Late last fall, West Cobb resident Russell Marshall, known by friends and family as “Russ,” learned about Simple Needs GA from his wife, Judy.

As she gave him details about SNGA, Judy added that the organization needed truck owners to help out with deliveries for its Simple Household Needs program. Having retired in 2012 after 39 years as a bank regulator with the FDIC, Russ seized the opportunity to put his truck to use. However, there is more to why Russ spends his free time reaching out to those in need.

Simple Needs GA volunteers
Russ and Judy

He was inspired to help after seeing Brenda Rhodes, SNGA president and founder, speak about the organization at Christ Lutheran Church, 176 W. Sandtown Rd. SW. Russ says the concern Brenda showed for those in difficult circumstances convinced him to commit more fully to SNGA and its various programs.

Brenda herself speaks highly of his contributions. “Russ does mostly furniture but also delivers birthdays for our My Birthday Matters program,” she said. “He does pretty much anything we ask of him and has made an invaluable contribution to Simple Needs GA, often working hand-in-hand with our clients.”

Specific encounters with clients continue to motivate Russ to meet the needs of others, he says.

One instance involved a physically disabled woman who spoke of living “a rough life.” While completing a routine delivery on her behalf, Russ noticed she was struggling, due to a mild visual impairment, to fill out the required delivery forms. Then, he asked her to wait a moment while he got a pair of reading glasses from his gym bag that he had purchased at a Dollar Tree. The price? You guessed it. As she tried them on, she shook with joy and repeatedly thanked him until he couldn’t help but feel equally awestruck at how much one dollar had immediately improved this woman’s life.

Now, about a year after Russ decided to act on SNGA’s need for truck drivers, Brenda reflects further on his remarkable commitment to SNGA. “He has been with us almost every Saturday – often until 3 or 4 in the afternoon – since he contacted us this past November to volunteer,” she said. “We’re very grateful for Russ’s help!”

Wondering how you can help people in need? Easy. Simple Needs GA can still use further assistance with furniture deliveries. In addition, please see our list of needed donations.

And if you need inspiration before reaching out, simply talk to Russ.

–Contributing writer Andrew Tull is a recent PR graduate of Kennesaw State University.

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