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Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

Kroger raises $232K for Children's Miracle Network

(WXIA) -- Kroger customers in metro Atlanta recently showed that they are a charitable bunch.

During the final two weeks in May, shoppers raised $232,000 for the Children's Miracle Network through the Miracle Balloons promotion.

For only $1, a customer could purchase a paper balloon to hang in a local Kroger. All proceeds from the fundraiser went directly to Children's Miracle Network hospitals and health networks, such as Children's Hospital of Georgia in Augusta and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"Kroger customers consistently show their care for our communities by constantly going above and beyond with their charitable donations," Glynn Jenkins, spokesperson for Kroger's Atlanta division, said in a release. "Through their support of the Miracle Balloons program, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of children."

Bloom Our Youth to receive grant from Panera Bread

Bloom Our Youth to receive grant from Panera Bread

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. -- Panera Bread has announced a partnership between three of its restaurants and Bloom Our Youth, a service that supports foster children.

Throughout 2014, Panera customers have the option of making cash donations to the organization. Collection sites, known as Community Bread Boxes, will be installed in participating restaurants.

The Panera in Fayetteville has also committed to preparing 24 meals a year for residents at the Friday-Johnson Home, a children's home in southern Fayette County.

"The overwhelming generosity that Panera Bread has shown us through this venture is simply astounding," Bloom executive director Becky Davenport said in a release.

Participating Panera locations include 104 Ellis Road in Fayetteville; 379 Bullsboro Drive in Newnan; and 1263 North Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree City.

The initiative is part of Panera's Operation Dough-Nation program, the company's charitable outreach venture.

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

Local restaurants make 5 Make-a-Wish dreams come true

(WXIA) -- Diners at two metro Atlanta-based restaurant chains had a hand in making wishes come true for five very special children.

Throughout March and April, J. Christopher's and Reveille Café customers donated more than $47,000 to the Make-a-Wish organizations in Georgia and Middle Tennessee. Make-a-Wish grants surprises to children living with life-threatening medical conditions.

Thanks to the diners' generosity, Make-a-Wish was able to send five kids on trips of a lifetime:

Andrea, age 3
Hematologic (blood) disorder
Andrea got to go to Disney World and meet her idols -- Mickey and Minnie; Peter Pan and Tinkerbell; Pluto and Goofy.

Bryce, age 4
Wilms' tumor (kidney cancer)
Bryce got to fly on a plane to Disney World, ride the rides and meet Mickey Mouse.

Elijah, age 8
Respiratory condition
Elijah took an "absolutely awesome" trip to Disney World.

Canton tops list of 10 Best Places in Ga.

Canton tops list of 10 Best Places in Ga.

CANTON, Ga. -- Life is good in Canton. The Cherokee County city tops Movoto's recent list of the Best Places in Georgia.

The real estate blog examined all of Georgia's cities with a population of at least 10,000 before narrowing it down to 11 (nine of which are in metro Atlanta; two cities tied for 10th place). It used such statistics as amenities, cost of living, median household income, crime, tax and unemployment rates, and commute times to determine the ranking.

The top 10 include:

1. Canton
Perks: great community events, low unemployment rate (7.7 percent), low crime rate, low sales tax (6 percent), good weather

2. Peachtree City
Perks: high median household income ($92,647), low crime rate, multi-use paths!

3. Athens
Perks: proximity to the University of Georgia, low unemployment rate (8 percent), low average commute time (21 minutes), low student-teacher ratio (13 to 1)

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

Eat at Chili's to help Tenn. tornado victims

(WXIA) -- Several Southern states were slammed by severe weather earlier this week, including Lincoln County, Tenn., which experienced a devastating tornado.

Those who want to contribute to the community's rebuilding fund can now do so, simply by eating at Chili's.

On Sunday, May 4, more than 60 Chili's restaurants in Georgia and Tennessee will contribute 10 percent of the day's earnings to the Lincoln County Disaster Relief Fund.

Chili's diners can also make monetary donations by adding extra money to their check totals.

Visit chilis.com to find your nearest Chili's.

Auburn named Georgia's safest city

Auburn named Georgia's safest city

(WXIA) -- A small town on the Barrow-Gwinnett border has been named the safest city in Georgia.

Auburn tops SafeWise's latest list of the 50 Safest Cities in Georgia.

SafeWise used FBI crime data and its own private research to compile the ranking. It cited Auburn's mere 76 crimes in 2012 -- none of which were murder, arson, rape or robbery -- for its standing.

"What's most impressive to me about a state like Georgia is the collective dedication to both personal and community safety," SafeWise security analyst Carolyn Heneghan said in a release. "Of the 50 cities we recognized, it's not just the small towns, but the bigger cities too, that all take part in keeping themselves, their neighbors and their children safe."

Metro Atlanta fared very well on the list, with 9 of the top 10 located within easy driving distance of the state capital.

Georgia's safest cities include:

Celebrating MLK Day

Celebrating MLK Day

(WXIA) -- Many metro Atlanta residents and companies chose to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by serving their communities.

RELATED | Martin Luther King Jr. Day events

Hosea Feed the Hungry estimates it will feed 10,000 families during its MLK Day meal, which began at 10 a.m. at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park.

More than 3,000 people rolled up their sleeves to serve with Hands On Atlanta, beautifying such areas as City of Refuge and Chastain Memorial Park.

Georgia Power employees spent the day volunteering at Lutheran Towers, a housing development for seniors in Midtown Atlanta. They also assembled, labeled and distributed collection boxes at Rockdale Emergency Relief in Conyers.