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Published February 12th, 2014
Spreading the Love Around
By Linda Lan Phung
Linda Lan Phung, a Miramonte High School senior who volunteers throughout the East Bay, is an officer with Club Be the Star You Are!(r), and strives for 17-second miracles, inspired by author Jason Wright.

To be or not to be MINE? That is the question that many teenagers think about on Valentine's Day, along with coming up with a romantic gesture for their significant other. This day, like any other holiday, brings joy as well as other benefits.
Valentine's Day spurs creativity because people invent unique ways to show their love. In a way, it forces people to think about their beloved and the memories they have shared together.
Chocolate is a popular gift idea among couples, as freshman Jack Thomas says, "Receiving chocolate makes girls happy, and guys want to make their girlfriends smile." Even though chocolate seems like a simple gift, it contains a multitude of health benefits.
According to recent scientific research, dark chocolate consists of many antioxidants that destroy free radicals, highly reactive atoms that damage DNA and cell membranes that roam around in our bodies. In addition, the cocoa in chocolate reduces cardiovascular disease, protects skin from UV rays, and increases blood flow. Hurrah for chocolate gifts!
Critics may claim that Valentine's Day was merely devised by mercenary corporations to increase sales. However, these profits can be used to produce more cards for upcoming events (e.g. Mother's Day, graduation). Although greeting card companies don't flaunt their charitable actions, most are philanthropic.
Hallmark has partnered with United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) since 2006, donating more than $12 million from sales of UNICEF-related items. They also donated $3.5 million to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Another well-known card enterprise, American Greetings, supports the United Way of Greater Cleveland through volunteering and fundraising to help local organizations. They have donated boxes of school supplies to the art school, the Rainey Institute.
Although Valentine's Day is an invented holiday, there's a reason why this day is celebrated not only in the U.S. but also in Britain, Japan, Italy, and many other countries. Junior Max Han believes that "love is a universal theme that everyone can relate to." Considering how many books, songs, movies, and TV shows center around the notion of love, it's obvious why this holiday was created.
For the people who call Feb. 14 Singles Awareness Day or "SAD," there are other ways to cope. Travelling, spending time with friends, or watching movies are popular, as senior Olivia Warner adds, "Good movies come out around this time of year." No teen should be ashamed about being an independent and unattached individual. Everyone is single at some time. It is pointless to annually mope.
Feb. 14 is a unifying day for both singles and couples, strengthening friendships as well as romantic bonds. Utilize this day to show your appreciation for loved ones and those who are making a positive difference in your life. Say "thank you" for caring.

Teen Scene is YOUR voice. If you have something to say or have writing skills and want to be part of our Teen Scene team, email our Teen Coach, Cynthia Brian, Cynthia@CynthiaBrian.com.
The opinions expressed in Teen Scene are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Lamorinda Weekly.

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