Judge Karen Mills-Francis has some advice for you Grinches out there: use the holidays as a time to volunteer in the community, particularly with kids.“There are so many children that need help. It bothers me that there are 21,000 missing children but you only hear about one or two that are missing in the news.” On Thursday, Mills-Francis is hosting a charity event at Gloria Couture to benefit Miami Edison, Miami Northwestern, Dr. Michael M. Krop and North Miami Beach high schools. She knows this time of year is stressful for many, but hopes we’ll act more nice than naughty. “I wish people would dig down and find their loving, caring inner voice. You need that person year-round, not just during the holidays.” What if you encounter a scrooge? “Be confident. It’s about how you carry yourself, so stand tall. I was always the tallest person in class so I demanded respect.” And don’t be a meanie. “There’s a difference between confidence and bullying.” When you pick your New Year’s resolution, think big. “The way you develop confidence is by doing the things you always wanted to do,” she says. “If you want to learn to speak Spanish, do it. If you want to take belly-dance lessons, sign up for a class. Just don’t let your fears control you.” Meet Judge Karen Mills-Francis 4 p.m. Thursday at Gloria Couture, 1060 Kane Concourse, Bay Harbor Islands. — MICAELA HOOD
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