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Friends,

My heart is happy.

I’m a huge advocate for volunteerism. It’s a huge, satisfying part of my life.

With it being Martin Luther King Jr. Day, seeing all the volunteering and giving opportunities makes me proud to be in these communities. While I’m not going to pretend to understand the depth and breadth of what Dr. King means to the African-American community, I truly admire the movement to create something special in his memory. I think that’s one of the most profound legacies a person can leave in this world.

In talking with my aunt last week, she said something that resonated with me: To whom much is given, much is expected. I agree. I’m no millionaire, but I certainly can’t complain about my lifestyle. My family is safe, warm and fed. We have access to doctors and teachers. Life is good.

But others aren’t so lucky.

Time is free and it’s the most important thing you can give. I encourage you to get out there this week, and every week, and lend a hand where you can. You don’t even need to be formal about it. Grab some paper and markers and make cards for kids in the hospital. Pick up litter at your local park. Start a pay-it-forward the next time you’re in the drive thru.

It’s all about kindness, folks. And it’s the least we can do.

Stay warm,

Rebecca

Birmingham Restaurant Week

Birmingham’s finest restaurants will offer discounted meals during the 15th annual Birmingham Restaurant Week event from Jan. 27- 31 and Feb. 3-7. Patrons will enjoy three-course lunches and dinners at discounted price points.

Brand new this year, a social media contest will give diners a chance to win a $50 gift card to a Birmingham restaurant during Birmingham Restaurant Week. To enter the contest patrons simply post a picture of their Restaurant Week meal on Facebook or Instagram, along with the restaurant name and #birminghamrestaurantweek hashtag.

“We have 24 restaurants participating in Birmingham Restaurant Week, and we’re excited to welcome newcomers Pernoi and The Morrie,” said Ingrid Tighe, executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District. “With 800,000+ white lights still aglow throughout town, we encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a fantastic meal in a picturesque setting.”

Check out participating restaurants and event menus. Reservations may be made by contacting the restaurants directly.

Birmingham Youth Assistance 39th Annual Kid’s Dog Show

Attention all kids aged 4 to 14: It is time for the Birmingham Youth Assistance Kids’ Dog Show. Register by Friday, Jan. 31, and join the show at Berkshire Middle School on Sunday, Feb. 2, at 1 p.m. Go to www.birminghamyouthassistance.org or call 248-203-4300 for full details and to register.

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