SNGA Donation Drive this Sat. (Aug. 19)

“My children and I didn’t have any beds or any furniture at all. We were sleeping on air mattresses. The beds and the dresser have been really great. The furniture is in good condition. I’m happy and the kids are happy. It was a really great experience.”

The quote above is from “Sharon,” a working mom with four kids ranging in age from toddler to teen. The family had come to Georgia to flee a difficult situation in another state. “They had nothing but their clothes—no furniture, no books, no bedding,” explained our volunteer Cathy Dandelakis.

After being turned down by several other social service agencies because she could not afford the $100 payment they expected, Sharon had almost given up on providing her children with a decent home.

And then she found Simple Needs GA.

Since Sharon doesn’t drive, Cathy picked her up at her apartment and took her to our Marietta warehouse, where Sharon filled out a list of needs and then worked with Cathy to find these items. “She was amazed that she was allowed to pick out all the things she needed,” Cathy said. “Some of her most treasured finds were books and new pillows for the children, a high chair and a vegetable peeler.”

Back at the apartment complex, Cathy watched with delight as Sharon’s children came pouring down the steps. “They were so happy to see everything: Dishes! Pots and pans! Bedding! Lamps! Towels! Shampoo!” Cathy said. “Each child received a brand-new backpack filled with school supplies. It was like Christmas in August!” Later in the day, SNGA volunteers Mike and Danielle, along with some helpers, delivered the furniture and beds.

The kids will be getting their birthday presents this Saturday.

“This was my first time having intimate contact with a family and it was so rewarding,” Cathy said. “The family was so grateful; Sharon and the children thanked me over and over. They just couldn’t believe that a bunch of strangers could be so kind. This is why I volunteer for Simple Needs GA. It was a total privilege to be able to provide this family hope for a better life.”

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please consider bringing some donations to our Marietta warehouse. And even if you aren’t able to bring any this month, feel free to stop by for a tour or to help us sort and store donations and take care of other small projects.

If you want to come on the 19th but can’t make it, no worries—we’re now adding a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The next two Donation Drive dates are Sept. 2 and Sept. 16. Mark your calendar! (NOTE: We’ll only send out an email reminder for the Donation Drive on the third Saturday of each month.)

Our greatest needs right now are character backpacks (new only), microwaves, hand towels, washcloths, lamps, pots and pans (especially larger), twin/full/queen/king blankets and queen/king comforters, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, toasters, irons, ironing boards, smaller wall art, can openers, shower curtain rings, new mops and brooms, women’s socks, boys’ underwear (esp XL 16-18), and bakeware. We are also accepting gently used kids’ clothing for winter and summer. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

Other needed items include working TVs (not too large/heavy), mattresses and box springs of all sizes, and gently used (no damage or stains) furniture such as dressers, dining tables, dining chairs, small desks, washers/electric dryers (no front loaders), bed frames and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for you to drop off or a pick up.

 A FEW SHOUT OUTS!
We wanted to thank Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb (LMRC) for donating 40 backpacks filled with school supplies on July 29 for our My Birthday Matters program! (PICTURED: Sharon Whelan, who worked with fellow LMRC member Alice Cheung on this effort!) We have already started distributing these much-needed packs. LMRC has helped us out so much over the past few months!

Also, we wanted to express our gratitude to Georgia Rambo of Sew Dreams Come True for her custom embroidery of our new polo shirts (PICTURED). Beautiful! Georgia’s Marietta-based business creates custom curtains, pillow shams, throw pillows, duvet covers and more. Thanks so much, Georgia. The shirts look great!

Lastly, big thanks to all the members of the youth group at Burnt Hickory Church of Christ, on Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta, who came to our donation drive and volunteer day on Sat., July 15. These energetic young people (see a video slideshow) spruced up the landscape outside our entrance and assisted with projects inside our space as well. We got a nice note from Evan of Burnt Hickory: “Brenda, you all were a blessing. Thank you for hosting our teens as they learned how to serve and learned more about great things happening in our community.”

FROM GROCERY BAGS … TO SLEEPING MATS!
If you’re like me, you feel a bit guilty when you return from a grocery or discount store with a dozen or more plastic bags. (The United States goes through anywhere from 100 billion to 300 billion plastic bags a year!)

Fortunately, we want your bags (just the kind you get from grocery stores or Walmart, no newspaper bags) for a cool cause—sleeping mats (PICTURED) for people experiencing homelessness. Some awesome volunteers with Give Homeless Hope make these. It takes about 700 bags to make one mat!

Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT
Now and again, we like to touch base with our volunteers to find out how their lives have been enriched by serving people in need in our community. Check out our Volunteer Spotlight featuring Stacy McIlwain and Alicia Putnam!

Thanks for your support of people in need!

####

Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.

To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

smile.amazon.com is a great way to support SNGA. Just sign up for the program and choose Simple Needs GA from the list. After that, AmazonSmile will donate to SNGA each time you make a purchase! Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!

Check out how you can support us in similar fashion by signing up for Kroger Community Rewards!

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About Joel Groover

I started covering the shopping center industry in 1999 for Shopping Center World (later, Retail Traffic). Today, I'm the Atlanta-based contributing editor for Shopping Centers Today, the monthly magazine published by the International Council of Shopping Centers trade association. I earned my journalism degree from The University of Georgia and, among other publications, have worked for The Marietta Daily Journal, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Art & Antiques. I became a full-time freelancer in 2003. In addition to writing monthly cover stories and other features on retail real estate, I write and edit press releases, corporate newsletter articles, annual reports, byline pieces and website copy for a variety of PR and corporate clients. I live in Marietta, Ga., with my wonderful wife, Susan, and my 13-year-old identical twin boys, Andrew and Benjamin.

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