“I want toys that I can give to children who don’t have any.”

That’s what 9-year-old Payton Milligan told Santa last year when asked what she wanted for Christmas. Fortunately, Payton’s parents Tim and Debbyn happened to know about Simple Needs GA’s children’s programs, Spirit of Christmas and My Birthday Matters.

After Santa gave Payton a whole bag of toys for people in need, Payton visited SNGA’s warehouse to drop off the presents. She also gave a donation which was her “share” of her allowance and other money she received (1/3 save, 1/3 spend, 1/3 share). “I gave Payton and her parents a tour of the warehouse and showed her the shelves of brand-new toys for children experiencing homelessness in our community,” Brenda said. “Payton’s amazing generosity of spirit made me want to cry!”

Payton donating Christmas wish from Santa Jan 2018
Payton with Brenda and SNGA Board Member Yolanda Kingsberry.

The holiday season has passed, but Payton aims to keep the presents coming. “She has already started collecting more items for the birthday program,” her dad told Brenda. “Thank you for making her feel special about what she did and is doing.”

The gratitude, Brenda says, goes to Payton and her family. “Part of our mission at Simple Needs GA is to inspire members of our community to give back,” she said. “But sometimes it works in the opposite direction. Payton is an inspiration!”

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., March 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. We are in need of gently used or new microwaves or toaster ovens. Also, toasters and other kitchen items.

If you can’t make it on March 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 April 7, followed by the regular third-Saturday drive on April 21. 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/end tables/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!

SNGA recently received some tough news—we are losing the 1,200-square-foot storefront used to store furniture for clients of Simple Household Needs. Located in the shadow of the Big Chicken, the space will be renovated and repurposed by its new owner (the Marietta church that had graciously been allowing us to pay below-market rent recently sold the property).

We wish we could store furniture in our Marietta warehouse space, but it’s already packed with birthday presents, Comfort Kits, cleaning supplies, tents, winter wear, small household items and more.

We have to move everything out of the furniture space by the end of April.

If you happen to know of any possible alternatives in or around the actual city of Marietta (logistically, we can’t locate our storage in the farther reaches of the county like West Cobb, East Cobb or Kennesaw), please let us know! The space needs to be big enough to store mattresses and furniture and should have enough access to accommodate box trucks. “We can afford to pay a little more per month than we pay now,” Brenda says, “but the rent would still need to be below-market. Another option would be for us to find a combination of warehouse and office space where we could store the furniture along with supplies for all of our other programs.”

The furniture is incredibly important for our clients. They are often sleeping on air mattresses SNGA loans them until they receive beds and often have no kitchen tables, sofas or chairs in their homes. If you have any ideas, please email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

When Simple Needs GA asked Leilani Charrié Gurram what she wanted for her birthday, the 14-year-old had an unusual request. No jewelry, jeans or iTunes cards for her. Leilani wanted a metal detector! Check out our blog post about how SNGA turned Leilani into a legit treasure hunter—and helped her family, which relocated to Marietta from Puerto Rico, rebound from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

(l to r) Daniel Charrié, SNGA volunteer Jen Sypeck, Marianne Charrié, Rebecca Barringer (in back), Pamela Charrié, and Brenda Rhodes.


In January, about 30 members of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra (GSO) Chorus and Board joined Simple Needs GA for a highly productive volunteer day organized by GSO’s Christine Vick. “This was an awesome group, with everyone pitching in to do anything needed,” Brenda said. “One volunteer even helped by replacing light bulbs!”1.27.2018 - GSO - group photo

GSO Executive Director Susan Stensland posted on Facebook that she greatly enjoyed working with her colleagues to give back by participating in the volunteer day: “Simple Needs GA does great work across our community, and is led by the amazing Brenda Rhodes, a GSO Chorus member. I love having such kind, talented, and generous people as friends and colleagues!”

Founded back in 1951 as The Marietta Music Club, the organization has evolved and grown a lot over the decades. It was renamed the Georgia Symphony Orchestra in 2011. Visit GeorgiaSymphony.org to find out how you can attend a performance, donate or volunteer! Here are links to the upcoming performances on April 20 and April 21!

When a local financial services company (they wanted to remain anonymous) held a Super Bowl party this year, they decided to collect money to buy presents for a recipient of Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters program. “When one of our employees told us about My Birthday Matters, we knew it was a perfect opportunity for our company to get involved with a great cause,” said a manager at the firm. The result (PICTURED) was quite a haul and will put smiles on childrens’ faces for sure! Touchdown!SuperBowlPartySNGA

A big thank-you to Mt. Zion United Methodist Church, 1770 Johnson Ferry Rd., for running a month-long donation drive for Simple Needs GA! In addition, the church’s Early Bird Circle donated more than 100 items—in particular, lots of much-needed socks and brand-new cleaning supplies—for clients of SNGA’s Simple Household Needs program. “My car was filled to the brim with all of the items,” Brenda said. “What a huge help!”Mt Zion Collage

In a Feb. 25 presentation before about 25 members of Early Bird Circle (PICTURED), Brenda described Simple Needs GA’s mission and programs and talked about needs in Cobb County. Jane Livingstone, a member of the circle, invited Brenda to speak after reading about her in an article in The East Cobber. “Our members are always interested in giving,” Jane said, “especially to nonprofits that are local in focus.” In addition to the items provide by the Early Bird Circle, Mt. Zion’s month-long drive provided lots of needed items for SNGA clients. “Delivering all of the items to our warehouse required a pickup truck and three carloads,” Brenda said. “What a huge help!”

Thanks so much, Mt. Zion!

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 another great way to support SNGA—and from now until March 31, Amazon is tripling the donation amount to 1.5% when customers make their first eligible smile.amazon.com purchase! This is a great opportunity to increase Simple Needs GA’s AmazonSmile donations and help us help our clients.

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!


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