I went beyond the walls of SNGA’s warehouse today to deliver a birthday to a pre-k child with Brenda. We were welcomed with open arms. Each present was opened with a ‘wow’—claps, cheers and a lot of thanks—and ended in hugs from the grandmother, mother and child. Simple Needs GA is a beacon of love and joy, especially to displaced children in our community. When you give to SNGA, you’re giving more than just furniture, funds or your time at the warehouse; you’re giving hope and encouragement to the children and parents who need it most!
— Lisa, a volunteer who delivered My Birthday Matters presents to a family this past May
UPCOMING DONATION DRIVE
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., June 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. We are in need of gently used or new microwaves or vacuums. Also, toasters and other kitchen items.
If you can’t make it on June 16, 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 July 7, followed by the regular third-Saturday drive on July 21. Mark your calendars!
Right now we’re very low on some much-needed items for our clients (gently used items or new, please; no stains or damage.). These include:
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!
A MEANINGFUL CONNECTION FOR SNGA
This past spring, about 100 students at Connection Pointe Christian Academy, a private school in Austell, raised a total of $500 for gift cards, brand-new household items, shoes and more for SNGA’s clients. It was all part of a lesson plan of sorts by kindergarten teacher Valerie High (pictured), who was keen on making sure the children (pre-k to the eighth grade) understood the value of service.
“The monies the kids raised were actually their offerings they brought in for our Chapel time, which we have every Wednesday,” she said. “It helped our students better understand what it means to give to others as an offering. We talked to them about how there were kids who did not have the same luxuries as they do, or even simple things like getting birthday presents or brand-new shoes.”
The students were touched this past May when SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes visited the school to talk about My Birthday Matters, Shoe Them Love, Simple Household Needs and other SNGA programs, High explains. “I love the vision that Brenda and all of her volunteers have for helping the community,” she said. “Meeting those simple needs that people have can really make a difference when they are transitioning out of homelessness or are otherwise in need.”
High has experienced such challenges firsthand. “My husband and I, along with our three kids, had to live in our car for three months,” she said. “So I understand what it’s like to transition from not having anything to finally getting back to a place where your needs are met. It’s part of why I like Simple Needs GA’s mission so much.”
High launched the giving program for the 2017-2018 school year with the blessing of principal Teresa Cannon. “All of the teachers here were very supportive of the giving program and helped make it a success,” High said.
Thanks so much to Valerie and the awesome students and teachers at Connection Pointe Christian Academy!
CINCO DE MAYO MAGNIFICO—GRACIAS TO FORESTERS FINANCIAL!
Foresters Financial has been a consistent supporter of SNGA going all the way back to August 2014, and the not-for-profit fraternal benefit society came through again on May 5 during a volunteer day at SNGA’s Marietta warehouse.
“In addition to donating about $500 of supplies for My Birthday Matters, the volunteers (pictured) did things like assemble men’s duffel bags for our Comfort Kits program, conduct inventories, help us sort the steady stream of incoming donations and organize some of our storage rooms,” Brenda said. “Every time Foresters Financial has volunteered with us, they have brought us much-needed supplies, either for the projects they are helping us with or just things from our most-needed list. They’re amazing!”
Foresters pitches in to help SNGA once or twice a year in events put together by Jessica Heidish, Foresters’ Member Coordinator. “We love Simple Needs GA’s mission of filling in the gaps where other organizations aren’t able to provide these services,” Jessica said. “SNGA has so many great programs. It is not just a one-size-fits-all organization, and our members just love volunteering there.”
KIWANIS CLUB APPEARANCES
At SNGA, we’re huge fans of the great work our local Kiwanis clubs do in the community. These contributions include supporting the Georgia Special Olympics Winter Games in Marietta and the Lost Mountain Golf Tournament, donating to local nonprofits (SNGA included), awarding scholarships, funding educational programs and much more.
So we were delighted when two local Kiwanis organizations invited Brenda to speak about SNGA’s mission this past spring. Brenda spoke to the Metro Marietta Kiwanis Club on March 19th at the First United Methodist Church, and to the Golden K Kiwanis (a repeat performance) on April 5th at the East Cobb Senior Center. “It was an honor to be able to talk about our programs, show them items we give to our clients such as a cleaning kits, Comfort Kits of full-sized toiletries, and school uniforms,” Brenda said. “I also shared some examples of the items we give to homeless kids celebrating their birthdays via our My Birthday Matters program.”
Brenda is such a big fan, in fact, that she recently became a charter member of the newly formed Mountain View Professionals Kiwanis Club, a so-called 123 Club that meets in the evenings.
‘DRIVEN’ TO HELP SCHOOLCHILDREN IN COBB
Thanks so much to dedicated SNGA volunteer Staci Bushey for running a successful drive for our Uniforms for Excellence program, which helps schoolchildren in Cobb County “dress for success” by providing them with required school uniforms that their parents struggle to afford.
Earlier this month, Staci used Facebook, email and the Nextdoor social networking service to collect four or five large bags of new and gently used khakis, skirts and polo shirts. She did so after social workers Linda Hobson and Monica Bright reached out to her for help with some specific uniform needs. “They mentioned that they had a need for uniforms for several of their schools, specifically in the South Cobb area,” Staci said.
Many public schools in Cobb require uniforms, noted SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “People think that it’s just private schools that require them, but that’s not the case,” she said.
Eight or nine donors in and around the Wheeler High School area contributed to the drive. Staci drove house-to-house to pick up the items. “I love contributing to Uniforms for Excellence, because I know that I’m doing something that is fulfilling a specific need,” Staci said. “My plan is to do another drive using the same avenues about two weeks before school starts. That’s when people realize that the summer sun and water have made their children grow four inches. None of those clothes they bought them will fit anymore!”
If you’re interested in contributing, too, keep an eye on clearance racks at discount-oriented retailers. On one Walmart trip, we found 10 pairs of khakis for just $7 or $9 each, along with 30 polos at just $3 each!
This past spring we lost the 1,300-sq.-ft. space we were using to store furniture for our Simple Household Needs program. Fortunately for us, an unbelievably generous donor has stepped forward to give us $350 a month toward the cost of the commercial storage. This will help us keep the furniture program going at its present volume. We have some leads and are working as hard as we can to find a new furniture-storage space.
If you happen to know of any possible alternative storage options (commercial real estate contacts would be great!) in or around the city of Marietta, 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. The key is that we’ll need to pay below-market rent.
If you have any ideas on a replacement space, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your support!