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Sep 04

Giving is as easy as 1. 2. 3. 4.!

Child Obesity Awareness

We had such a busy summer…I can’t believe it is already September! Since this month is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, now is the time to invest either your time or resources into an organization that is in the business of changing lives. We provide nutrition education, fitness classes, cooking classes and motivational encouragement. I have been working with C.H.O.I.C.E.S. since December 2013. I have had the pleasure to work with a group of young ladies that decided to take the first step in making better decisions about their health. So, today I made the decision to help fund that program. I donated $10 to help fund the effective programs through the Center Helping Obesity In Children End Successfully (C.H.O.I.C.E.S.).

The Sisters in the LITE program has impacted and changed the lives of many over-weight young girls and families over the past 6 years. You can join the fight against childhood obesity by donating through or Read the rest of this entry »

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Jun 29

Healthcare Champions Awards

On December 16, 2013 The Fulton DeKalb Hospital Authority presented their 2013 Health Summit and Healthcare Champions Awards. These awards recognized outstanding commitment to the delivery of quality healthcare, research, advocacy, and education within the Atlanta community. C.H.O.I.C.E.S. was given the Impact Upon Youth Award! During the dinner, honorees were given the opportunity to share by video the story of their work.

Click here to see Recap of FDHA 2013 Health Summit

Click here to see all Fulton DeKalb Healthcare Champions videos

Healthcare Champions - FDHA AwardIn addition to Vanetta Keyes accepting the award on behalf of C.H.O.I.C.E.S., other award recipients included Elizabeth Omilami, President/CEO of Hosea Feed The Hungry and Homeless; Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice, Dean and Executive Vice President of Morehouse School of Medicine; Linda Toomer, Advanced Nurse Educator Specialist of Grady Health System; Chris Brand, President/CEO of Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC); Dr. Monica Parker, M.D., of Emory Alzheimer's Disease Research Center; Mr. Larry Johnson, Commissioner of DeKalb County and Mr. John Eaves, Chairman of the Fulton County Commission.

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Apr 29

Sionic Mobile, CHOICES Join Forces to Fight Childhood Obesity


– ION Rewards app now includes GIVE feature for two-tap donations –

ATLANTA, April 29, 2014

– Sionic Mobile, an mCommerce company providing mobile promotions, gifts, donations, payments and rewards, today announced it has added a new “GIVE” feature within its ION Rewards mobile loyalty app, making it easy for users to make charitable donations to Atlanta-based Center Helping Obesity in Children End Successfully Inc., C.H.O.I.C.E.S. This marks the launch of Sionic Mobile’s GIVE, GET BACK, PAY FORWARD campaign designed to support charitable organizations by digitally mobilizing the donation process.

“C.H.O.I.C.E.S. is honored to be the first non-profit to be featured inside the ION Rewards app,” said Vanetta Keyes, founder and executive director of C.H.O.I.C.E.S. “Our ability to grow, educate children and parents on the importance of healthy choices and create awareness within the community is directly tied to donor contributions. Providing donors the ability to contribute conveniently from their smartphones helps ensure these goals are achieved, and allows us to reach a new audience that may not be aware of our organization.”

Currently the ION Rewards GIVE feature enables users to contribute any amount, at any time directly from their mobile device to charitable organizations like C.H.O.I.C.E.S. In an upcoming release, Sionic Mobile is adding a second GIVE option, enabling users to add a contribution at the completion of every checkout using ION Rewards – similar to change drop boxes found at many stores. Plus, Sionic Mobile will chip in with its own cash contributions whenever users select the non-profit as a Connection inside the ION Rewards app. Every time a user earns IONs, an additional contribution will be made directly by Sionic Mobile.

“The goal of our GIVE, GET BACK, PAY FORWARD campaign is to support charitable organizations by leveraging mobile payments and rewards to make the donation process simple and convenient for donors,” explained Ronald Herman, CEO of Sionic Mobile. “I have personally supported and been involved with C.H.O.I.C.E.S for many years, and have witnessed first-hand how many children’s lives have been positively impacted by the organization’s dedication and community involvement. We are pleased to have them as the first charitable organization to leverage the new ION Rewards GIVE feature, and look forward to working with their team to bring even more awareness to this important cause.”

Consumers simply download the free ION Rewards app, available in Apple’s AppStore or Google Play, link a payment account or Google Wallet then select the GIVE feature to contribute directly to charitable organizations from their smartphones. Following the completion of every mobile checkout, including charitable donations, users are instantly rewarded with IONs (up to two percent of the total purchase) that spend like cash, and are accepted at more than 25,000 shops, restaurants and hotels.

About Sionic Mobile​
Atlanta-based Sionic Mobile is an mCommerce company utilizing mobile devices and the cloud to connect merchants with nearby, ready-to-spend consumers. The company is the maker and provider of ION — the first, fully digital mobile marketing, gifting, dontaing, payment and loyalty rewards app for phones and tablets. ION Loyalty® for merchants cuts credit card fees, helps increase traffic and high-margin sales and instantly thanks good customers for their repeat business. ION Rewards® gives consumers up to two percent instantly at checkout every time they pay with their phones at any ION merchant. The free apps support iOS and most Android devices.


Anna Stanley 678.781.3072
​​​Kathryn Farmer ​​​678.781.7208

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Mar 17

The First Lady Delivers Keynote Address at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit March 14, 2014

03/14/2014 07:20 PM EDT


Posted by: 
Elyse Cohen, Deputy Director, Let’s Move!


Today, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the keynote address to more than 900 participants at the two day Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) “Building a Healthier Future” Summit.  The Summit brought together members of the public, private, and non profit sectors all working together to combat childhood obesity. Mrs. Obama noted new commitments from Dannon, Del Monte, Knowledge Universe, Kwik Trip, Nutri Ventures, and Sodexo and commended the incredible work being done to address the issue.

Highlights from the commitments announced today include:

Sodexo will implement healthy vending and dining programs as well as providing an additional 17 million free breakfasts in schools.

Knowledge Universe committed to serving over 160,000 children, will implement healthy childcare guidelines addressing issues such as physical activity, food and beverages, screen time, and parental participation.

Nutri Ventures nutritional animation committed to making its content available to schools at no cost for purposes of nutritional education.

Dannon committed to improving the nutrient density and reducing the sugar and fat in its yogurt products. In addition, Dannon will invest in education and research focused on healthy eating.

Del Monte Foods, INC committed to improving the nutrient density of all products in addition to providing funds to market healthy habits to children and families. Del Monte will also donate more fruit and vegetable products to anti-hunger efforts across the nation.

Kwik Trip convenience stores committed to distribute nutrient rich foods at an affordable cost as well as implementing an EATSmart program to promote healthy eating among consumers and employees. In addition, Kwik Trip will introduce a Healthy Concessions Program that only permits food and beverages that meet guidelines to be sold.

“I think we should all be very proud of what we are achieving together, because in a fight this hard, we should celebrate every small victory we can get,” said Mrs. Obama. 

Mrs. Obama also noted that although great progress has been made, we need to continue innovative efforts because we still have a long way to go if we want to solve this.  

The First Lady noted that through Let’s Move!, we plan to keep attacking this problem from every angle, because we know there is no one magic bullet.  So we plan to keep building healthier schools.  We plan to keep bringing fresh food into our communities.  We plan to keep urging businesses to provide healthy products and market them responsibly to our kids.  But we also need to keep innovating.”  As Let’s Move! continues to build and expand on the work in all of these areas, a new key focus over the next year will be around helping families to start cooking again. Research shows that home-cooking is one of the single most impactful ways for families to improve their health. 

“And cooking isn’t just good for our budgets or our physical health, it’s also good for our kids’ emotional health,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.

So stay tuned for more posts this year on fun ways to bring more cooking into your home!



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Feb 25

I Bet You Can!

By Marcia McCoy – C.H.O.I.C.E.S. Program Development Coordinator

Today was a great day to be with CHOICES!  I had the opportunity to go on a grocery tour with Cooking Matter’s Mrs. Marcia Rafig and friends.

When I arrived at the Kroger in Marietta, GA, I thought Cooking Matters was going to just give a demonstration on the benefits of buying fresh or frozen foods verses buying conventional items. Boy was I wrong! Mrs. Rafig had the participants compare fresh fruits and veggies that were prepackaged verses whole, frozen veggies verses fresh veggies and unit price and weight comparison.  I just marveled at the responses from the mothers on the tour.  Sometimes it is the simple things we do on an everyday basis that can make all the difference, especially if we are teaching others.

 But the day didn’t stop there! Mrs. Rafig challenged the mothers to purchase food for a family of four all under $10.00. I was surprised at Mrs. Rafig’s request and said, “There is no way you can feed a family of four under $10! Meat alone will eat up majority of their budgets!”

As the mother’s received their precise directions, they were on their way.  The only requirements to their shopping venture were: NO conventional items, you have to serve 4 of the 5 items off the food groups and you cannot spend a penny over $10.

To my delight, every mother had created at least one meal for a family of four.  Some mothers had enough food to have leftovers for the next day!  Also, Chef Ashley Keyes was able to provide possible recipes for their meals and various food preparation tips as the mothers were shopping.

I could not do anything but praise the mothers for a job well done! Since Mrs. Rafig gave her group of mothers this challenge, I want to extend this same challenge to our CHOICES readers. Don’t forget to take a picture of your meal and post it on our Facebook or tweet us your meal at #$10budget. Good Luck!

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