“I want to say from the deepest part of my soul thank you and your staff and the family that helped me with Christmas. It was absolutely the best and greatest time I believe I’ve had with my kids.”

—Father whose two children received gifts through our 2019 Spirit of Christmas program

DONATION DRIVE ON SAT., FEB. 15!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., FEB. 15, 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 Feb. 15, the next donation drives are on March 7 and March 21. Mark your calendars!

Some of our top needs right now are:
BRAND NEW:

  • Backpacks for kids in high school (larger to hold the heavier weight), especially blue and red
  • Books for tween boys

NEW OR GENTLY USED:

  • Twin sheet sets and comforters (for tweens/teens in particular)
  • Mattress pads – queen or full
  • Blankets – all sizes (especially full, queen)
  • Floor and table lamps
  • Bath towels and rugs
  • Outside shower curtains
  • Microwaves (options here and here)
  • Ironing boards (inexpensive smaller ones at Walmart)
  • DVD players
  • Vacuums
  • Casserole dishes (esp larger, preferably with lids)
  • Baking dishes (such as for lasagna)

 FURNITURE:

  • Toddler beds
  • Bunk beds
  • Kitchen tables and chairs
  • Queen box springs and bed frames
  • Cable-ready TVs (working order, not too heavy)
  • TV stands
  • Bookshelves
  • End tables
  • Nightstands
  • Coffee tables
  • Small desks

(Furniture must be in good shape with no stains or damage. Let us know about any available furniture—our needs change all the time. However, we do not need china cabinets, large entertainment centers or rugs.)

Full list:
https://simpleneedsgablog.com/drives/

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT: ALAN STENSLAND
Dedicated SNGA volunteer Alan Stensland puts his engineering skills—and his blue pickup truck—to good use on behalf of Simple Needs GA. He has fixed furniture, diagnosed broken light fixtures, and spent Saturdays picking up donations and delivering them to our Simple Household Needs clients. Alan is a fascinating guy—an Eagle Scout and carpenter with a quick wit to boot. Check out our volunteer spotlight blogpost about Alan. Bonus: He shares some great stories about serving as the Atlanta Braves’ “Bleacher Creature” mascot back in the 1970s.

 KUDOS TO AN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCHER!
Morgane Crist, a student at Amsterdam University College in the Netherlands, just completed a monthlong research project of sorts at Simple Needs GA.

The 24-year-old, whose studies focus on mental health, interned with SNGA this past January to better understand how U.S. charities serve people in need.

Among other tasks, Morgane updated spreadsheets, pitched in during our donation drives, assisted furniture program volunteers, and worked with clients as they chose small household items to take home.

MORGANE
Morgane Crist

In both the Netherlands and Morgane’s hometown of St. Germain en Laye, France, nonprofits rarely provide furniture and household items, so Morgane was keen on better understanding our Simple Household Needs program, said Stacy “Mac” McIlwain, who worked closely with Morgane (and happens to be her aunt).

“Morgane said that one of her favorite moments during her internship was taking diapers, clothing, and a Pack ’n Play to a new mother at the hospital,” Mac said. “She had never seen a newborn baby before.”

Brenda Rhodes, SNGA Founder and President, said Morgane had a great attitude and was a blast to be around. “It was an exciting month while Morgane interned with us,” Brenda said. “She helped us with so many projects. We’re thrilled she chose SNGA and look forward to her visiting again. Morgane, thank you and good luck in all of your endeavors!”

If you know of a young person who would like to intern with SNGA, feel free to email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

 SHOUT OUTS!
We had a super-busy holiday season: Our Spirit of Christmas program provided 166 children in 64 families with $100 in requested gifts along with various extras. One side effect, though, is that we’re running quite behind on our thank-yous (which are never comprehensive, anyway)!

The Metro Atlanta YMCA Board of Directors kindly chose Simple Needs GA for as the beneficiary of a service project this past December. About 20 board members and other volunteers [PICTURED] joined us at our Marietta warehouse to pitch in with a variety of projects, including sorting coats, wrapping birthday presents, and organizing program supplies. “One of the volunteers is now a regular volunteer with our furniture program,” Brenda said. “The Metro Atlanta YMCA is one of the best organizations out there, and we were honored to collaborate with these extraordinary community volunteers. Thanks, in particular, to Becky Shipley for all of her support of SNGA.”

YMCA VOLS
Members of the Metro Atlanta YMCA Board of Directors, and other YMCA volunteers.

 FHLBank Atlanta has been a consistent supporter of SNGA. Check out our press release on FHLBank’s recent $7K donation to our organization (FHLBank gave us a $7K grant last year as well). Amazing! They also chose us as their recipient of their January “Denim Day” fundraiser.

 Back in 2018, we wrote about Sam’s Blessing Bag Project—a joint effort by Andrew Hartman, founder and partner at Hartmanlaw, 145 Towne Lake Parkway in Woodstock, and his son, Sam. The Hartmans and their friends, family and colleagues routinely put together bags of toiletries and other items for people experiencing homelessness.

andy hartman
Andy Hartman

They recently donated another 50 of these Blessings Bags to our clients. “This year, they are backpacks with each containing a hat, gloves, socks, new blanket, coffee mug with lid, some snacks and a hand warmer. Some have a pack of wipes, too,” Andrew said

Thanks so much to Andrew, Sam and Hartman Law for their support. “The Blessings Bags will make life easier for people who live in the woods in Cobb County, but they also demonstrate something important: There are people out there who care,” Brenda said. “It’s a fantastic project!”

Marietta Golden K Kiwanis Foundation; Classic Glass Corvette Club, and Dixie Chapter, Buick Club of America all made generous donations to Simple Needs GA recently.

Volunteers from the Marietta Middle School Chapter of National Junior Honor Society of Secondary Schools pitched in at our warehouse for a volunteer day and donation drive. “They were an enthusiastic and focused group and did an excellent job,” Brenda said. “Thanks so much to all who participated.”

20200118_132725
Volunteers from MMS NJHS

The Outreach Committee at St. Catherine’s Church in East Cobb chose SNGA as one of three recipients of its Christmas offerings. We wanted to thank Connie Bergeron for recommending us to the committee. Per tradition at St. Cat’s, all monies brought in on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were distributed to the three agencies, which also included The Extension and Family Promise. “We were very honored to receive these funds for people in need,” Brenda said.

Our volunteer Emma Volkmann baked two beautiful cakes for our My Birthday Matters children!

####

 MY BIRTHDAY MATTERS SIGNUP GENIUS IS UP-TO-DATE
Our My Birthday Matters program brings brand-new toys, school supplies, a no-sew blanket, a stuffed animal, reading books, coloring books, underwear, socks, and other useful items to homeless schoolchildren in Cobb County who are celebrating their birthdays. 

Did you know that you can support this program very easily by simply going to our SignUp Genius link and volunteering to shop for items off of the wish lists of children in need? In some cases, it’s even possible to order items via Amazon and have them shipped to us (please email Brenda for our shipping address). Thanks to your generous support, SNGA brought birthday presents and other useful items to more than 260 homeless children last year!

ADDITIONAL WAYS TO HELP SNGA:
VOLUNTEER WITH OUR FURNITURE PROGRAM!
Demand for our furniture program is running high. We need more help from people who own pickup trucks and/or have the ability to move furniture.furniture_program

It takes a lot of time and work to run the program. More hands mean faster results for our clients. If you’d like to help out with transport–or burn off some calories–on a Saturday (or another time on your own if you have a pickup truck) by pitching in, we’d love to have you.

For more info, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org

HOLD A FACEBOOK BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISER
A great way you can help support our programs is by holding a Facebook birthday or other fundraiser.

MAKE A DIFFERENCE THROUGH RECURRING DONATIONS
If you regularly make donations to Simple Needs GA (or would like to!), we’d love it if you would consider making your donation automatically recur each month. Just go to SimpleNeedsGA.org, click one of the “donate” buttons and then check “make this donation recurring (monthly).” You can use your credit card or a PayPal account for these donations. However, if you plan to routinely donate online to SNGA, you might consider signing up for a PayPal Giving Fund account. PayPal Giving Fund charges no fees to enrolled charities, so all of your donations will go to SNGA!

Of course, you could also just mail a monthly check to:

Simple Needs GA
P.O. Box 670265
Marietta, GA 30066

AUTO-DONATE VIA AMAZON SMILE! 
Amazon Smile allows you to support SNGA even as you shop on your iPad or phone: 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 over time. Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

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