were the ones in the loop, not me and yet I was there live."

 So Giv360 wants to help all those who can relate to "Murphy's law" and aren't making the trek to the Georgia Dome this season. 

Don't feel guilty if you want to cheer on the Falcons from home or a local bar this year. In fact, Giv 360 can help you feel good about doing it.

The best way to get your game on, and your giving, is by visiting one of these Giv360 merchants. There you can indulge in the best football food, hang with your friends and watch the game.

Check out the Tin Roof Cantina, a great sports bar complete with washers and corn hole, ping pong, and darts. They have 13 TV's and a 150 foot projection screen to watch the game on. They serve up a wide selection of burgers, cheese fries and tacos along with draft pitchers.

But if you're not in Atlanta, and find yourself closer to Austell, head to the Sports Grill where you can watch all your favorite teams play on the big screens while having the best burgers and wings in town.

Speaking of wings, did you know that 21,917,808 chickens are consumed per day in the United States? Americans eat 25 billion chicken wings per year and 100 million pounds are eaten during super bowl weekend alone.

But wings aren't the only foods popular during football games. Bleacherreport.com did a survey and listed the top foods to grub on. A few that made the top ten alongside wings were Queso dip,  quesadillas, cheeseburgers, and pizza.  

So if Queso dip and quesadillas sound like the perfect fan food, consider taking home a Quesadilla platter or Nacho bar from La Hacienda in Newnan . They even have Margarita Machines you can rent with catering. Your house would definitely be the one everyone wants to go to watch the game!

And don't forget pizza!. Pizza, hoagies, calzones or Stromboli's from Tour De Italy in Fayetteville for those Monday night games are always a hit. Especially when you don't want to go out late because you have to work early the next day. They'll hook you up as they're open 7 days a week from 11am till 9pm!

But the best part in all this is knowing when you order from a participating Giv360 merchant like the ones listed above, you're also giving back.

 Because they donate up to 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice, you can root on your favorite team, while supporting a non-profit in the process. It's a win-win for all- no matter how many times your team fumbles the ball-you'll always come up a winner with the Giv360 app.

 

An Average of 3 People a Day Die in Georgia From This!

Giv360 wants you to stay safe all the time; but even more so over the next few weeks.

Why now?

Because the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that August, followed closely by September, are the most menacing months of the year for drivers.  And the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is called "100 Deadliest Days" for teens.

And there's even more bad news for Georgia residents. Data compiled from the NHTSA showed that I-285 in Georgia had more fatal accidents per mile than any other interstate and ranked seventh worst state in the country for fatal car accidents in the last ranking in 2013.

Thankfully since then, the latest statistics from the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety said the number of traffic fatalities has been steadily decreasing over the past several years.

Still, the target number for 2016 fatalities in Georgia is 1,130 which averages to more than 3 deaths a day!

And that's just fatalities, think how many more people are seriously injured or hurt in an accident.

Giv360 has partnered with several merchants who are well acquainted with auto accidents in our area.

A Plus Collision Center is located at 245 Industrial way in Fayetteville, GA. They understand accidents happen, but feel it shouldn't stop you from getting your vehicle back on the road. They work with every insurance company and every kind of car... and quotes are always free.

Getting your car back isn't the only thing accident victims need to worry about. What about your injuries?

 Guess who has your back?

Gala Davis Family Chiropractic Center does! This Giv360 merchant is known for its modern facility and its range of Chiropractic techniques and services. Gala Davis Family Chiropractic Center is located at 427 Highway 74N in Peachtree Georgia and has an on-premise X-ray facility and SEMG (Surface EMG and Thermal Scan) available to patients. If you've been involved in an accident, don't hesitate to seek a professional for your pain. Their mission is to improve the quality of your life.

Interesting Factoid: 78 million dogs reside in more than 46 million U.S households according to the American Pet Products Association.

But what does that have to do with Georgia accident rates in August and September?

Well, it seems that the most common causes of injury in dogs is collisions with cars. This can happen when the dog escapes from its house and is hit by an automobile or from the animal being unrestrained in an automobile involved in an accident.

According to one study, nearly 6 in 10 respondents drive with their dogs in the car at least once a month.  Many travel long distances with their pets as they take them on vacation (especially the summer months), and 84% don't use a restraint. Most people don't see the harm in letting a small dog ride in their lap or in their Child's lap but:

An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph
will exert roughly 500 pounds of force, while an
unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only
30 mph will exert approximately 2400 pounds of force.

This can cause injuries like muscle sprains, swelling, and bone fractures in your pet.

Should this happen, don't hesitate to take them to Lake Harbin Animal Hospital where they'll treat your pet just like family.

With radiology and ultrasound available, the fine folks at Lake Harbin Animal Hospital will be able to assist your animal whether they need surgery or just rest and meds from their fully stocked pharmacy. And if you decide to not take your furry friend on vacation, they offer boarding as well. Head to 2056 Lake Harbin Road in Morrow, Georgia, but remember to restrain your pet while you drive there.

Whenever you visit a Giv360 participating merchant like A Plus Collision Center, Gala Davis Family Chiropractic and Lake Harbin Animal Hospital, they'll donate up to 5% of your bill to the nonprofit of your choice.

So while automobile accidents are definitely something we all want to avoid, you can still end up doing something good out of a bad thing should it happen to you!

Be careful driving Georgia!

 

When a Gold Star is Worth More than A Gold Medal

It's been a big month for athletes from our great state of Georgia. UGA is proud. Gunner Bentz made history collecting a Gold medal from his participation in the swim relay preliminaries while Chase Kalisz, Allison Schmitt and Amanda Weir each won silver for swimming.

But Georgia produces more than just great swimmers. It also produces great golfers. Bubba Watson, former Georgia All-American, entered the final round tied for fourth but ended up placing eighth in Rio.  Though not the outcome Watson wanted, it still is something to be proud of! And the U.S did win a medal as Matt Kuchar who attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta, took the bronze.

But Georgia can be proud of something even bigger than medals.

Because Georgia produces athletes that aren't just driven... they're into giving!

And Giv360 wants to acknowledge these athletes, not because they're remarkable in their sport, but because they're remarkable in their hearts.

When West Virginia was hit with 8-10 inches of rain in 12 hours killing 23 people and causing a state of emergency to be declared in 44 of its 55 counties, Bubba Watson pledged $250,000 for relief and recovery efforts. He supports Victory Junction Gang Camp, a non-profit where children with chronic medical conditions and serious illnesses can have fun life-changing camp experiences in a medically-safe environment with no cost to the family.  He donated 100,000 dollars to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Florida in 2011 and he and his wife, Angie, formed the Bubba Watson Foundation in 2014 to help those in need.

Did you know Angie is a former Olympic athlete in her own right? Bubba met Angie at UGA where the 6'4" beauty played basketball. She went on to play professionally in Italy and represented Team Canada at the 2000 Summer Olympics before being signed to the WNBA's Charlotte Sting in 2001. Bubba and Angie feel the BW's mission is to enhance the every-day lives of people in need with a particular emphasis on helping and inspiring children, young adults, and those associated with the U.S. Military.

Speaking of wives and Georgia athletes, Matt Kuchar married a tennis player who also happens to be from the Georgia Institute of Technology. (She played on the Yellow Jacket's tennis team). Sybi is well known around Georgia not just for her husband's fame, but also because she is a top supporter of Camp Twin Lakes- a charity that provides for special needs children with serious illnesses and mental/physical disabilities. The Kuchar's are also involved with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) which helps families stay together when children are getting treatment. RMCH has helped over 5.7 million families since 2014, giving families a place to rest and refresh while their child is being treated.

If you're not famous, an athlete or even from Georgia... don't fret. Because you can still get in the spirit of giving by signing up with Giv360!

It's free, easy, and allows you to pick the non-profit organization you'd like to help support. Maybe you see a charity listed here you'd like to start giving to. Click the Ronald McDonald House or Bubba Watson Foundation or Camp Twin Lakes.

There's a charity for everyone, search from thousands worldwide!

Go to Giv360 and every time you visit a participating Giv360 merchant, they'll donate up to 5% of your purchase to your favorite charity. It will make a difference in people's lives and you can feel good about helping those in need. It may not earn you a gold medal, but it will earn you a gold star in our eyes!

 

Every 26 Seconds Something Terrible Happens!

August is here and so are school busses, homework and a collective sigh from parents, teachers and students. Some are happy....some not so much. With summertime behind us, the routine of studies and class work can add a huge stress to families.

Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States. That is one student every 26 seconds which is 7000 kids a day!

Studies show the dropout rate is highest among kids from single parent homes.

The Heritage Foundation provided statistics which show the increased risks of children from single parents compared to those with intact married families. The results were staggering.

Children from single parents:

*are more than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime.

*twice as likely to be expelled or suspended from school.

*A third more likely to drop out of high school.

Giv360 wants to help end the cycle of dropouts. That's why they partner with merchants who will donate up to 5% of your purchases to support charities that help children stay in school and get the educational support they need. Non-profits like Future Foundation-I'm a Hero has a mission to level the playing field for youth in metro Atlanta by providing quality education, health and life skills programs. They also offer programs to help parents build stronger families and encourage community members to invest in our youth's future.

When you help a kid stay in school, you are helping not only this generation but future ones as well. Did you know that a high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate over his lifetime and almost a million dollars less than a college graduate?

When we help today's children stay in school we are helping our country. It's hard to believe that the United States which used to have the highest graduation rates of any developed country now ranks 22nd out of 27. 

But we can make a difference.

And Giv360 makes it easy for everyone to choose a non-profit which can help.

Stand Up For Kids' mission is to end the cycle of youth homelessness in cities across America. Volunteers go to the streets to find, stabilize and help street kids improve their lives. The charity, through donations and sponsorships, attend to the youth's basic needs and provide education, employment and housing.

When you choose one of these organization to sponsor, your Giv360 donations will help put an end to the cycle of homelessness, dropouts and youth crime that is so prevalent in our country today.

Let's make August and back to school a time to look forward to this year. Help kids stay in school!

Click Giv360 where you'll be able to sign up (it only takes a moment) and from there you can really improve our area's dropout rate one child at a time!

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Miller, Tony. "Partnering for Education Reform." U.S. Department of Education. Accessed February 18, 2015. .

[2] Cheeseman Day, Jennifer, and Eric C. Newburger. "The Big Payoff: Educational Attainment and Synthetic Estimates of Work-Life Earnings." United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 26, 2014, https://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p23-210.pdf.

[3] https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates

Support the Summer Olympics

A 6 year old Atlanta Girl made national news when she found a gold medal lying in a pile of trash.  Turns out her find was Joe Jacobi's Olympic Gold medal which had been stolen when his car had been broken into the previous month.  Chloe Smith returned the gold medal to Jacobi, and the Olympian rewarded her with $500 dollars cash and a promise to visit her school classroom in the fall.

Jacobi, a former slalom canoeist, had won the medal in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona.

Now, 24 years later, the summer Olympics will be taking place in Rio. Over 500 athletes will comprise the U.S. Olympic team representing various sports. The final names won't be confirmed until July 18th when the U.S. Olympic committee makes its final roster, but Georgia can be very proud as it appears our state will be well-represented. Below are some people to watch for.

Maya Moore for the Women's basketball team. Glenn Eller, Vincent Hancock, and Dan Lowe for Shooting.  Gunnar Bentz and Jay Litherland hope to represent, along with Amanda Weir in Swimming and Table Tennis has Yijun Feng.

For more information on these amazing athletes and Olympic hopefuls, check out Road to Rio where you can see their pictures and where they all call home.

Giv360 wants you to support the U.S. Olympic teams and show your support by watching the games at these participating Giv360 merchants.  Each of these locations will have the events on their TV's and you can enjoy great drinks, food and a wonderful atmosphere while you root for the U.S.A.

Catch the excitement at McCray's Tavern at 4500 West Village Place in Smyrna where they have 30 TV's airing the games.  And like all our Giv360 merchants, they'll donate up to 5% of your bill to the non-profit of your choice. So not only will you be supporting the USA in the Summer Olympics, but you'll be supporting your favorite charity when you eat or drink at McCray's.

Not far from Smyrna are the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pubs in Milton and in Atlanta. Both pubs will be airing the Summer games and sending Giv360 donations to your favorite charity as well.

And we couldn't forget mentioning the Sports Grill in Austell who will have the Olympics airing on the big screens and serving up tons of wings and burgers for your viewing pleasure. You won't feel guilty indulging because you'll know every purchase sends a donation to your favorite non-profit.

The Opening ceremony begins on Friday, August 5th with the closing ceremony 16 days later on Sunday, August 21st. That gives you plenty of time to catch soccer, basketball, gymnastics, shooting, golf, tennis, track and field and all the other events airing in August.

So this year, support the USA along with your favorite charity all at the same time. Maybe you'd even like your donations to go to the Special Olympics Georgia. Their mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in various Olympic-type sporting events for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Your donations can help provide them with opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendships.

It's a win-win for everyone. Sign up today to be a Giv360 participant. It's free, takes only a minute of your time, and you can start making a difference in the lives of others every time you visit a participating merchant. Click here to get started!

 

 

 

 

Giv360 Provides Pathways For Positive Change

In Georgia, it's common to see Atlanta Falcon clothing and sports memorabilia everywhere. But what a lot of people don't see when they're traveling to games is the neighborhood just west of the stadium - where one of Atlanta's poorest and most crime-ridden areas in the nation dwell.

It's hard to imagine, but nearly 40% of the residents in the 30314 neighborhoods live below the federal poverty level. This one zip code accounts for an astonishing 60% of all the murders in Atlanta and why the "FBI considers the 1300 block of 30314 the 5th most violent block in the entire United States."

Statistics like these need to change and the non-profit City of Refuge has made it their mission to do just that. The City of Refuge wants to transform and revitalize the city of Atlanta and have a pathway to do it. The staff, volunteers, and residents are witnessing miracles, every day, of positive change beginning to take root around Vine City, English Avenue, and Washington Park neighborhoods.

Giv360 encourages you to be a part of this great organization. By choosing City of Refuge as your charity to support, every time you visit a participating Giv360 merchant, you'll be sending up to 5% of your purchase to the City of Refuge's cause. Your contributions can make an impact and help provide on-campus interventions and programs that are providing solutions with dignity.

Another great organization helpingkids is Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.  This non-profit supports Georgia's sick and injured children and provides them with the specialized pediatric care they need. Some of the services they supply are pediatric cancer treatments, organ transplants, fracture care and appendectomies for the community's children and teens. You can help this great organization when you sign up at Giv360 and choose CHOA as your charity of choice.

To find out more about these charities and the hundreds of others that you can support, click here.  Giv360 is an innovative fundraising platform which allows people just like you to sign up for free, choose a non-profit of your choice, and register a card. It's that easy.  In mere minutes, you'll be signed up and ready to go. You can check out the participating merchants who will generously donate up to 5%  of your purchase every time you make a purchase at their location. Restaurants, bars, chiropractors, masseuses, hair salons, tire shops, animal hospitals and nurseries are just a few of the types ofmerchants partnering with Giv360. They provide a way for you to show your generosity to non-profits not just in Georgia, but anywhere in the world.

 

 

America Not as Wealthy as You May Think!

You may be surprised to learn that the United States is not the richest country in the world. In fact, it's not even close. The latest rankings of the World's richest and poorest countries was recently shared on Global Finance and the U.S came in at #9.  

There are several standard methods accepted when defining the wealthiest countries but most prefer the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) data per capita.

This takes into account the PPP  (purchasing power parity) when comparing generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations. That way, the PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates, rather than just the exchange rates.

In 2015, the Country Economic Reports and GDP Data from the World Economic Outlook report placed Qatar at #1 with $146,011 dollars for the average resident. Compare that to the bottom of the list which was Central African Republic at  #185 with a yearly average income of only $639 dollars!

The disparity between undeveloped third world countries and the top 10 reflects a huge problem in our world today. Those averaging less than a thousand dollars a year can't afford medical care, healthy food and safe shelter. And because of that, they are more prone to disease, famine and uninhabitable living conditions creating a cycle of more poverty.

But generous people, giving from a loving heart, can make a difference. A few of the non-profit organizations Giv360 donations can help are listed below:

Shot@Life is a non-profit trying to eradicate one facet of global poverty by providing vaccinations for those less fortunate, so they will not be plagued by preventable diseases. Did you know that every 20 seconds around the world, a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease?

CARE  is a humanitarian organization developed to provide aid to over 97 million people around the globe. They invest in educating women and girls and have discovered that women's empowerment is key in the fight against extreme global poverty. "When women earn their own income, they lay the foundations for healthier and more educated future generations".

The IRC (International Rescue Committee) was founded in 1933 due to a request from Albert Einstein. This organization responds to the world's worst humanitarian crisis's and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives to prevent global poverty. The IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities.

If you'd like to help these non-profits or the hundreds of others who are making a difference, please sign up today with Giv360. It's free, easy and only takes a few minutes. But those minutes could trigger a transformation in someone's life. If you're a Giv360 participant, every time you frequent a  Giv360 merchant you are able to show your love and support and help improve the world we live in.

 

Your American Dollars Can Go a Long Way

Our perceptions form our realities. This is especially true when we compare our lives to others in our immediate surroundings. "Keeping up with the Joneses" is how people generally measure their success. And while competition may be a great motivator, prompting us all to strive for success, luxuries and wealth; it can also be a hindrance when we can't see past our own fencepost.

American standards are vastly different from developing third world countries. And while one visit to a local grocery store may generate a buggy totaling over a hundred dollars and still not feed a family for a week, just a few U.S. dollars sent to another country could deliver a week's worth of meals for a starving child in addition to medical attention and schooling.

If you can picture your dollars from a perspective outside of our cost of living, you can see the value that far exceeds the numeric number on the bills in your wallet. Fresh water and mosquito nets are things not commonly listed on our grocery list, but in many third world countries, they are thought about every minute.

Your donations to a charity that focuses on basic needs may not be apparent when your neighbors observe what kind of car you drive or vacation places you frequent, but the young child in Ethiopia that sleeps more peacefully with a full belly or without fear from mosquito bites will know someone cared.

Giv360 also cares.

And they want to make it easy for you to choose a charity. By clicking here you can sign up for free, pick a nonprofit to support, and then every time you visit a participating Giv360 merchant, they'll donate up to 5% of your purchase! It can really add up.

Imagine you need some dents removed from your car or you want a spray bedliner in your truck. If you go to A Plus Collision and your bill totaled 200 dollars, they'd send 10 dollars to your favorite charity. And that 10 dollars could mean the difference between life and death. Did you know that every 2 minutes a child in Africa dies from Malaria? But you could send an insecticide-treated bed net from NothingButNets allowing them to sleep safely. Ten dollars would pay for that net!

Did you know that Asia has the largest number of hungry people, with more than 500 million suffering? The Borgenproject is an innovative national campaign that works with U.S. leaders to improve their response to the global poverty crisis. If you pick this non-profit to support, you can help the United States provide strong effective funding for programs that provide sustainable solutions to extreme poverty. Some things your money would be a part of: installing wells, teaching poor farmers how to grow more food, providing shelter, building schools, providing vaccines against diseases, and building small medical clinics.

Giv360 encourages you to think outside the U.S. box! By donating to non-profits, your American dollars can go a long way in ending global poverty.

 

Get Relief From the Sweltering Heat

Most of the Continental United States will be having well-above-average summer temperatures according to the latest outlook from NOAA's climate prediction center.

With hotter temperatures, people who work outside or participate in summer activities need to be careful and look out for signs of heat stress.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there were on average 618 deaths per year related to exposure to excessive natural heat.

The most serious of all the heat-related illnesses is heat stroke and this happens when a person's body is unable to control their body temperature. Symptoms include low blood pressure, cool and clammy skin, profuse sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, high body temperature, confusion, dizziness and slurred speech.

Other heat-related illnesses are heat cramps caused by inadequate fluid intake and working in a hot environment. This can be avoided by working in a well air-conditioned or cool space and staying hydrated.

Sun burn from direct exposure to the sun can cause irreversible harm to your skin. That's why it is important to stay in the shade when possible and wear plenty of sunscreen.

Another type of heat illness is heat exhaustion and it's most common in athletes. Extreme sweating causes the body to not cool itself down and perspiration decreases while the skin and core body temperatures rise. Symptoms of this are excessive thirst, weakness and headaches. Drinking fluids with electrolytes is especially important to avoid heat exhaustion.

Giv360 hopes everyone will stay safe and cool this summer. We encourage you to frequent participating merchants who will not only help you stay cooler, but will donate up to 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice.

Trinity Air is a participating Giv360 merchant dedicated to keeping you cool. They do residential homes as well as commercial businesses and have been serving Georgia customers for over 25 years with honesty, integrity and professionalism. And every purchase you make with them will send 5% to the favorite non-profit of your choice. So if you need a new air conditioner this summer, or need to have yours serviced, call Trinity Air to stay cool while doing a good deed at the same time.

For those that don't stay inside, make sure you wear sunscreen. If you still end up getting a sunburn, head to Harmony Massage. In addition to foot and body massages, they can help hydrate your skin with mineral mud wraps or perform a dermalift facial peel once the sunburn has dissipated. Help your skin recover from excessive skin damage while relaxing at Harmony Massage's beautiful Suwanne or Cumming locations.

Another great way to stay cool is from the inside out - with delicious frozen yogurt from Berry Mango's in McDonough. With flavors like Key Lime Sorbet and Island Banana, you'll feel cooler just walking in the door.

Giv 360 hopes everyone will have a happy summer and look for opportunities to be generous. It's easy to do when you sign up on Giv360 and choose a charity to sponsor. It's free and you can find all the participating merchants by clicking here to sign up now. You'll be doing something "cool" all year long .

 

 

 

 

July's Bizarre Holidays

The month of July holds a special day for Americans. It's the month we gained our Independence, but did you know that July 4th is also set aside as Crazy Sidewalk Egg Frying Day?

To be sure, there's some pretty odd national days on our yearly calendar, but that's one of the wackier ones. And don't forget that July 2nd is "I Forgot Day."

Oh sorry, what was I saying?

Oh yeah, thankfully, July has some cool days honoring our favorite foods which I think you'll really appreciate. And you don't have to cook them on a hot sidewalk because Georgia has so many great culinary establishments who can do it for you!

Giv360 wants to recognize its participating restaurants which create delicious meals each and every day, while donating a portion of their profits to charities.

We went down the list to see what food is honored in July and where you can find it locally from a Giv360 merchant.

July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day.  Several of our restaurants serve up a unique version of this classic. Due South delivers Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles, while There Brookhaven serves up Chicken Fried Chicken with potato pancakes. Not to be outdone, Atkins Park offers Southern Fried Springer Mountain Farms Chicken with Macaroni & Cheese.  All three are divine and worthy of your attention!

July 12th is Pecan Pie Day. And if you go to Southbound,  you'll experience a slice of heaven with their Bourbon Pecan Pie.

July 16th is fresh spinach day. There are numerous ways to enjoy spinach! Giv360 restaurants offer a ton of choices on their menus. Apres Diem serve up a Spinach salad with gorgonzola and walnuts. Due South has sautéed spinach for a side dish, and the Famous Pub whips up a delicious Spinach artichoke dip for an appetizer. Eating healthy never tasted so good!

So top it all off with a delicious dessert which is what comes next on the July calendar.

July 17th is National Ice Cream Day! While I'm sure it's okay in a cone, it's clearly better the way Village Cafe makes it. They have Mocha Almond Ice Cream Pie on their extensive dessert menu.

July 23rd is national hot dog day. To get the most delicious dogs in town, you need to check out HJ Wings and Things or the Sports Grill. Both offer up a wiener you'll love.

If you're hungry for Italian, you're in luck, because July 29th is national Lasagna Day. Nobody beats The Tomato House's Lasagna Bianca.

And to top it off, National Cheesecake Day is celebrated July 30th. The Mill Kitchen and Bar offers B and B cheesecake which has blackberries and blueberries in the recipe, while the Olde Blind Dog Irish Pub does it differently by making their cheesecake with Bailey's Irish Cream.

Take a culinary tour of these fine Giv360 merchants this July who do so much for non-profits. When you eat at their restaurant, they send up to 5% of your bill to the charity of your choice. It's easy to see where all the merchants are located and to sign up your favorite non-profit. Just click here today.

Give Life-Changing Experiences to Kids This Summer

Giv360 prides itself in helping raise money for non-profits. By providing fundraising avenues for customers who can patronize generous Giv360 merchants, charities benefit from a united force of people who understand the value of coming together.

Customers are encouraged to visit participating merchants so their 5% donation is sent to their favorite charity every time they spend. 

But summer months can be more challenging because school is out, people are on vacation, kids are left home alone while parents have to work and times get more difficult for adults and caregivers, especially those with special needs children.

But if anyone knows about handling challenges during the summer, it's Camp Twin Lakes!  Camp Twin Lakes is a unique non-profit camp for kids with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges. For over 20 years, this camp has provided life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children. They offer week-long summer camps and year-round weekend retreats at three fully-accessible and medically-supportive campsites. They offer day camps and even a Hospital-Based-Camp-To-Go program. Annually, they serve more than 9,900 campers.

Consider choosing Camp Twin Lakes as the non-profit you'd like to help as a Giv360 supporter. All you have to do is go to the Giv360 website, sign up for free, pick them, and then every time you spend money with a participating Giv360 merchant, you can feel good knowing 5% of your bill was sent to help kids at Camp Twin Lakes.

Another super non-profit organization you may want to choose is Camp Kudzu. They provide education, recreation and peer-networking programs for Georgia's children. Their camp offers summer sessions, family weekends, and teen retreats to kids diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.  Through the generous donations of Giv360 supporters, they are able to offer opportunities for children to grow and thrive in their daily lives with proper diabetes management.

Another non-profit is Camp Horizon. They provide year-round, no-cost programs to Metro Atlanta's youth in foster care. And the young adult campers (18-24 year olds) remain in the family through the Camp Horizon Adult Mentoring Program known as Champs.

Whether you attended summer camp as a kid, or have kids who attend now, the value of these experiences can't be highlighted enough. And you can help give the gift of camp to children and young adults who likely wouldn't get the opportunity without donors like you. Your support provides an outlet for kids in foster care or those with terminal illnesses, disabilities, or diabetes.

Make a child's summer special this year. Sign up here and start supporting your favorite non-profit today!

 

 

Summer Ideas to Teach Your Kids How To Give Back

June is here and kids are out of school! Why not make 2016 a summer that will have a far lasting impression than that first sunburn.

Summer camps are great, as are family vacations, but helping children realize how to look beyond their own needs and help others is a life-skill that goes beyond play dough sculpting, macramé and s'mores.

This year, involve your kids in helping non-profits in their area, or those causes that are dear to their heart world-wide.

If you want your child to have a purpose worked into their summer camp this year, consider a mission trip. Teen Missions provides short-term missions that show young people first-hand the pressing needs existing around the world. They serve in India Orphanages, Nepal Children's homes, as well as Cuba, China, Madagascar and Trinidad.

If your child shows an interest in animals, encourage them to collect pet food and towels that can be donated to local animal shelters. There are even volunteer opportunities at the Fulton county Animal Services for children aged 14 to 17 as long as a parent goes with them. The LifeLine Animal Project is a non-profit which helps over 1,000 animals a day at their shelters. They have a wish list of cat toys, dog beds, food, collars, blankets and more. A child could set up a yard sale or donation spot to help the animals in need if they're not old enough to volunteer.

Other ways children can fight off summertime boredom, is by helping fight hunger. The Atlanta Community Food Bank collects more than 60 million pounds of food and groceries a year and then distributes it to more than 600 non-profit partner agencies. They have many programs kids can participate in like Hunger 101, an education project of the Atlanta Community Food bank that is designed for all age groups to increase awareness about hunger and poverty.

Encourage your children to explore ways to help others. They can set up an Alex's Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer or help elderly or disabled neighbors by doing yard work.  Habitat for Humanity allows 14 and 15 year olds to paint and 16 year olds can volunteer at build sites.

Participating in charity helps kids look beyond themselves and past their own needs. It also helps them deal with tragedies better because they see they can do something to help, not just sit idly by.  When kids learn how "privileged" they are compared to others, it can develop an empathy and love for giving that will last well beyond summer.

And of course, Giv360 is a perfect way to help non-profits all year long. Sit down with your child and have them choose a charity they'd like to raise money for. Print up fliers and have them distribute the information to their friends and family, asking for their sign-up support. It's totally free, yet every time that person spends money at a Giv360 merchant, they'll be giving 5% of their bill to the charity. Make a sign-up sheet and set goals so your child can get  25-50 friends and family members to commit to signing up with Giv360 to support their favorite charity!

Children don't have to wait till they're older to make a difference.

Start now! Sign up here!

 

How You Can Step It Up This Year and Finish with Pride

There's a lot to be said about finishing what you start. Even if you hadn't originally planned on starting it.

Last month, a 12 year old girl who thought she had lined up late to run in a 5k was actually early.

LeeAdianez Rodriquezgot to the race's starting line and saw runners ahead of her had already begun. So she caught up with them and began running in what she thought was the Rochester Flower City Challenge - a 3.1 mile course.

But her race was actually scheduled to start 15 minutes later. So who was she running with?

The half-marathoners! 

Midway through, she realized she was running a 13.1 mile course - a whopping 10 miles more than her original intent, but she decided to keep going.

Not only did she not stop, but she completed it, with a time of 2 hours and 43 minutes.

What a great story! How being prompt, though not necessarily punctual, still led to progress!

Have you ever started something and wished you could finish it? Have you ever had great intentions but weren't able to follow through?

Maybe it's going to the gym or volunteering somewhere. Maybe you want to write a book or stay on a new diet.

Or hopefully, it's the desire to give more charitably and help support non-profits this year.

Giv360 can help you achieve your desire to be more philanthropic! Giv 360 partners with merchants all over Georgia who will donate up to 5% of your purchase to the charity of your choice.

That's right- it's your choice.

Simply sign up on Giv360's site and pick a charity you'd like to help. Then every time you spend money at a Giv360 merchant, proceeds will be sent to your charity.

And you don't have to do anything else.

You don't have to train, run, or even wake up on time. No training gear or private lessons are required.

You can get to the finish line with a simple click.

Here's your  - sign up today. It's free, easy and yet you can feel good about finishing what you start. Because every time you swipe your card, the Giv360 merchant will send a portion of your check to the charity of your choice.

What charity will you choose? The possibilities are endless.

If you like races, consider supporting the Epilepsy Foundation's National Walk for Epilepsy or Sharon's Ride, or PCI's Walk for Water.

If you like animals, consider PAWS Atlanta or Georgia SPCA.

Or maybe you want to honor and empower vets and support the Wounded Warrior Project.

With the Giv360 app, any non-profit close to your heart can benefit from your donations.

So let's get started! 2016 can be the year you become more charitable and make a difference in the lives of others...one step and one swipe at a time.

 

 

 

 

 

Even a Kindergartner Knows You Should Share

Giv360 bets our participating merchants were super sharers in Kindergarten!

A study that analyzed children from kindergarten up to age 25 concluded that those who scored highly on positive social skills influenced their success 20 years later. The children were evaluated on how they resolved peer problems, how they listened to others, if they shared materials, how they cooperated and if they were helpful. The research team monitored these students and then looked at how well they did with employment, substance abuse or run-ins with the law later in life.

They found that the children who rated the highest on the scale of social skills were twice as likely to attain a college degree in early adulthood, and 46% more likely to have a full time job at the age of 25. The results were published in the American Journal of Public Health. 

Study Author Damon Jones explained that social competence is more than just behavior. ...it includes how well the child understood feelings and acted helpful to others. These are early skills that are vital, not just in school, but in life- and kindergarten is a critical time for developing social competence.

Giv360 understands the value of sharing socially and partnered with like-minded merchants who  understand the value of giving back.

Giv 360 merchants donate up to 5% of every qualifying purchase to non-profits . And it's not a self-serving calling, because these merchants don't even pick the charity- the Giv360 customer does that.

But these merchants deny themselves and their profit margin the 5% income in order to give back to the non-profits
who rely so much on donations.

So continue the sharing and visit these wonderful merchants. Here are just a few in alphabetical order.

Apres Diem,  Atkins Park of Atlanta and Smyrna , Berry Mango's Yogurt Bar, Carroll Street CafeDue South Southern CuisineEclipse di luna of Buckhead and Dunwoody and Famous Pub are some of the delicious restaurants and dessert places on our list.

 A Plus Collision Center,  Gala Davis Family Chiropractic and Lake Harbin Animal Hospital offer up services everyone and every pet's needs!

So whether you want an app and tap from Melton's or some cannelloni from Noni's, you're sure to see the love that sharing with others can bring. Even an Olde Blind Dog couldn't miss it!

We don't want you to miss your opportunity to share either.  Sign up here where you can choose your favorite non-profit to sponsor. Then whenever you visit one of the participating merchants, you'll know that up to 5% of your purchase will go to your charity.

And it's all free. That's right, it costs you nothing to share, but so many can gain! So what are you waiting for? Get up off that Rustic Couch and head There now to Giv360's website.

As Mother Teresa said, "It's not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving"

Then you can feel like Yo Tops of the world! Because nothing is better than giving and sharing what you have. Our merchants understand what Anne Frank meant when she said, "No one has ever become poor by giving."

So we hope you'll reward their generosity and caring spirit and visit them. Because sharing is good for you...and research proves it!

 

 

 

Help Foster Love This May

The month of May boasts a title you may not be aware of.  It is National Foster Care month. In honor of this, Giv360 would like to recognize our local charities who do so much through their hard work and dedication.

Each May, National Foster Care month provides an opportunity for people across the U.S. to focus their attention on the year-round needs of American children and youth in foster care. "On any given day, there are more than 400,000 children in foster care.  If you brought together all those children into one city, it would be the 43rd biggest city in our country- bigger than Miami or New Orleans."

And what's really sad is that over the course of a year, nearly 700,000 children spend at least some time in foster care.

Unfortunately, Georgia is not immune to these statistics because each year, more than 7,000 Georgia children live in foster care.

The Foster Care Support Foundation (FCSF) serves a vital and growing need throughout Georgia by providing free clothing, infant equipment and developmental toys to thousands of children in foster care. They also offer Prospective Foster Parent Information Sessions and are launching a Hope 4 Tomorrow mentoring program focused on helping children who are aging out of the foster care system. Every year, about 28,000 youth leave foster care because they become too old, while 1500 will run awayFCSF hopes to provide guidance and resources for those teens to help ensure they can have a successful future.

Another great non-profit serving locally is bloom. It was founded by a group of Fayette county citizens in 1986 who wanted to provide a safe refuge from abuse and neglect. The group responded to the rising number of displaced children and launched a private foster care program to serve children of all ages. Formerly called the Fayette Youth Protection Home, it has served as a shelter and safety net for children for the past 25 years. They then organized a clothes closet to allow foster parents to "shop" for their foster children from the swell of community donations that had come in. In 2013, The Bloom Closet moved into an 8000 square foot building and in the last year alone has provided free clothing, books, toys, school supplies and baby gear to over 350 foster children from 28 Georgia Counties.

 DreamWeavers of Georgia is a wonderful non-profit dedicated to enriching the lives of foster children by creating opportunities that help promote their educational, emotional and social well-being.  This means they help children participate in extra-curricular activities like dance, baseball, volleyball, summer camps and more. They also provide tangible items like musical instruments and music lessons. Tutoring, counseling, homework supervision and art are other things offered.  Foster children who receive sponsorship from Dream Weavers can make great strides in reaching their full potential.

Giv360 recognizes these charities and encourages you to go to our website and sign up. You can help support one of these wonderful non-profits in honor of National Foster Care Month. It takes only a moment of your time and it is free and easy to do. Simply click here, pick your favorite non-profit to support, and then whenever you spend money at a participating Giv360 merchant, they'll donate up to 5% of your purchase to the charity you want to help.

 

Fight the Dreaded "C" with Giv 360

About 200 billion dollars has been spent on cancer research since the early 1970's. And during that time, many successful treatments have been created. That's the good news!

While 200 billion dollars spent over the last 45 years may seem like a lot, consider this...

"In one year - (2012) - Cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies spent more than $9.6 billion on advertising and promotional expenses in the United States alone."

That's the bad news, because smoking causes 1 in every 5 deaths in the U.S every year.

Giv360 wants those numbers to change. So they're teaming up with charities to help find a cure for cancer by providing an easy way for your favorite non-profit to accept donations at no cost to you.

Why?

Because your donations can make a difference!

Thanks to the efforts and money spent on cancer research since the 70's, the five year survival rate for all people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. has risen from about 50% to 65% today. That's more good news!

But here's the predicament- there are more than 100 types of cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.

The most common type on the list is breast cancer, with more than 249,000 new cases expected in the United States in 2016. The next most common cancers are lung cancer and prostate cancer.

But take heart, because cancer is not entirely genetic. (We weren't born with a cigarette in our mouth, or hired in an asbestos plant because it was supposed to be good for us.)  But by adopting some good and healthy behaviors (and staying clear of environmental hazards), we could avoid sending invitations to harmful carcinogens that invade our bodies.

According to the American Cancer Society, healthy behaviors could prevent about half of cancer deaths. Checkout their website to learn how lifestyle changes can improve your odds against cancer. The most obvious is to not smoke. They also advocate getting screened for cancer regularly - (for your skin, breast, prostrate, cervix and colon.) If you find it early, you can greatly decrease your risk of dying from the disease. Other tips were to limit alcohol consumption, wear sunscreen with a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or higher and keep your weight in the normal range.

The American Cancer Society is committed to raising awareness about cancer and distributing funds to help fight it.

Another local non-profit that has partnered with Giv360 is the Henry County Cancer Services. They have been serving cancer patients in Henry County since 2002. Their dedicated team of volunteers lend a helping hand to individuals and families who have found themselves struggling due to the effects of cancer on their lives. HCCS assists the patient at their point of need. Funds raised go directly to providing medicines, medical co-pays, doctor and hospital bills, wigs, nutritional supplements and more.  When you choose a non-profit like the American Cancer Society or the HCCS, you are making a difference in someone's survival rate. And that's something to be proud of!

Most everyone you meet has somehow been affected by cancer because "every year cancer claims the lives of more than half a million Americans."

Partner with Giv360 by simply clicking here and signing up for free. All you have to do is pick which non-profit you'd like to support, (there are hundreds) and then whenever you frequent a participating Giv360 merchant, up to 5% of your purchase will be donated to your favorite charity! All those donations can really add up. Wouldn't it be amazing to see a cure for cancer in our lifetime? Your support could make it a reality!

 

 

 

Make Your Mom Proud

Since Mother's Day is May 8th this year, it seemed appropriate to share a few factoids about this special day. 

Anna Jarvis, a woman who remained unmarried and childless her entire life, founded the American concept of Mother's Day. She wanted to carry out her mother's wishes of having a day set aside just for moms. On May 8th, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson rewarded her tireless efforts by signing a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day.

The oldest first-time mother to give birth is a 69 year old Indian woman, who received controversial IVF treatments, named Rajo Devi Lohan. She is now 74 with a five year old daughter.

The youngest mother to deliver a child was a 5 Year old girl named Lina Medina from Peru. As unbelievable and unsettling as that sounds, it was verified true, and research showed she had an "extraordinary hormonal disorder of pituitary origin which cited why she could become pregnant at such a young age."  Her son was raised by the girl's parents as her bother. He didn't discover his sister was his actual mom until he turned 10."

Did you know twins are not always born at the same time? Maria Jones-Elliot delivered her daughter Amy prematurely on June 1, 2012, while Amy's twin sister remained in the womb. Almost 3 months, (an amazing 87 days) passed before Katie was delivered.  This broke the Guinness Book of World records for longest interval between the birth of twins. They are both healthy and thriving today.

Another thing that thrives on Mother's day is the amount of money spent. The National Retail Federation (2013) said consumers spend an average of $168.94 on their moms, and 1/4th of all flower sales are purchased for this holiday.

And Mother's Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants; especially for brunches as well as group dining.

If you plan on taking your mom out to eat this Mother's Day, Giv360 recommends some amazing restaurants. They'll provide a beautiful meal to your loved one, and give a gift to your favorite charity as well, just for eating there. Click here to see a list of the merchants. The Mill Kitchen & Bar serve up a great Sunday brunch. Grinds and Wines, Pacific Rim Bistro, and Due South are also taking reservations for Mother's Day!

And why not be a little different this year? Instead of buying some cut flowers, why not give Mom some plants that can be planted and last all year long? Wilson Brothers Nursery can help you pick the perfect flower and then donate up to 5% of your purchase to your favorite charity.

And if you're still at a loss of what to get, think about a gift certificate from Judy's Nails or Harmony Massage.

Make this Mother's Day more special than the last. Because by frequenting a Giv360 merchant, you'll not only be making her day, but also one of the thousands of non-profits in need.

So pick up the phone and tell her your plans. (122 million phone calls are made to moms on Mother's Day in the United States.) She'll be proud to have a child who not only thinks of her, but who supports Giv 360 merchants and non-profits as well.

 

Area Restaurants Serving More Than Food

Imagine you are a restaurant owner, dependent on customers and repeat business for your survival and growth. While it is hard enough to deliver quality meals and exceptional customer service with every table turn, it's even more difficult to do so when food prices continue to rise.  Many restaurants are feeling the pinch. "To keep customer traffic up, businesses are simply cutting deep into their profits, and the effects are being felt all the way up the chain." This is happening across the restaurant industry- from mega-chains like McDonalds to Olive Garden. The Associated Press reported,  "For the first time since 1970, McDonalds will close more U.S. restaurants in 2015 than it will open."

So if rising food prices can cause the Golden Arches to close down, imagine what it can do to your favorite local restaurants.  Georgia has some of the finest casual dining establishments in the South. Some have multiple locations like La Hacienda which are in Fayetteville, Newnan, Peachtree City, and Midtown while others are independent like Winston's Food and Spirits and Pj's Cafe. The beauty of living in Georgia is all the great choices you have when it comes to dining out.

But the challenge to these restaurants is to find new customers and make sure they return again and again. Obviously having a great menu, superior food and friendly staff are key to this. But restaurants are discovering there's another contributing factor that influences customers. 

"In the last decade, there has been an increased desire among consumers to support, when possible, local and small businesses."

One way a restaurant can do this is by buying food from a local farm that can provide them with fresh local ingredients instead of buying from a national distributor.  The Mill Kitchen and Bar does this, and even lists their farmers on their site. Some restaurants support local artists and musicians by having them perform on certain nights. Coming soon the Rustic Couch will be featuring Spoken Work Artists in addition to their 1st and 3rd Friday's musical entertainment.

In addition, and this is where Giv360 comes in, restaurants can support non-profit organizations. "Thanks in part to social media, consumers, especially those who fall within the 'millennial' category, are extremely tuned in to local, national, and world causes. As a restaurant owner, you have the opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level by showing that your restaurant is actively dedicated to supporting a cause (or causes)."

"According to Loyalogy, 73% of restaurant customers would recommend a business more frequently if it had an appealing rewards program."  Giv360 offers a wonderful reward program to customers because it allows them to donate up to 5% of their purchase to their favorite charity! It's a win-win for the restaurants and for the customers. If the stats are true that "more than 70% of customers who visit a restaurant once never go back".

Developing longstanding relationships with consistent clients who fill tables is every merchant's desire. Giv360 helps do that by promoting its participating merchants and encouraging customers to visit those places who help support worthy causes. And in case you haven't figured it out yet, the restaurants listed here are just a few of the many Giv360 merchants you'll find on our site.

Click here to see all the wonderful Giv60 merchants who donate 5% of your bill to your favorite non-profit. Sign up today. It's free, easy, and you'll be making a difference...not just in the lives of the charity, but in the livelihood of the restaurants you love to eat at!