Hi, Brenda, someone suggested you may be able to help with heating supplies tonight.

Back in January when wind chills were more like something from Montreal than Marietta, SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes received the message above from a woman who was sleeping in her van. She had just found a new job, but hadn’t been paid yet. Simple Needs GA provided her with a sleeping bag, blankets, toiletries and other things to ease her burden until she could get back on her feet. “This is why we do what we do,” Brendasaid. “For this client, receiving these basic comforts made all the difference. It meant something to her to know that there were people who cared.”

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. We have a lot of needs for our clients including beds, furniture and household items (details below). We also are in need of financial donations (of any amount) so that we can buy mattresses and box springs for clients on our wait list who are sleeping on air mattresses. We can buy a queen set for around $165.

If you can’t make it on Feb. 17th, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. Next month that first-Saturday drive will be on March 3, followed by the regular third-Saturday drive on March 17. Mark your calendars!

Right now we’re very low on some much-needed items for our clients (gently used items, please; no stains or damage.). These include:

>laptop computers for students
>drinking glasses and dish sets
>full/queen mattresses, box springs, beds/frames
>dining tables and chair sets (or just tables or just chairs)
>dressers and chests of drawers
>cable-ready TVs (not too heavy) as well as TV stands
>nightstands/coffee tables
>small household items (see list of needed items for details)
>baby items such as pack and plays, strollers, high chairs and more

For a full list of needed items, please click here. Specific needs for our My Birthday Matters program are posted on our SignUpGenius.
Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have anything to donate at this time. For large furniture, please email photos; we will arrange for you to drop off or for us to pick up (in Cobb County). Thank you for your support!

Recently, Brenda was quizzing a client’s two daughters, ages five and eight, to find what specific presents they wanted via our My Birthday Matters program.

“I told them their limit, and one of them chose a few things,” Brenda recalled. “When I said ‘that’s $45, you can have more,’ she looked at me and said ‘My mom can’t afford that.’ She didn’t understand that the gifts were free.”

Melodys two girls Jan 2018The girls (pictured) were delighted when they got their snowsuits and other toys and birthday gifts. Mom, whose house was almost completely empty, also was moved. Thanks to our Simple Household Needs program, the family received many small household items plus furniture, queen and twin beds, a chest, a couch, a recliner, an end table, nightstand, a TV, a TV stand and a floor lamp. They’re also on the list to receive a dining table and chairs as they become available.

“Thank you guys so much for providing my girls and I with the essentials we need to get by in our home,” she said. “We’ve never had so many sheet and comforter sets in our lives! From dishes and cleaning supplies, to book bags, to clothes for the kids and even for me, you guys have totally outdone yourselves … you are ‘Awesome Sauce’ as my girls would say!”

You know who else is awesome sauce? The amazing donors and volunteers who make our work possible.


Focus Atlanta SNGA
PICTURED: Host Keisha Lancelin (seated), along with Shari Bailey Martin from Cobb Community Foundation, Brenda, Laura Keefe from YELLS, and her guests Sabrina Jerome and Bridget Reyes.

In case you missed it, Brenda was interviewed on the CW69 TV show Focus Atlanta. The half-hour community affairs program airs once a week on Sundays at noon. On Feb. 4, the host of Focus Atlanta, dedicated volunteer and CW69 Public Affairs Director Keisha Lancelin, highlighted the Cobb Community Foundation and two of the organizations it has supported, YELLS (Youth Empowerment through Learning, Leading, and Serving, Inc.) and SNGA. “We were excited to have been chosen as one of the two organizations to be on the show,” Brenda said. “It was a great experience, and we have already had some inquiries from people who saw us on TV, were inspired by our mission and want to do be a part of SNGA.”

If you haven’t seen the segment, it’s available online here. Feel free to share with someone who doesn’t know about Simple Needs GA!

Brenda and SNGA Board member Alicia Putnam recently went to UCB’s corporate headquarters in Smyrna to participate in a team-building event. A global healthcare consultancy and biopharma company, UCB works to improve the lives of people living with severe diseases. For the team-building exercise, employees were there from all over the world (see group pic).UCB_GRA Team Build 2018_Atlanta Jan 2018

UCB has helped Simple Needs GA on Hands on Atlanta Day multiple times. For the latest event, the company purchased an enormous amount of toiletries for our Comfort Kits program and put together the start of more than 200 bags for people checking into emergency shelters. “Our Global Regulatory Affairs team was moved and inspired by the tireless and dedicated work of Simple Needs GA and the positive impact that you have on our local community,” said UCB’s Joy Revels, ROMEO Project Management Lead.

In the same email, Joy passed along contact info for several UCB employees who were interested in getting more involved in SNGA!

“By supporting our Comfort Kits program so generously, UCB is helping us provide dignity to clients who have had unimaginably difficult lives and are often checking into shelters with next to nothing,” Brenda said. “We love UCB. They are amazing people!”

On Feb. 3, members of KSU’s Minorities in Medicine (pictured) volunteered at our Marietta warehouse and helped us with a variety of tasks. The organization’s mission is to empower and enlighten minorities in medicine by exposing them to resources and opportunities that will help them succeed. The group gives them access to beneficial networking opportunities, workshops and experiences and promotes academic excellence, scholarly behavior and individual growth. Volunteer coordinator Michael Woods thought working with SNGA would be a great growth opportunity for MIM. We had a blast working with Michael and nine other young and enthusiastic members of the group. Thanks so much to MIM!minorities-in-medicine-from-ksu-feb-3-2018.jpg

Members of Brownie troop 15129 (pictured) from Davis Elementary in Marietta made some progress on their philanthropy badges by putting together new-sew blankets for My Birthday Matters. The 21 third-graders hope to use a portion of their cookie sales to help with more donations to SNGA in the future. We were moved and impressed by the gesture! The event was educational for the Brownies, said mom Lauren Whipple.
“They learned that not every child is lucky enough to have their birthday recognized,” she said. “By creating blankets, they were able to help provide gifts that children in need in their community might not otherwise have received.”BrowniesSNGA

We just wanted to say thanks to volunteers from IBM’s Atlanta-based Consulting by Degrees program, part of IBM’s Global Business Service, for helping out at our warehouse on Sat., Jan. 20. The 11-member team (pictured) sorted clothing, carried in donations and made lots of no-sew blankets for Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters birthday program.IBM Group SNGA

Team leader Rebecca Clark, a Business Transformation Consultant with Consulting by Degrees, said she enjoyed working with experienced SNGA volunteers, who showed the IBM team around our space. But the IBM consultants gave us some tips as well-including showing us an easier and cooler way to make no-sew blankets! “We had a lot of fun with the blankets and know it will bring the same joy to the children who receive them,” Rebecca said.

Thanks again to Rebecca and her team!

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 brenda@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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