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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!

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Come to our next donation drive Sat., May 20!

We hope you’ll consider stopping by our Marietta warehouse on Sat., May 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to be a part of our monthly donation drive. Even if you don’t have any donations, we welcome you to stop by for a tour.

Your new or gently used donations can make a big difference. Our greatest needs right now are sheets (especially twin and queen), microwaves, new pillows, shower curtains, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, baby wipes, diapers size newborn-2, pots and pans, trash cans, twin/full/queen/king blankets, queen comforters, toasters, DVD players, TVs and 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 are happy to announce we’re collaborating with the Kiwanis Club by collecting shoes! Any size, any condition, as long as there are no holes in the soles.

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.

‘IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE THE KIDS SMILE. THEY HAVEN’T SMILED THIS MUCH IN A LONG TIME.’

That’s what the friend of a family in need said to us after driving the family to our Marietta warehouse to pick up some badly needed items. Later that evening, the single dad, who had not overheard this comment, said almost the same thing: “The kids really smiled tonight.”

Can you imagine being in such tough circumstances that seeing your kids smile struck you as unusual?

We were so happy to help this gracious and kind family. Thanks to your amazing generosity, they were able to pick out household items, a cleaning kit, school uniforms, toiletries and more. We even put together My Birthday Matters packages for the kids. Later, one of our donors bought this family a bunk bed with a twin mattress on top and a full mattress on the bottom. The brand-new bed has been shipped to the family’s house! And volunteers delivered all their other furniture as well. They are all SO thankful!

We love what we do! Thanks so much for making it possible.

THANKS TO ST. CATHERINE’S OF SIENA AND ALSO MOUNT BETHEL ELEMENTARY’S GIRL SCOUT TROOP 14382

SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes recently gave a presentation at St. Catherine’s of Siena Catholic School in Kennesaw, where students celebrated a day of prayer and service by working on projects for SNGA and other organizations. Click here to read more!

Special thanks, too, go to Girl Scout Troop 14382 of Mount Bethel Elementary. Members of the troop recently worked on their community service badges by putting together much-needed school-supply packs for SNGA’s My Birthday Matters program.

Monica Bright, a social worker for Cobb County Schools whose daughter belongs to the troop, helped the kids put together the packs. They included items such as “Johnny Bravo” and “TOP Cat” jump drives, along with colored pencils, markers, pencil sharpeners and a deck of cards.

“One of my favorite things in the world is to see the smiling faces of kids who are learning the joy of service by contributing to Simple Needs GA,” Brenda said. “Thanks so much to Monica and St. Catherine’s!”

GREAT TO SEE EVERYONE AT OUR OPEN HOUSE!

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for our Open House on Sat., April 29, when our visitors were able to see firsthand what we do. At this most recent Open House, three of our former furniture clients dropped by with their kids (not to mention a cute Chihuahua named Bubbles) to hang out and share stories about how SNGA has improved their lives.

One of our guests came by specifically to speak face-to-face with these clients. After hearing their stories, she wrote us a check for $300! A couple of other visitors made generous donations as well.

During the three-hour event, SNGA board members gave tours of the space to show off the Comfort Kits, cleaning supplies, toys and birthday inventory, no-sew blankets, winter gear and other life-improving items we routinely provide to people in need across Cobb County. For some of the newcomers, the warehouse tours were eye opening. They made comments such “this is so organized,” “I didn’t realize you did all of this,” or “I now know exactly what to donate to you.” On one table, we displayed examples of some typical items a child might receive as part of our My Birthday Matters program. Visitors touring the space were impressed; several said something along the lines of “Wow! They get all that?”

The event was such a success that we agreed to do another one in the fall. We hope to see you then!

SNGA WINS $9K GRANT FROM CCF!

For the third year in a row, Simple Needs GA has received a generous grant from the Cobb Community Foundation! The funding will go toward birthday presents, new shoes and food for children, as well as duffel bags filled with full-sized toiletries for people living in Cobb County shelters. Click here to read our press release about the grant. Thanks, CCF!

Your Donations Give Hope!

These people gave our family hope that we were losing…

Thanks to the amazing generosity of our donors and volunteers, we were able to give a super-nice couple caring for a total of six children ranging in age from 7 months to 16 years, a bed, crib, desk, table, chairs and a dresser along with many other useful items from our Marietta warehouse. We also had the family fill out some My Birthday Matters forms for the kids’ birthdays coming up later this year (we recently expanded our MBM program to include the furniture families’ kids for the year following that assistance). The dad recently lost his job. The mom suffered a stroke and a heart attack about 5 years ago.

“When I saw that a videogame system was a high priority on one of the kid’s wish lists, I remembered the Nintendo Wii system given to us by a donor,” said SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes. “The mom left our warehouse crying happy tears after I gave this family the donated Wii!”

random-acts-of-kindnessThe dad later wrote to us: “Thank you, Brenda, and Simple Needs GA. You and your volunteers have helped our family in so many ways. These people gave our family hope that we were losing. They didn’t judge, they just helped and loved. We cannot thank you enough.”

How awesome is that?! Let’s keep the ball rolling: Our next donation drive and volunteer day is Sat., July 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our (definitely warm) Marietta warehouse. Come join us! We’ll have chilled water and ice pops on hand and will be running our oversized fans! A great way to find out about specific needed items is to visit our SignUpGenius page. We have also updated our online list of needed items. Just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org to get the address for Saturday. If you have a large piece of furniture, please email about that as well so we can discuss the details (and please include photos).

I was so impressed with your organization and volunteers—a wonderful community doing valuable work! The tour of your Marietta warehouse really put the depth and breadth of Simple Needs GA into perspective. I’ll be there for the next donation day with some more plates, candles, glue sticks and other items from the wish list! —Angie B., a recent SNGA volunteer

Congrats Brenda and Simple Needs GA!
Leadership Cobb Alumni Association named Brenda as the winner of the 2016 W. Wyman Pilcher Jr. Memorial Grant for community service! The grant was established in 1955 in memory of W. Wyman Pilcher, Jr., a dedicated community volunteer and former president of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce. A Leadership Cobb press release noted that Brenda, who graduated from Leadership Cobb in May, has demonstrated a commitment to community service throughout the past year and also in her personal life. Brenda received the award at the chamber breakfast on Mon., July 11. “It’s a great honor,” she said. “Recipients of the award get to designate a charity to which $1,000 is donated. Can you guess which one I chose?”

We think we can. Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

 

 

Update, donation drive and more!

The difference you’re making—one family at a time

Before I tell you about our upcoming donation day on April 16 and some other Simple Needs GA news, I wanted to share a story that illustrates how your support is truly making a difference in the lives of families in need.

Last year, we helped a woman and her family by providing them with beds and furniture and also giving her daughter birthday gifts. Later, the mom told us about her super-sweet, 15-year-old son: He was about to go back to school, she explained, but was embarrassed because his clothes and shoes were so old. Our supporter Jody provided the funding, and Lauren did the shopping and delivery—and so this young man was able to go back to school with his head held high.

When it was time for his birthday in February, we provided him with the electronics and other gifts he wanted but, again, could not afford. (Thanks so much to Bobbi and Kim for buying those!) Later, we helped the young man get a uniform so that he could participate in the track and field team at his school (thanks to Melanie!).

What if we hadn’t been there? I typically try not to think too hard about all the tremendous need in our community. Here at Simple Needs GA, we always wish we could do more, but of course we can’t do it all. Still, it really is wonderful to think about the help we are able to provide to individuals and families in Cobb County. On a material level, yes, it’s about meeting specific, concrete needs. On a deeper level, though, it’s about showing love and kindness in ways that create lifelong memories for givers and receivers alike!

Thanks so much for all you do for Simple Needs GA!

Our next donation drive is Sat., April 16!

Simple Needs GA’s next monthly donation drive is Sat., April 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at our Marietta warehouse. We would love it if you could join us!

A great way to find out about specific needed items is to visit our new SignUp Genius page. So far we have posted items needed for several programs (plus some needs for agencies with which we collaborate). We’re using the page to coordinate specific gift purchases for our My Birthday Matters program, geared toward children and teenagers who are homeless.

For our Simple Household Needs program, we are seeking additional donations of gently used furniture with no damage. In particularly, we need full and queen mattresses; twin box springs; any size frames; dining tables (with or without chairs); couches and loveseats; nightstands; end tables; coffee tables, and desks. We can take other furniture as well, but we do have some storage space constraints. If you have a large piece of furniture you’d like to donate, please email brenda@simpleneedsga.org (include photos) so we can discuss the details.

Other needed items include pillows (new), silverware, queen and king sheets, blankets, microwaves, washers/dryers, vacuums, trashcans and computers.

You can see an updated list of all of our needed items here. More details on our Simple Household Needs program are available here.

Feel free to bring smaller items by our warehouse on April 16! If you have any questions or need the address of our warehouse, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

Kids’ birthdays can be a lesson in giving, too.

In parts of Cobb County that are blessed by prosperity, birthdays can be … well, a little much. The parents throw a party at someplace like Andretti’s or Monkey Joe’s and invite 10, 15 or even 20 kids to join the fun. Naturally, the parents of these invitees all feel obligated to buy presents—typically, brand-new toys—to bring to the party. But of course, the birthday boy or girl is already getting lots of stuff from Mom, Dad, the grandparents and other relatives. The result? Way too many presents. (Kids might argue with this idea, of course.)

Bryce March 26 2016 delivering to WHRecognizing that this situation can be a bit imbalanced, some parents have chosen to work with their kids to use their birthdays as an opportunity for giving back. Check out our recent blog post about how six-year-old Bryce made a big contribution to Simple Needs GA. If you’d like to do the same with your child, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

Thanks!

Does your company give?

To increase our chances of winning the Cobb Community Foundation Impact Grant, we are asking for donations to match that amount. We need $ 6,000 more matched by September 30, preferably in the form of larger donations of $500 and up. If your company, or you personally, can help us out by donating (or pledging) funding that we can count toward that $10K, we would truly appreciate it. It’s really like doubling your gift!

 

Ways you can help: giving via Kroger and Amazon

Just by using their Kroger Plus Cards, a total of 15 households are now contributing to SNGA each time they shop for groceries. (This added up to $50 for the last quarter. Not bad.) The cool thing is that this costs Kroger shoppers nothing at all–the donation comes from Kroger. Click here for instructions on signing up for Kroger Community Rewards. What a great program!

Ce0MdVRXIAA20XS.jpg-largeAlso, 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! BTW, check out our Twitter feed to see our recent contributions to AmazoneSmile’s #StartWithASmile campaign. It highlights the work of nonprofits from all across the country. Huge thanks to our dedicated volunteer Allison Sternberg, a social media specialist, for helping us become a more active voice on Twitter. Very cool!

Thanks so much for your support of people in need!

 

Thanks TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®!

Those men were great that picked up my furniture. Will recommend that business to everyone. God bless them. — one of our furniture donors, after a pro-bono pickup from her home by TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

If you’ve ever helped a friend move, you know it isn’t an easy task. But imagine picking up and delivering furniture from eleven different families in one day!

That’s precisely what deliverymen from the Woodstock location of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® did for Simple Needs GA (SNGA) on Wed, Jan 13. A huge shout out to Kevin and Brendan for being so professional and efficient as they picked up, and later delivered to our storage space, multiple mattresses, box springs, chests of drawers, sofas and other household items for recipients of our Simple Household Needs program.

And of course, we also owe a big debt of gratitude to Ryan Dieck, manager of the company’s Woodstock location at 100 Arnold Mill Rd. Mr. Dieck has kindly agreed to periodically help SNGA with pickups and deliveries. This is a huge help to us. We love giving furniture to families in need. However, the logistics of this is one of our biggest challenges, in part because we don’t have a box truck of our own.

“We strive to team up with local 501(c)(3) organizations to help out in any way we can,” Ryan said. “The owner of our franchise has multiple locations within the state of Georgia, and all of the sales managers at these locations regularly work with nonprofits.”

In fact, it’s all part of a company-wide trend. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisees all over the country frequently dedicate both time and money to area charities, though it’s not a requirement.

The founder of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, Mary Ellen Sheets, has spent her entire life volunteering and is a longtime supporter of many organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, United Way of America, and the YMCA. When she started the company 30 years ago, Sheets and her sons made a $1,000 profit in the first year. They decided to give it all away in the form of $100 donations to 10 different local charities. Giving is a huge part of the company culture at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.”

Isn’t that cool? We can’t thank them enough!