Category Archives: Events

Simple Needs GA Donation Drive this Sat. (Oct. 21)!

“My two oldest ones haven’t really had a birthday party since they were babies. And my 8-year-old has only had one real birthday party when she was 5 years old. I stopped celebrating my birthday almost 13 years ago.”

This heartbreaking comment came from one of Simple Needs GA’s furniture clients, a mom with a boy and two girls. Can you imagine being in such financial need? One of our board members doesn’t have to: She grew up poor and often had to watch her birthday come and go without any recognition from her family. But something great came out of that tough experience: Her idea for SNGA’s now-thriving My Birthday Matters program. We’re so happy to be able to provide birthday presents and other useful items to hundreds of children, including those in the family described above. “We have done more than 150 birthdays so far this year,” noted SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “The total for all of 2016 was 139, so MBM is growing nicely.”

Meanwhile, our furniture program has nearly doubled: We helped 66 families throughout all of 2016. “So far in 2017, we have helped 105,” Brenda said, “and we still have a couple of months left!

Your generous donations and volunteering make it possible. Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., October 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please consider bringing some donations (see below for needed items) to our Marietta warehouse. And even if you aren’t able to bring any this month, feel free to stop by for a tour. We find that those who come by understand our programs better and often have “ah ha” moments on items they can donate.

If you can’t make it on the 21st, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The next Donation Drive dates are Nov. 4, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Mark your calendar!

Right now we’re running low on furniture and some household items for families coming out of homelessness. We need to restock gently used (no major damage, no stains) mattresses, box springs and frames of all sizes; dressers/chests of drawers; table and chair sets (or just tables if no chairs); couches and love seats; recliners; nightstands; end tables; coffee tables; small desks; bookshelves; TVs (tube or flat screen); TV stands; small entertainment centers; washers and electric dryers (prefer no front loaders); microwaves; and DVD players. We are also accepting gently used kids’ clothing for winter and summer.

Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have larger items to donate; we will arrange for you to drop off or a pick up. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

Birthday and other needs are posted on our SignUpGenius. Thank you for your support!

WE STRUCK OUT ON BOWLING. SORRY!
We had previously announced a bowling event on Oct. 22 at AMF Marietta Lanes. Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances intervened and we have been forced to postpone the event. If you happen to know of anyone who was planning to attend but may not have received notice about the cancellation, please notify that person for us! Stay tuned for the reschedule! We apologize for any inconvenience.

GREAT HANDS ON ATLANTA DAY!
Thanks so much to the awesome volunteers (a total of 59 adults and 31 kids!) [pictured] who helped out at our Marietta warehouse of Oct. 7 for Hands on Atlanta Day. We had a great turnout of SNGA regulars and board members, as well as Hands on Atlanta team leads, volunteers and friends. HOA board members Grant Givens and Kenneth Jones also came to the warehouse for HOA Day and were a huge help!
Most of these generous folks hailed from either First Data or UCB—two companies that have been big supporters of Simple Needs GA. Throughout the day, the volunteers tackled a host of projects. They put together Comfort Kits, assembled chests of drawers, sorted new books and other donations, wrapped birthday gifts and made no-sew blankets, to name only a few. The action was nonstop!

They even sent us some nice notes after the event:
“Thank you again for organizing a great day of service – I really enjoyed getting to know Simple Needs GA and look forward to finding additional opportunities for us to support you again in the future.” – Ally, UCB

“Everyone was very complimentary of the projects that they assisted with and all of the wonderful work that your organization does! So glad that we could partner with your team again!” –Susan, First Data

“We were thrilled to have UCB and First Data help us out once again!” said SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “Great folks who were willing to jump in and help with anything. We cannot thank them enough.”

IT’S DIAPER DAY!
Diapers are a burdensome cost for many families in need. One way you can help is by taking part in Diaper Day in Cobb County: On Oct. 23rd, the Diaper Day Committee will once again collect diapers at Glover Park on the Marietta Square for distribution to area non-profits (including Simple Needs GA). Please consider joining us between 4 and 5:30 p.m. If you don’t have time to hang with us in the Park, volunteers can get the diapers from you in your car! Quick and easy!

‘SIPPING, STYLING—AND SNGA’
We wanted to thank Erin Clarke and Meredith Seelos for their great event ‘Sipping, Styling, and Beauty’ on Oct. 10 at Erin’s home in northwest Marietta. The event raised money for SNGA’s Spirit of Christmas program to purchase Christmas gifts for children in Cobb. “I have a brand-new line of handmade, fair-trade ornaments and gifts,” Erin explained. “By creating a marketplace for these unique pieces, we are empowering mamas globally and providing them a source of income so they can care for their children.” For her part, Meredith Seelos was on hand to share her mission of safer and healthier beauty products by Beauty Counter. For more info about what Erin and Meredith are doing, visit www.beautycounter.com/meredithseelos and/or bit.ly/givenoonday.

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP SNGA
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 info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.
smile.amazon.com is a great way to support SNGA. 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!
Check out how you can support us in similar fashion by signing up for Kroger Community Rewards!

Advertisements

SNGA Donation Drive this Sat. (Aug. 19)

“My children and I didn’t have any beds or any furniture at all. We were sleeping on air mattresses. The beds and the dresser have been really great. The furniture is in good condition. I’m happy and the kids are happy. It was a really great experience.”

The quote above is from “Sharon,” a working mom with four kids ranging in age from toddler to teen. The family had come to Georgia to flee a difficult situation in another state. “They had nothing but their clothes—no furniture, no books, no bedding,” explained our volunteer Cathy Dandelakis.

After being turned down by several other social service agencies because she could not afford the $100 payment they expected, Sharon had almost given up on providing her children with a decent home.

And then she found Simple Needs GA.

Since Sharon doesn’t drive, Cathy picked her up at her apartment and took her to our Marietta warehouse, where Sharon filled out a list of needs and then worked with Cathy to find these items. “She was amazed that she was allowed to pick out all the things she needed,” Cathy said. “Some of her most treasured finds were books and new pillows for the children, a high chair and a vegetable peeler.”

Back at the apartment complex, Cathy watched with delight as Sharon’s children came pouring down the steps. “They were so happy to see everything: Dishes! Pots and pans! Bedding! Lamps! Towels! Shampoo!” Cathy said. “Each child received a brand-new backpack filled with school supplies. It was like Christmas in August!” Later in the day, SNGA volunteers Mike and Danielle, along with some helpers, delivered the furniture and beds.

The kids will be getting their birthday presents this Saturday.

“This was my first time having intimate contact with a family and it was so rewarding,” Cathy said. “The family was so grateful; Sharon and the children thanked me over and over. They just couldn’t believe that a bunch of strangers could be so kind. This is why I volunteer for Simple Needs GA. It was a total privilege to be able to provide this family hope for a better life.”

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please consider bringing some donations to our Marietta warehouse. And even if you aren’t able to bring any this month, feel free to stop by for a tour or to help us sort and store donations and take care of other small projects.

If you want to come on the 19th but can’t make it, no worries—we’re now adding a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The next two Donation Drive dates are Sept. 2 and Sept. 16. Mark your calendar! (NOTE: We’ll only send out an email reminder for the Donation Drive on the third Saturday of each month.)

Our greatest needs right now are character backpacks (new only), microwaves, hand towels, washcloths, lamps, pots and pans (especially larger), twin/full/queen/king blankets and queen/king comforters, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, toasters, irons, ironing boards, smaller wall art, can openers, shower curtain rings, new mops and brooms, women’s socks, boys’ underwear (esp XL 16-18), and bakeware. We are also accepting gently used kids’ clothing for winter and summer. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

Other needed items include working TVs (not too large/heavy), mattresses and box springs of all sizes, and gently used (no damage or stains) furniture such as dressers, dining tables, dining chairs, small desks, washers/electric dryers (no front loaders), bed frames and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for you to drop off or a pick up.

 A FEW SHOUT OUTS!
We wanted to thank Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb (LMRC) for donating 40 backpacks filled with school supplies on July 29 for our My Birthday Matters program! (PICTURED: Sharon Whelan, who worked with fellow LMRC member Alice Cheung on this effort!) We have already started distributing these much-needed packs. LMRC has helped us out so much over the past few months!

Also, we wanted to express our gratitude to Georgia Rambo of Sew Dreams Come True for her custom embroidery of our new polo shirts (PICTURED). Beautiful! Georgia’s Marietta-based business creates custom curtains, pillow shams, throw pillows, duvet covers and more. Thanks so much, Georgia. The shirts look great!

Lastly, big thanks to all the members of the youth group at Burnt Hickory Church of Christ, on Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta, who came to our donation drive and volunteer day on Sat., July 15. These energetic young people (see a video slideshow) spruced up the landscape outside our entrance and assisted with projects inside our space as well. We got a nice note from Evan of Burnt Hickory: “Brenda, you all were a blessing. Thank you for hosting our teens as they learned how to serve and learned more about great things happening in our community.”

FROM GROCERY BAGS … TO SLEEPING MATS!
If you’re like me, you feel a bit guilty when you return from a grocery or discount store with a dozen or more plastic bags. (The United States goes through anywhere from 100 billion to 300 billion plastic bags a year!)

Fortunately, we want your bags (just the kind you get from grocery stores or Walmart, no newspaper bags) for a cool cause—sleeping mats (PICTURED) for people experiencing homelessness. Some awesome volunteers with Give Homeless Hope make these. It takes about 700 bags to make one mat!

Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT
Now and again, we like to touch base with our volunteers to find out how their lives have been enriched by serving people in need in our community. Check out our Volunteer Spotlight featuring Stacy McIlwain and Alicia Putnam!

Thanks for your support of people in need!

####

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 info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

smile.amazon.com is a great way to support SNGA. 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!

Check out how you can support us in similar fashion by signing up for Kroger Community Rewards!

Aug. 11 benefit for Simple Needs GA at PearTree in Kennesaw

Greetings, all.

We wanted to let you know about an exciting benefit for Simple Needs GA coming up on Fri., Aug. 11, at the Kennesaw location of PearTree, a floral, home furnishings and gift shop at 1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd.

Kim Kornblatt, owner of the family-owned business, is offering store-wide discounts of 25 percent off on PearTree items.

Available at the event: handcrafted designer jewelry by EsBe Designs; stay-on lipstick and gloss by Lipsense; trendy women’s fashions by Lularoe; and bath and body products by Perfectly Posh, to name a few, along with art and monogramming & products. There will be door prizes, giveaways, wine, appetizers and Nothing Bundt Cakes, too.

“I wanted to have an event that would help our community, so I reached out to small business owners and asked if they wanted to partner with me,” Kim said. “The response was overwhelming! I’m hoping this will be our first of many to come.”

Kim found out about Simple Needs GA from one of her customers. “I’m so excited that you’re right here in our own backyard,” Kim said. “My heart goes out to struggling women and children everywhere. I just wanted to get involved and try to make an impact in our community!”

You can buy an advanced $10 ticket through PearTree’s Facebook page or call 770-422-7360. Kim is asking everyone who drops by to “sip, shop and socialize” to make a $10 donation to SNGA. The event starts at 7 and ends at 10 p.m.

To learn more about PearTree, which also has a downtown Powder Springs location at 4440 Marietta St., visit ptflorist.com.

PearTree ~ Home.Florist.Gifts is a family-owned local business that has been serving its customers with custom floral arrangemet delivery In Powder Springs and metro Atlanta since 1978. The Kennesaw location opened in 2010.

Next donation drive is JUNE 17!

“I don’t need a bed for myself, just for my kids.” – single dad, who called Simple Needs GA and asked for help after finding us online.

Not only did this family receive beds for its unfurnished apartment, but also furniture, household items and, for the children, birthday presents, books and school uniforms. The dad was in tears—and so were we!

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., June 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We hope you’ll consider dropping by our Marietta warehouse to be a part of it.

Even if you don’t have any donations, feel free to stop by for a tour. Those who tour with us understand our programs better and then realize what else in their home we can use for our clients!

Your new or gently used donations can make a big difference. Our greatest needs right now are hand towels, washcloths, blankets (full, queen, king), comforters (full, queen, king), microwaves, new pillows, shower curtain rings and pot holders (Dollar Tree is an option), toaster ovens, toasters, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, kitchen trash cans and trash bags, coffee makers and filters, smaller kitchen essentials such as measuring cups and can openers. For a limited time, we are also accepting kids’ clothing for winter and summer. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

We also need gently used (no damage or stains) dressers, mattresses/box springs (especially two xl twin box springs to go with a king mattress in our inventory), small desks, washers/dryers (no front loaders) and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for drop off or pick up.

READY FOR NEW SHOES? WE’LL TAKE YOUR OLD ONES.
Have you ever looked in your closet and said to yourself, I need to get rid of some of these old shoes? (Of course, some of us have more of a problem with “Shoe Acquisition Syndrome” than others!) If so, take heart: Simple Needs GA is now collaborating with the Kiwanis Club, which has 600,000 volunteers across the globe, by collecting shoes for people in need. Kiwanis will take shoes in any size or condition, so long as there are no holes in the soles. It’s a fantastic organization that hosts nearly 150,000 service projects each year. Feel free to bring used shoes to our Marietta warehouse during our monthly donation drives. Thanks!

RACETRAC COMES THROUGH AGAIN
Under the leadership of CEO Allison Moran, Racetrac is well known for its tremendous support of agencies and organizations in our community. And one thing you can say about this company’s energetic volunteers—they are not afraid to sweat. A great group of interns from Racetrac volunteered at our Marietta warehouse last June, and Racetrac came through again earlier this month when the interns helped us by swapping out the toiletry storage room for the household room at our (toasty this time of year) Marietta warehouse. We’ve been getting more donations lately, so we needed more room for bigger items like comforters. The volunteers also helped clean out one of our storage closets and, perhaps most importantly, made huge progress in our donation room. It was filled to the brim with unsorted donations that needed to be properly stored but is now nearly empty! Other tasks completed by the team included book-sorting and wrapping birthday gifts for our My Birthday Matters program.

Thank so much, Racetrac!

THANKS TO 9TH GRADER LIZZY NISWONGER!
For an honors research project at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, ninth-grader Lizzy Niswonger focused her time and attention on Simple Needs GA. She was deeply moved by what she learned. “I decided to raise money for your amazing organization because I saw that you help families in need as well as specifically children,” she said. “I was so honored to help an organization that does so much to help the community!” After touring our Marietta warehouse and seeing the shelves packed with toys, household items, cleaning kits, winter items and more, Lizzy said she was “awestruck” by our mission. “Thank you for all that you do,” she said. “I can’t wait to eventually come in and volunteer!” Thanks to this intelligent and compassionate young person for caring about the less fortunate in her community!

HARD TO DECIDE!
A new client came to the warehouse earlier this month to pick out smaller household items. She was accompanied by a friend who has been a client in the past.

“I feel like I’m being spoiled,” the new client said, to which her friend responded: “That’s why I came with her. To help her make decisions. I remember how hard it was to get to decide.”

It’s a great ‘problem’ to have. Your generosity makes it all possible. Thanks so much for your help!

Discovering the joy of service

On April 29, students at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School marked a day of service and prayer in honor of the school’s namesake by donating their time and (abundant!) energy to Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters program as well as programs of organizations such as MUST Ministries.

Students at St. Catherine’s

SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes visited the school, located in Kennesaw, to help the children better understand the need in our community. She also told them about SNGA and its My Birthday Matters program, which 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 celebrating their birthdays.

SNGA works in collaboration with counselors and social workers in the Marietta City and Cobb County (Powder Springs area) school systems to identify those children who are considered homeless. It also helps children living in local shelters such as MUST Ministries, Family Promise of Cobb and LiveSafe Resources and provide birthday gifts to the children of our furniture clients.

As Brenda explained during her visit St. Catherine’s, the goal of the program is to bring more self-esteem and joy to local children by helping their families make their birthday wishes come true. As part of the feast day, the third graders made My Birthday Matters care packages that included backpacks, crayons, markers, stickers, erasers, coloring books and handmade birthday cards. Fourth graders made fleece blankets. Throughout the day, eighth graders served as leaders and helped the younger kids understand why what they were doing was important.

“All items were donated by our generous families and were collected throughout the week,” explained Avion C. Anderson, who volunteers with SNGA and whose son attends St. Catherine’s.

“It was a joy to speak with the children and hear their insightful questions,” Brenda said. “We really appreciate the school’s commitment to teaching their kids about needs in our community. The projects they worked on will really make a difference for our families and their children!”

According to Sister Mary Jacinta, O.P., Principal of St. Catherine’s, the students always put their hearts into the various service projects on Siena Day. “It is an awesome experience for children to see that, when each of them brings in a small donation, together they can make a big difference in the lives of many people,” she said. “Our students also enjoyed being able to offer a personal message to the recipients of the donations—we believe it is extremely important for our children to add a part of themselves, so to speak, to the material donations which they were offering.”

In addition to direct financial contributions in support of this program so we can buy kids’ specific requests, My Birthday Matters needs a steady supply of new toys, sporting equipment and other fun and useful items to support the needs of program recipients. See our Needed Items and SignUp Genius pages for more details.

We are seeking volunteers and committee members for MBM. For more information, email brenda@SimpleNeedsGA.org.

 

 

Spring has Sprung–and So has SNGA’s Need for Donations!

“I want to say thank you for the gifts for my daughter. This year, I had gotten into a financial snag and wasn’t able to provide anything for her. With this program, I was able to give something to make her smile on her birthday, and that makes Mommy smile! I hope this program stays alive for more families. Everyone needs that little bit of help and I am very thankful.”
– mom whose child received presents through SNGA’s My Birthday Matters program.

The Taylor Family dropping off donation drive items.

NEXT DONATION DRIVE: SAT., APRIL 15, 10 A.M. TO 1 P.M.
We hope you’ll consider stopping by our Marietta warehouse on Sat., April 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to be a part of our monthly donation drive/volunteer day.

Your new or gently used donations can make a big difference. Our greatest needs right now are microwaves, pots and pans, trash cans, twin/full/queen/king blankets and comforters, toasters, air mattresses, computers (laptop or desktop), grocery plastic bags (to be made into sleeping mats for the homeless), vacuum cleaners, gaming systems, DVD players, and smaller kitchen essentials such as measuring cups and can openers.
For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

We also need gently used (no damage or stains) non-sleeper sofas, dressers, mattresses/box springs (especially four xl twin box springs to go with two king mattresses in our inventory), small desks, washers/dryers (no front loaders) and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for drop off or pick up.

OPEN HOUSE: Sat., April 29, 2017
We’re having our Open House on April 29 and would be thrilled if you could join us.
Drop by our Marietta warehouse that Saturday any time between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. We’ll be giving tours, while talking about our programs and what you can do to help our families. Some clients will be there to share their stories with you. And, of course, we will have some yummy snacks available.

If you have friends or colleagues who have expressed interest in our mission, it’s a great time to bring them by to learn more about how our work benefits people in need in our community.

Amanda Braman

SIMPLY AWESOME DONORS/VOLUNTEERS!
Amanda Braman (left) requested donations to SNGA in lieu of gifts for her 14th birthday! She requested items from our most needed wish list for our programs Comfort Kits, Shoe Them Love, Simple Household Needs and My Birthday Matters! Thanks so much to Amanda and her mom Therese!
We were also inspired by the generosity of the Taylor family (pictured above). Sarah Taylor contacted Brenda about needed items for SNGA’s My Birthday Matters program and expressed a desire to help throughout the year. One of her first acts was to get family, friends and even her sons’ teachers to provide some of the most needed items that children receive in their My Birthday Matters backpacks.

These items include markers, crayons, colored pencils, pens, erasers, glue sticks, and rulers. Each child also receives between four and five new books to read. Sarah’s brother donated the two complete sets of Harry Potter books that her sons are holding in the picture.

We also wanted to give heartfelt “shout outs” to a couple of the (many) groups and companies that have helped us lately:

Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb created an Amazon.com wish list for our clients based on the top needs we list on our site. “They donated so much, including sets of popular books that are in high demand among our birthday kids, and some great character toys,” Brenda said. “Thanks so much!”

Atlanta-based First Data Corp., a global payment solutions technology company, donated a large amount of cleaning supplies and assembled 25 cleaning kits (new laundry baskets filled with things like paper towels, glass cleaner, Spic & Span, laundry detergent and a lot more). What a huge help for our Simple Household Needs program! First Data employees volunteered on a Saturday afternoon. “They assembled the kits, among other activities. They were just an incredible group,” Brenda said. “We’ve distributed many of the kits since then; our clients love them!”

‘FILLING IN THE GAPS’—ONE CLIENT AT A TIME
As a smaller, community-based nonprofit, Simple Needs GA could never be a “one-stop shop” for all of its clients’ needs. And yet, when your friends and neighbors come together to serve a common goal, amazing things can happen.

Take the family of five that recently contacted us for help.

“We relocated to Cobb County after our family went through foreclosure,” the mom explained. “We lost everything we had in our storage unit after not being able to pay for it.”

Dad eventually found work, and the family was able to move into an apartment, but its large rooms were starkly empty. In late March, our tireless volunteers brought her a king-sized mattress and box springs, two full mattresses and box springs, and a table and chairs. The boys were so excited to have beds so they didn’t have to sleep on the floor any longer.

Brenda later met the mom at our space. “She picked out gifts for both boys’ birthdays which included some of the great books recently donated,” Brenda said. “She also received a cleaning kit, mop and broom—she was very excited about the broom because she just had a hand-held one that was nearly useless—and was able to find plenty of items the family needed from our household room. We gave them hygiene items, underwear and socks. On April 8, more furniture was delivered to them.”

Thanks to your amazing generosity, we are so proud to be able to “fill in the gaps” by offering programs that truly do uplift our clients and make their lives easier and more comfortable.

Thanks for all you do for Simple Needs GA!

Simple Needs GA low on donated items. Drive is tomorrow, Aug. 20!

“I asked a church for some pots and pans and am now receiving so much more!”

Earlier this summer a single mom with a young daughter and a teenage son went to a local church and asked for some pots and pans so she could cook for her children. The church referred this family, which had been staying in a homeless shelter to escape an abuser, to Simple Needs GA. They were overjoyed at having successfully rented a house, but were nonetheless sleeping on one mattress loaned to them by their landlord.

In fact, the place was nearly empty. “When we ran away, we left everything we had,” the woman explained to Brenda Rhodes, SNGA’s founder. “At one point, my son didn’t have shoes.”

Brenda invited the family to visit SNGA’s Marietta warehouse. “We are just a perfect resource for a family in this kind of situation,” Brenda said.

Over and over again, Brenda and our volunteers have watched clients visit the warehouse and cry after realizing they will be taking home things like linens, towels, pillows, silverware, pots and pans, small appliances, lamps, books, underwear, toiletries, TVs, microwaves and even gaming systems.

“Often our clients will fill up their cars and just be in disbelief,” Brenda said. “And of course, SNGA volunteers like Yolanda, Danielle and Jay are always working overtime to pick up and deliver beds, sofas, chairs and tables to these families as well.”

The goal is to bring more comfort and dignity into clients’ lives, Brenda says. “Sometimes we forge longer-term relationships with families and help them in other ways as well,” she said. “For example, SNGA is now bringing its My Birthday Matters program to the children of furniture recipients.” The mom described above has already given Brenda a birthday wish list for her daughter. Meanwhile, with the help of other agencies, SNGA is working to get this family the clothes they need, too.

In support of this mission, SNGA’s next donation drive and volunteer day is Sat., Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. We hope you can drop by and volunteer or just bring some new or gently used donations. Please note that we are running quite low on donated items and could really use your help!

A great way to find out about specific needed items is to visit our SignUp Genius page. Some specific needs for children’s birthdays are here. We have also updated our online list of needed items here.

If you don’t have time to shop for new items or to gather gently used ones from around your house, gift cards can be a quick-and-easy option. “If you check the SignUp Genius page, you’ll see that we usually have a need for gift cards to places like Walmart or GameStop,” Brenda said. “These are a huge help for our clients.”

Just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org to get the address for Saturday. If you have furniture, please email about that as well so we can discuss the details (and please include photos).

BIG THANKS TO RACETRAC
We just wanted to give a “shout out” to the volunteers from locally based RaceTrac, known for its more than 600 RaceTrac and RaceWay stores around the Southeast.image3

On a recent Saturday, a great group of around 25 interns plus a team leader from RaceTrac’s corporate office spent a few hours at our Marietta warehouse putting together Comfort Kits, as well as assembling no-sew blankets for our My Birthday Matters program.

“The volunteers worked very hard the entire time they were there, despite the heat!” Brenda said. “Residents of local homeless shelters love the Comfort Kits; they contain all the hygiene items they might need plus some other useful items. And the blankets are one of the many items the kids receive as a recipient of our My Birthday Matters program. So the efforts of these volunteers will be felt directly by our clients. Thanks so much!”

image1Kristen Gittings, RaceTrac’s Associate Manager, Events & Branding, said the experience was amazing. “Our team loved being able to lend a hand to Simple Needs GA and take a break from our normal day-to-day,” she said. “We love giving back to the community any way that we can. We wish we had more time to create more Comfort Kits, no-sew blankets and making birthdays special. We can’t wait to come back next summer!”

SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS: TIME TO START PLANNING!
c8e39e82-0301-41b0-8f19-61662e6c95a5Our new Spirit of Christmas program aims to “fill in the gaps” by helping families that were unable to register for other local programs such as the MUST Toy Shop, Cobb Christmas or Toys for Tots. However, it’s a big job that requires a lot of coordination. “We want to make this year’s program run even more efficiently by doing some advance planning,” explains SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “Ideally, this will enable us to help even more families this Christmas.”

If you’d like to join us and help plan for the holiday season, just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

ARTICLE IN GA STATE HOMES
Thanks to Amy Lee and Elisha Neubauer of Georgia State Homes, a full-service brokerage firm serving all of Georgia, for writing about Simple Needs GA on the company’s website. Check it out!

RECURRING DONATIONS (‘SIMPLY CARING’)
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).”

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

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

A note on gift-matching: By some estimates, 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies match donations made by their employees. This can be a fantastic way to increase the impact of your donation. Consider contacting your employer’s HR department to find out about any available matching programs.

Lastly, we’re part of the Kroger Community Rewards program. It’s time for shoppers to re-enroll. Click here to learn more about this neat way to contribute to SNGA each time you use your Kroger Rewards card.kroger_community_rewards

Thanks for all you do for people in need!