“My encounter with Brenda and SNGA revived my trust in humanity and renewed my faith and hope. It was the first time throughout the whole terrible ordeal that I felt compassion and not judged.”

Last year, a family in Powder Springs lost their home of four years after the landlord sold the property. The mom and her disabled veteran husband, who is now awaiting both heart and kidney transplants, were homeless for five months. So were their children ranging in age from 2 to 18 years.

Thanks to Simple Needs GA’s generous donors and volunteers, this family received critical help after emerging from homelessness. SNGA brought them the furniture they needed for their new home, as well as cleaning supplies and small household items. All four children received birthday presents from our My Birthday Matters program.

DONATION DRIVE ON SAT., DEC. 21! 

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Dec. 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org for the address or if you have any questions.

 If you can’t make it on Dec. 21, the next donation drives are on Jan. 4 and Jan. 18. Mark your calendars!

Some of our top needs right now are:

BRAND NEW 

  • Kitchen and bath trash cans

  • Backpacks for high school students (larger to hold the heavier weight), especially blue and red (most requested colors)

  • Books for tweens, especially boys, including graphic novels such as Dogman

  • Teen/adult coloring books

  • Size 6 diapers

  • Women’s underwear – size 8

NEW OR GENTLY USED 

  • Candles (taper and pillar; partially used is fine)

  • Floor lamps (inexpensive at Walmart)

  • Toasters

  • Irons 

  • Large serving bowls

  • Casserole dishes (esp larger, preferably with lids)

  • Potholders and oven mitts (Dollar Tree)

  • Toddler beds, bunk beds, kitchen tables and chairs, all size mattresses (esp twin and queen) and box springs, queen bed frames

Full list:

‘SHINING LIGHTS IN OUR COMMUNITY’:
PROFILE OF SNGA VOLUNTEERS BERT AND STELLA BLENNER
 
When Bert and Stella Blenner picked up 80 boxes of Always maxi pads at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago, they received some curious stares. But what has surprised everyone at Simple Needs GA is the Blenners’ extraordinary willingness to do anything and everything for people in need—including running unusual errands at local warehouse clubs! Read more about this generous couple in our latest Volunteer Spotlight

Stella and Bert

THANKS TO THE ‘MR. CLEAN’ OF SNGA!
In a past edition of our newsletter, we dubbed our dedicated volunteer Jan Lazzara “The Blanket Lady” for her tireless work on no-sew blankets for our My Birthday Matters program. 

Now we’re tempted to name one of our donors “the Mr. Clean of SNGA”!  

Wally w’ 8-pound catfish at Saguaro Lake in AZ.

Wallace Hardy, Managing Broker and Realtor® for The Jason Mitchell Group of Georgia, recently applied his drive and work ethic to benefit SNGA’s Simple Household Needs program. True to form, Wally “closed the deal” by persuading a network connection at Clorox to provide SNGA with a huge supply of that essential cleaning item. “The first shipment was an entire palette,” Wally said. “We should have some great donations from Clorox once a quarter moving forward.”

Those supplies will go right into the cleaning kits we give to our clients and others in need. 

Prior to securing the agreement with Clorox, the veteran real estate broker approached about 10 other companies to see if they would be willing to donate in bulk to SNGA. “We’re so grateful to Wally and his three-Realtor® team at The Jason Mitchell Group for going above and beyond for our clients,” said SNGA Founder and President Brenda Rhodes. “These items will make a real difference for them, because food stamps don’t cover cleaning supplies, so our clients are often forced to go without.”

With approximately 100 agents nationwide, The Jason Mitchell Group does about $500 million in sales annually across the United States. “My team here in Metro Atlanta will go anywhere and everywhere to service buyers and sellers,” Wally said. “We started up this branch in April of this year and by the end of the year will have closed on our 50th home. Like anything else, including what Brenda and SNGA do, it’s all about hard work and putting in the hours.”

We wholeheartedly agree. Thanks again to Wally and The Jason Mitchell Group!

SANTA DAY! 
Last month, Santa Claus came through for our client children and families in a major way! So, too, did all of our “elves”—the dedicated SNGA volunteers who made our second-annual Santa Photo Day possible.

Santa w’ somewhat ambivalent visitors!

Most of us remember going to the mall and having pics made with Santa. However, these photo packages now start at $25 per child and often require a reservation deposit of $10 or so.

On Nov. 23, 69 kids in 23 client families had their photos taken with local Santa Dean Rowan, who also played the role last year. The children ranged in age from babies to teenagers. “We had even more children this year and continued taking pictures all the way to 3 p.m.,” Brenda said. “We had arts and crafts again for the client families along with cookies and other snacks and refreshments. It was wonderful to see the smiles on everyone’s faces. It’s what Christmas is all about.” 

Thanks to Scott Denton for once again serving as our Santa Day photographer. Brenda’s brother Dave Rhodes was also kind enough to print the photos for the families. “With respect to the other elves, there are too many to thank here,” Brenda said, “but you know who you are! Merry Christmas!” 

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS SIGNUP GENIUS IS NOW LIVE!  
Our Spirit of Christmas program relies on referrals from school social workers and others to make the holidays brighter for children and families in need. We’re kicking into full gear now with a burst of activity that will last right up until Christmas Eve.  

Last year, our volunteers and donors came together to give $100 in requested gifts to 159 children in 61 families, all of whom, in addition, received extras like puzzles, board games and hats, gloves and scarves. Parents also received a $25 Walmart card.

As the sponsor of a child or family, you can provide these additional items, or Simple Needs GA will. Or for a $100 donation, you can sponsor a child and we’ll do the shopping.

Click here for a rundown of how you and/or an organization that you’re a part of can help! Or visit our SignupGenius to see what’s needed.

Email Brenda@simpleneedsga.org or more info.   

THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY ON GA GIVES DAY/#GIVING TUESDAY!
We had a great GAgives Day this year, with 24 donors providing a total of $2,750 for our clients. One amazing donor gave $1,000! Thanks to everyone who contributed!

HOLIDAY SHOPPING? DON’T FORGET ABOUT AMAZON SMILE! 
No doubt about it—ecommerce is changing the way we shop during the holidays. And there’s a great way to support SNGA even as you knock out your Christmas shopping on your iPad: Just go to smile.amazon.com, 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! This can really add up during the holidays. Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!

  HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS! 

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