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J. Christopher's adopts 16 families for the holidays

J. Christopher's adopts 16 families for the holidays

(WXIA) -- J. Christopher's announced Monday it has "adopted" 16 families to give them the holiday of their dreams.

Every year, the restaurant chain helps the communities it serves by providing families in need with household goods, toys, books and school supplies. Customers have the option of giving gifts and donations to the cause.

This season's Adopt-a-Family campaign began Friday, Nov. 21. Participating locations and the schools their adopted families' children attend include:

Fulton County Cooperative Extension seeking 4-H mentors

Fulton County Cooperative Extension seeking 4-H mentors

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Cooperative Extension is seeking adults interested in becoming a mentor to make a difference in the life of a child enrolled in 4-H. The mission of Georgia 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills, and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society.

“4-H has a long, established history of making a positive impact in the lives of young people,” said Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “A lot is expected of our mentors because we believe the mentors receive a lot from helping young people chart their own course, explore important issues and define their place in the world.”

Fulton County Youth Commission to kick off Can-Paign food drive

Fulton County Youth Commission to kick off Can-Paign food drive

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Fulton County Youth Commissioners will kick off their sixth “Can-Paign to Fight Hunger” on Monday, Oct. 6 to help feed hungry adults and children.

The campaign, in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) has a goal of filling 50 barrels of non-perishable food by Nov. 7. Each barrel holds enough food to feed an average of 285 families, totaling over 14,250 individuals.

The continuing partnership with the ACFB focuses on the need to fill overwhelming gaps in food security for adults, seniors and/or families whose heads of households are unemployed, underemployed or living on fixed incomes that do not meet all of their economic needs.

The ACFB Hunger in America Study reports the following:

• Among all ACFB clients, 27 percent are children under age 18 and 19 percent are seniors age 60 and older.

Seniors have the power to stop a fire before it starts

Seniors have the power to stop a fire before it starts

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Each year, approximately 1,100 Americans ages 65 and older die as a result of a home fire. During National Preparedness Month, the Fulton County Fire Rescue Department (FCFRD) reminds senior residents they have the power to stop a fire before it starts.

About 3,400 Americans die each year in fires and about 17,500 are injured. According the United State Fire Administration, compared to the rest of the U. S. population, people between 65 and 74 are nearly twice as likely to die in a fire.

The Fulton County Fire Rescue Department believes the best fire prevention is fire education and encourages seniors to learn how to protect themselves and their property from a house fire.

With a few simple steps, older people can dramatically reduce their risk of death and injury from fire.

Stop the fire before it starts:

Surprise for the 'Mayor of IHOP'

Surprise for the 'Mayor of IHOP'

ROSWELL, Ga. -- At the end of the breakfast rush at the Roswell IHOP, server Gary Gardenhire still had energy to spare.

He thought 11Alive visited the restaurant to shoot a commercial for the morning show, but he had no idea it was a ruse -- for him.

Even if you haven't met Gary, you're already his friend. He'll talk to you about his wife, who he just lost last year.

"That's alright, I keep her right here, I keep her in my heart 24 hours a day," he said. "When you got a love as good as ours was, you can't go wrong."

Gary also has six children, 15 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. He loves his job so much that during this past winter's storm, he walked five hours through the snow -- because he wanted to work.

In fact, he's so beloved that restaurant regulars call him "the Mayor of IHOP."

The Atlanta Alive crew heard so many great things about Gary and wanted to surprise him.

Volunteers clean Vickery Creek

Volunteers clean Vickery Creek

ROSWELL, Ga. -- Members of the Georgia Canoeing Association pitched in last weekend to help the city of Roswell clean up Vickery Creek.

Using hand saws -- and their own gloved hands -- volunteers went to work on a fallen tree that created an island upstream of Roswell's historic mill dam. They removed limbs from the tree and collected trash, including bottles and recreational equipment, that gathered among the branches.

The cleanup initiative was launched ahead of Rivers Alive, when volunteers gather to beautify Roswell's parks and waterways. This year's Rivers Alive will be held Saturday, Sept. 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Those who would like to volunteer can do so at roswellgov.com.

Fulton County 4-H teaches students through hands-on activities

Fulton County 4-H teaches students through hands-on activities

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- As students head back to school, Fulton County Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Program will begin the fall session with a list of fun, challenging activities to enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society.

“4-H has been a staple in many communities providing guidance and structure for students,” states Menia Chester, Director of Fulton County Cooperative Extension. “Our program focus is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge and developing life skills through hands-on experiences.”

The Fulton County 4-H Program has offered students fun activities such as going to Cloverleaf Summer Camp (Rock Eagle 4-H Center), taking the Animal Safari Tour and the Cochran Mill Nature Center Tour. Students also receive leadership and communication skills training as well as learn about foods and nutrition, health, energy conservation, and citizenship.