Open House/Donation Drive on Nov. 17!

“I wanted to thank you and your organization for the household and baby items we received on Saturday! Special thank-you to Ms. Jen! She was such a great help assisting my mom and my 2-year-old (he got two toys and he loves them). The items are such a blessing to have to start out with. Thank you!”

 

“Thanks for the birthday items. The boys are very pleased! [A.] is ready to go to GameStop to use his gift card. [T.] is admiring his new book bag and goodies. [S.] is already snuggled in his throw watching the game. Thanks again for everything, including the furniture!”

Our open house is Sat., Nov. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. We hope you can stop by the warehouse to chat, grab a bite to eat (including sandwiches and salads generously donated by Newk”s Eatery in Kennesaw), meet some clients and talk about our mission.

kennesaw
Thanks, Newk’s!!!

The open house coincides with a donation drive as well.

“We’d like to encourage everyone who comes by to spend some time at the warehouse meeting others who are a part of SNGA,” Brenda said. “It’s also a great opportunity to visualize what we do for our community and how you can be involved. Those who take the tour always learn something new about our programs.”

In addition to outdoor winter wear for people of all ages and sizes, our clients need:

BRAND NEW: mops and brooms, boy’s socks for ages 5 and up, books for tweens, small “shopping” bags to put smaller items in for kids who are in pre-K or younger (older kids get backpacks), Amazon Fire 7 tablets (when you see them on sale).

NEW OR GENTLY USED:Kitchen garbage cans, bath rugs, DVD players, dish sets (no random dishes needed), crockpots, toaster ovens, baking pans/cookie sheets, large serving bowls, shower curtain rings, trivets, water pitchers, hand towels, blankets of all sizes, comforters (esp. twin, queen, king), air mattresses, mattress pads (all sizes esp. queen).

CURRENT FURNITURE NEEDS (NEW OR GENTLY USED): mattresses and box springs, kitchen tables and chairs, dressers or chests of drawers, TV stands, nightstands, coffee tables, end tables, small desks and cable-ready TVs (nothing too large and heavy).

If you would like to donate larger (essential) furniture, please email photos to brenda@simpleneedsga.org. If you can deliver, GREAT! If not, include address as well  (Cobb County only).

One of our goals for our furniture clients is for them to not spend too many nights sleeping on the floor. We do not receive enough donations of mattresses and box springs, so we often need to purchase them. We welcome financial contributions toward the purchase of those. Donate here.

If you can’t make it on Nov. 17, we’ll have drives next month on Dec. 1 and Dec. 15.

 Email Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have questions or need the address!

We hope to see you there!

Additional donor resources:
SNGA client Amazon Wish List
Our updated list of client needs

A FEW THANK-YOUS!
Donors and volunteers are the heart of Simple Needs GA. Thanks so much for everything you do for people in need in our community! Here’s a sample—incomplete for sure—of some recent contributions to SNGA’s clients.

Oct. 13 was the Local Day of Service for the Marietta First United Methodist Church, 56 Whitlock Ave NW. Thanks so much to the volunteers who stopped by our Marietta warehouse to help with a variety of tasks. In other news, the church’s Open Door Sunday School class recently supported SNGA’s clients by collecting cleaning kits (pictured) for clients of our Simple Household Needs program. The kits are a huge help for our clients. Thanks so much!FUMC Cleaning Kits

The ushers at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centrecontinue to support SNGA in amazing ways! We are so grateful! Most recently, they held a donation drive for us that brought in a huge number of items (pictured, below).

Did you know that Cobb Energy Centre is always looking for volunteers who have a strong interest in serving their community and some extra time? Those with previous volunteer experience in this field are especially welcome to apply. For more information, contact the Centre by phone at 770-916-2828 or by email at rstevens@cobbenergycentre.com. Written inquiries can be mailed to 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339. Download an application here.Cobb Energy Center dinner donations

Little Helpers is at it again! Last month, these awesome volunteers (pictured, below) collected 350 new pairs of socks and 350 pairs of underwear for SNGA. It was all part of Little Helpers’ Trevor’s Toes and Tushies Socks and Underwear Drive. As noted by the Marietta Daily Journal, the drive honors Little Helpers’ member Trevor George, who passed away at the age of six in August 2014. When they delivered the items, members of Little Helpers wore superhero outfits and mismatched socks, which were Trevor’s trademarks. They also sorted donations, made no-sew blankets and did other helpful tasks. You can read more about Little Helpers in our blog post about this fantastic organization. LittleHelpers

Thanks so much to the volunteers from the American Medical Students Association of KSUfor their help at our warehouse on Nov 3. This organization helps people studying to become doctors, nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists, dentists and more. Members lobby on various issues as well. So nice of them to volunteer their time to help people in need in their community!

Members of Boy Scout Troop #797chartered by The Episcopal Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Marietta (East Cobb), helped to organize and move donations and assembled about 75 toiletry kits at our Marietta warehouse on Nov. 10. Thanks to Belinda Vogel, a Troop Committee member, and Scoutmaster Chris Durkee for their help during the event. Troop 797 participates in a variety of volunteer activities, including Eagle Scout projects at local schools, churches and parks, and conservation projects such as working with the Trail Club at Kennesaw Mountain. “Eagle projects can include a wide range of activities, such as building picnic tables at Chattahoochee Nature Center, constructing a retaining wall at our sponsoring church, and most recently building a food pantry for a Cobb elementary school,” Belinda said.

Scouts at SNGA
Troop 797

The Scouts were impressed with the services SNGA provides—particularly My Birthday Matters. “It felt like a productive service project; we did a lot in a short period of time,” Belinda said. “As a leader I appreciate that it’s a project a Scout of any age can assist with. If we returned with either a larger or smaller group of volunteers, we could be helpful and not run out of things to do.”

BRENDA WINS ‘EAST COBB CITIZEN OF THE YEAR’
Just in case you didn’t see it on Facebook, last month the East Cobb Area Council of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce named Brenda its “East Cobb Citizen of the Year” (PICTURED:Brenda with Cobb Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Mason, left, and East Cobb Area Council chair Tammy Palmgren.) You can read all about it in articles in The Marietta Daily Journal and the East Cobb News. “I was thrilled and honored to receive the award, but I accepted it on behalf of all of the dedicated volunteers and donors who have made SNGA possible,” Brenda said. “This was really about all of us and the work we’re doing on behalf of others! Thank you so much!”

BrendaEastCobbCitizenAward

 

 

‘Mending a Broken Heart’| June 15th Donation Drive

First of all, they mended my broken heart.

That’s how a formerly homeless mom responded earlier this month when asked how SNGA had helped her. Here’s a bit more of her story…

Screen Shot 2019-06-09 at 7.17.14 AM

FORMERLY HOMELESS MOM FINDS HOPE AFTER TOUGH JOURNEY
“Anna,” a mom with a 3-month-old daughter and a 15-year-old son, looked around in her empty one-bedroom apartment on Delk Road and felt dejected.

“I said to myself, ‘Here I am in this new apartment, but I have absolutely nothing—no furniture, no clothing for my kids, nothing for myself,’ ” she recalled.

The lack of possessions was just the half of it: Over the past year or so, Anna, who is 38, broke her ankle and had to stop working at her factory job. While pregnant with her daughter, she was evicted from her apartment and lived on the streets and, later, out of a van. Anna was also separated from her son, who went to live with his grandmother out of state while his mom looked for a place to live.

Anna found an apartment just in time for the birth of her daughter, but admits she was struggling.

“The other day I saw Simple Needs GA online, and I said, ‘Maybe they can help me, because I’m actually going to get my son and bring him home, praise God,’ ” she said. “When I spoke to Stacy [‘Mac’ McIlwain] about the services and about what Simple Needs GA could actually help me with, I just broke down and cried.”

Anna and her family are all set to receive beds, a dresser, lamps, a TV and TV stand, dining room furniture, a playpen and many other useful items that make an empty apartment feel like a home. “She was so excited to learn about SNGA’s My Birthday Matters program because her children have so little,” Mac said. “She hasn’t been able to give her son presents while she was homeless.”

Starting over with nothing is daunting, Anna says, but it is encouraging and uplifting to meet people who care. “For Simple Needs GA to actually call me back, it was just so joyful,” she said. “When I got that phone call, my whole world just changed.”

Our amazing donors and volunteers make stories like this possible. Thanks for your support!

DONATION DRIVE ON SAT., JUNE 15!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., June 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 June 15, we’ll have drives next month on July 6 and July 20. Mark your calendars!

Click here for our My Birthday Matters SignUp Genius

Top needs are:

BRAND NEW

  • birthday wrapping paper for younger girls and boys
  • washable markers (box of 10-12)
  • kitchen garbage cans
  • mops
  • Dr. Seuss books
  • chapter books for tweens
  • Amazon Fire 7 tablets and cases
  • stuffed wolves, unicorns and tigers
  • stuffed dogs for older kids
  • Character (such as Paw Patrol) and learning books for younger children

NEW OR GENTLY USED

  • TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy)
  • candles
  • microwaves
  • toasters
  • ironing boards
  • crock pots
  • vacuums
  • paper towel holders
  • coffee makers

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

Additional donor resources:
SNGA client Amazon Wish List
List of small household items SNGA clients are offered

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT:
‘BLANKET LADY’ KEEPS HOMELESS CHILDREN COMFY AND WARM

If you wanted to give Jan Lazzara a nickname, “The Blanket Lady” might just do the trick.

The East Cobb resident is rapidly becoming an expert in all things fleece-y, says SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “Fleece no-sew blankets are a big part of our My Birthday Matters packages for homeless kids, and Jan has made a tonof blankets for us,” Brenda said. “She has taken the time to learn about the specific colors we need and even went through our fleece inventory and purchased matching fleece… and also has identified blankets that needed a little TLC and fixed them for us! We’re so grateful for Jan’s help!”

Jan learned about Simple Needs GA this past November after reading an East Cobb News article about Brenda winning East Cobb Citizen of the Year. A longtime supporter of MUST Ministries, Jan was looking for a new outlet for volunteering. “I knew Simple Needs GA was the right place for me,” she said.IMG_20190608_104347

Jan has purchased gifts for our Spirit of Christmas children, donated household items for our Simple Household Needs clients and continues to hone her no-sew skills. “Now my craft room looks like Joann Fabrics,” she said.

Stacy “Mac” McIlwain, one of SNGA’s core coordinators and volunteers, has been impressed by Jan’s commitment. “Jan makes it sound like she does nothing out of the ordinary,” Mac said. “Not so. If a teenager likes a specific sports team, she will find the team fleece to make the no-sew blanket. For older teens, she purchases plaid and subtle prints and makes the blankets larger. She’s amazing!”

In addition to supporting MUST Ministries, Jan dedicated seven years as a volunteer for a nonprofit, three-day music festival that raised more than $300,000 for a Florida neonatal intensive care unit and a women’s recovery program. Since 2018 was the festival’s last year, Jan now has more time for volunteering.

“I’ll continue making blankets and shopping for deals to donate whatever is on the SGNA needed list,” Jan said. “My husband and I have enough stuff.”

How can you help? “We need fleece that would appeal to tweens and teens,” Jan says. “That could be sports like football, basketball or soccer or superheroes such as The Avengers, Black Panther or Spiderman. Blue is popular, and pink and purple for girls go pretty fast. Gift cards to Joann Fabrics would great, too.”

Thanks again, Jan! (Or should we say Blanket Lady?) 😀

THANKS TO COBB COUNTY MOCHA MOMS!
The members of Cobb County Mocha Moms recently restocked school supplies for our My Birthday Matters program in one fell swoop!

About 23 members of the group, which provides support, friendship and love for women of color in Cobb and Northwest Georgia, donated a huge amount of books, pencils, crayons, markers, pens, backpacks, glue sticks, highlighters and more for our MBM birthday packages. Other items, all of which were delivered on May 18, included underwear, socks, sports equipment and character toys.Brittany

My Birthday Matters serves homeless schoolchildren in Cobb County who are celebrating their birthdays. Brittany Ingram [PICTURED], Volunteer Coordinator for Cobb County Mocha Moms, said MBM’s mission truly resonated with members of the 501(C)3 nonprofit. “As a group of all mothers, this really touched our hearts,” she said.

Over the past couple of years, members of the group have given back to their community through volunteer projects such as partnering with MUST Ministries on a sandwich-making drive; beautifying local schools; running a donation drive for the My Sister’s House shelter; and even holding a fashion show for nursing home A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab.

“We cannot thank these dynamic and inspiring women enough for their support of My Birthday Matters and Simple Needs GA,” Brenda said. “If you’re looking to connect with other mothers, make new friends and give back to your community, check out Cobb County Mocha Moms!”

For more information, visit their website and/or Facebook page.

LOVE CONNECTION (POINTE)!
Once again, Connection Pointe Christian Academy has come through for Simple Needs GA’s clients! About 120 students at the Austell private school, which serves children from six weeks old up to the eighth grade, raised nearly $670 at the end of the quarter and then went shopping, via Amazon.com and Walmart, for the specific needs of our clients.

Around this time last year, the students raised about $500 for gift cards, brand-new household items, shoes and more. It is all part of a lesson plan of sorts by first-grade teacher Valerie High, who is keen on making sure the children understand the value of service. The monies, she explains, are actually their offerings brought in for Connection Pointe Christian Academy’s Wednesday Chapel time.

This year the offerings were used to provide our clients with books, toys, trashcans, DVD players, vacuums, tablet cases, rugs, blankets and other needed items. “The students simply loved the idea of being able to give to children and others who stand in need,” Valerie said.

Seeing children get involved this way is one of the greatest joys of being a part of Simple Needs GA, Brenda said. “Thanks so much to the students, to Valerie and to everyone at Connection Pointe Christian Academy!”

RECURRING DONATIONS – BE PART OF OUR SIMPLY CARING PROGRAM
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

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

 

Next Donation Drive on Sat., May 18

“Thank you for being a blessing in my life.” — Simple Needs GA client

 DONATION DRIVE COMING UP SAT., MAY 18!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., May 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. Email brenda@simpleneedsga.orgfor the address or if you have any questions.

If you can’t make it on May 18, we’ll have drives next month on June 1 and June 15. Mark your calendars!

We have some birthdays coming up and would love to get some help with their requests. Here’s our My Birthday Matters SignUp Genius.

Our current top needs…

BRAND NEW:

  • pencil sharpeners—not the small and messy ones, but the larger ones with attached receptacle for shavings
  • markers (box of 10-12)
  • kitchen garbage cans
  • mops and brooms
  • chapter books for tweens
  • Amazon Fire 7 tablets and cases
  • stuffed unicorns and tigers
  • stuffed dogs for older kids
  • journals
  • men’s underwear sizes med and large

NEW OR GENTLY USED: 

  • TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy)
  • candles
  • microwaves
  • toasters
  • irons
  • ironing boards
  • crock pots
  • DVD players
  • vacuums
  • paper towel holders
  • pot holders
  • coffee makers

Additional donor resources:
SNGA client Amazon Wish List
Our updated list of client needs
List of small household items SNGA clients are offered

O’DELL & O’NEAL MAKES A DIFFERENCE FOR SNGA’S CLIENTS
We wanted to convey our gratitude to the awesome team at Marietta-based O’Dell & O’Neal Attorneys, 506 Roswell Street. At the beginning of the year, we were thrilled when Justin O’Dell told us of his plans to support our My Birthday Matters program with a monthly commitment that goes a long way toward making sure homeless children in our community have the birthdays they deserve. The firm also periodically supplies SNGA with household items for our clients.O'Dell and O'Neal April 2019 donations EDIT

Pictured is paralegal Allison Marshall and her daughter, Lucy, who volunteered with Simple Needs GA recently and brought over the needed items purchased by Kyleigh Hall, the firm’sCommunications Manager. “Simple Needs GA aligns perfectly with our firm’s mission statement ‘Serving Clients and Community,’ ” Justin said. “The organization provides a personal connection to those in need and goes the extra mile not just to provide what is needed, but to give families that feeling that they are loved. Every child deserves a special birthday. We are proud to be part of Simple Needs GA and hope to continue to make a difference in our community.”

A SURPRISE GIFT FROM PUBLIX!
Simple Needs GA received a nice surprise last month—gift cards from Publix Supermarkets that are already helping our furniture clients obtain daily necessities they struggle to afford.Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 8.18.00 AM

“When furniture clients come to our warehouse to pick up their small household items, we ask them detailed questions about their situations,” said Brenda Rhodes, SNGA Founder. “These gift cards are allowing us to ‘fill in the gaps’ and make sure they have the basics they need to live with more dignity, comfort and ease. We truly appreciate this generous sponsorship from Publix.”

“At Publix Super Markets, we are proud supporters of organizations which focus on youth, education, alleviating hunger, and the plight of homelessness,” said Brenda Reid, Manager, Media and Community Relations. “When our founder George Jenkins was once asked what he thought he would be worth had he not given so much away, he humbly answered, ‘Probably nothing.’ This culture of giving is core to Publix Super Markets’ values and mission.”

ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL OPEN HOUSE!
We had a great open house (and My Birthday Matters 5th anniversary celebration) on Sat., April 13. Thanks to founding board member Melanie Booker and all of the other volunteers who made it happen! Many of these dedicated folks worked hard on tidying our warehouse in the week prior to the event. Melanie’s husband, Mark, even cleaned up our landscaping!

We had about 50 guests in all, plus 18 volunteers and a few client families. Lots of folks who stopped by took tours of our warehouse. Volunteers greeted guests, processed donations, made sure folks had drinks and, of course, steered them to all of the food, including the generously donated catering by Newk’s in Kennesaw. We also can’t thank FHLBank Atlanta enough for sponsoring the event!

We love welcoming new and old friends at our open houses and hope you enjoy them, too!

SCOUT RAKES IN DONATIONS FOR SNGA’S CLIENTS
Elijah Carmack, a Scout from Troop 480 in Acworth, needed some extra hands this past April when it came time to drop off donations at our Marietta warehouse.

The 15-year-old had collected a huge haul of items from friends, family, neighbors and donation boxes placed at his church and various businesses. The cache [PICTURED, BELOW] filled several rooms of his house. “It was all sorts of items like lamps, mops, soaps, cleaning supplies, furniture, blankets and book bags,” Carmack said.

Part of scouting from the age of 8, Carmack is a freshman at Allatoona High School. His ambitious donation drive was his Eagle Scout project—a critical part of attaining the coveted rank. “I need just two more merit badges and then I’ll have my Board of Review,” he said.Elijah with Haul

He found out about Simple Needs GA from Dave Milligan, his Eagle Scout project coach. “I told him I had an idea of helping people struggling in financial situations,” Carmack said. “Simple Needs GA seemed like a very open, welcoming recipient, and I felt like they would really help me get my project done.”

Carmack, who is on the wrestling team at Allatoona High School, spends a lot of time working out, wrestling and hanging out with friends. “I’m not exactly sure what I want to do in the future, but I definitely want to help people, maybe some kind of athletic trainer or doctor,” he said.

We have a feeling he’ll be successful at whatever he chooses to pursue, given how hard he has worked in scouting—and on behalf of our clients.

Thanks to Elijah and all of those who helped with this amazing project!

QUICK SHOUT OUTS!
Thanks to those who recently gave $200 to SNGA trough the Thrivent Choice program of Thrivent Financial, an organization focused on helping Christians be wise with money and live generously!

We had a great time working with Interact, a Rotary Club group that brought more than a dozen 12 to 14 year old volunteers to our warehouse on April 20. Thanks so much!

Eight enthusiastic and caring students [PICTURED, BELOW] from KSU’s Sigma Gamma Rho sorority helped out at our warehouse on April 20! They did a fantastic job and we are most grateful!Sigma Gamma Rho KSU

And on May 4, we received more help from the volunteers at Christ Lutheran Church. Thanks to this great house of worship for its generous support of SNGA!

WE NEED HELP WITH OUR FURNITURE PROGRAM!
Of Simple Needs GA’s seven programs, Simple Household Needs is by far the most challenging as a result of the complex logistics—and at times heavy lifting—involved in providing furniture to people in need.

However, our volunteers love being a part of Simple Household Needs despite the challenges. They feel tremendous satisfaction in seeing how this program helps our clients cope with severe challenges such as coming out of homelessness, escaping from domestic violence or recovering from devastating fires.

Sometimes the experience is eye-opening. “A new volunteer took a few things to a client last Saturday between the rain drops,” Brenda noted. “When he returned, he said incredulously, ‘They had nothing in their apartment.’ ”

We are deeply grateful to our volunteers and those who donate furniture and household items to the program as well.

We need much more help for this program. If you have any interest in contributing to Simple Household Needs, we would love it if you could join us! Just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

As an aside, I should mention that Simple Household Needs is expensive, too: We spend about $22,000 a year on things such as truck rentals, labor and buying mattresses and box springs when our donated supply runs out.

If you would like to make a financial contribution to Simple Household Needs, just visit this link for more info: https://simpleneedsgablog.com/donate/financial-support/

RECURRING DONATIONS—BE PART OF OUR SIMPLY CARING PROGRAM
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

 THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

 

Next SNGA donation drive–April 20!

“I keep thinking about you and how you made my daughter’s birthday so special.  She rides her bike every day and really enjoys it. Thanks so much for remembering us. God bless you.” – message from mom of My Birthday Matters recipient

If you’d like to brighten a child’s birthday, just visit the SignUp Genius link for our My Birthday Matters program.

NEXT DONATION DRIVE IS APRIL 20!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., April 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. Email brenda@simpleneedsga.orgfor the address or if you have any questions.

If you can’t make it on April 20 (Passover), we’ll have drives next month on May 4 and May 18. Mark your calendars!

Top needs are:
BRAND NEW: men’s underwear sizes med and large, markers (box of 10-12), kitchen garbage cans, mops and brooms, board books and chapter books for tween boys, Amazon Fire 7 tablets and cases, light bulbs, stuffed dogs for older kids, Spiderman toys ($20-$30 range).

 NEW OR GENTLY USED: TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy), candles, microwaves, toasters, irons, ironing boards, crock pots, DVD players, vacuums, bath rugs Furniture such as kitchen tables, mattresses and box springs, dressers/chest of drawers, bookshelves, armchairs.

One of the goals for our furniture clients is for them to not spend too many nights sleeping on the floor. We do not receive enough donations of mattresses and box springs, so we often need to purchase them.We welcome financial contributions toward the purchase of those. Donate here.

Additional donor resources:
SNGA client Amazon Wish List
Our updated list of client needs
List of small household items SNGA clients are offered

AN INSPIRING KSU DAY OF SERVICE AT SNGA!
For many years now, the fantastic student volunteers at Kennesaw State University have chosen volunteer at Simple Needs GA for their annual Day of Service.

They did it again on March 23, as a total of 41 volunteers made the trek to our Marietta warehouse. [Watch our YouTube video]. “It was a great group who worked really hard,” said SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes. “They assembled bags of toiletries (our Comfort Kits), made no-sew blankets for our My Birthday Matters program and sorted donations, among other projects.”ksu 15

Thanks to Dr. Sairagul Matikeeva-Kinney, the Academic Program Specialist, Honors College, Office of the Dean, for acting as lead for the team, which included KSU Honors and Presidents Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) students.

“We truly enjoyed having KSU out with us once again,” Brenda said. “We love that these amazing students truly care about their community.”

 THANKS TO ST. ANDREW UMC!
More gratitude goes to the women’s group at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 3455 Canton Rd., for inviting Brenda to speak on April 8 and donating lots of much-deeded items for our clients.

Women’s group member Carol Haisten learned of SNGA’s work last fall at our open house. “I was so impressed with your program and the impact it is having on the community, especially to our families in Family Promise,” she said, referring to the nonprofit that seeks to transform the lives of homeless families.St. Andrew's UMC Presentation - April 2019

Members of the women’s group donated pillows, mops, brooms, men’s socks, trashcans, shopping bags, educational supplies, baking pans and cleaning utensils to SNGA. “Another member learned her company matches monetary donations, and so her donation was doubled,” Carol said. “Brenda’s presentation was very well received and many expressed a desire to volunteer and/or donate in the future.”

“It was a joy getting to meet Carol, her group and others from St. Andrew,” Brenda said. “We can’t thank them enough!”

PICTURED: Brenda and dedicated SNGA volunteer Lisa at St. Andrew.

RECENT BLOG POSTS AT SIMPLENEEDSGA.ORG
If you didn’t see them, check out our recent blog posts on Holly Britt’s awesome new children’s book and community-giving project, The Incredible Little Happy, and the fantastic support Simple Needs GA has received of late from Christ Lutheran Church. Gracias to Holly and the congregation at Christ Lutheran for their generous support of Simple Needs GA!

SOME MORE HEARTFELT SHOUT-OUTS…
We wish we could thank all of our donors and volunteers in the newsletter every month, but time is short and we inevitably fall short on this task, too! Here are a few, but by no means all, who have helped out lately. Be sure to “like” our Facebook pageto follow the latest at Simple Needs GA.

On March 16, three groups volunteered: Little Helpers (underwear/sock drive), Delta Sigma, and a small group from KSU led by Matthew Weese.

Thanks to Belinda Vogel and the Chattahoochee Plantation Women’s Club for running an appliance drive in March and inviting Brenda to speak to the group on March 15. They also made financial donations and provided gift cards for our clients!

Shout out to Tran Smith’s son Jackson and all of his peeps at Crabapple Middle School. They collected socks and underwear for Simple Needs GA at their winter concert! You can read more about Tran and her awesome family in our blog post about Little Helpers.

Due West United Methodist Church in Marietta (PICTURED) held a service project; members made no-sew blankets for our My Birthday Matters children after church. Casa Montessori school in Marietta invited Brenda to speak to one of their classes, who made and donated 20 blankets. The Smyrna Rotary Club was also kind enough to invite Brenda to speak at its lunch meeting on April 9. Thanks so much!Due West UMC April 7 2019

Lastly, thanks to Family Promise of Cobb for the awesome donation of cots for our clients! “ We can use them in lieu of or in addition to air mattresses as temporary bedding for our furniture clients,” Brenda said. “They’ve already come in handy for one family.”

WE NEED HELP WITH OUR FURNITURE PROGRAM!
Of Simple Needs GA’s seven programs, Simple Household Needs is by far the most challenging as a result of the complex logistics—and heavy lifting—involved in providing furniture to people in need.

However, our volunteers love being a part of Simple Household Needs despite the challenges. They feel tremendous satisfaction in seeing how this program helps our clients cope with severe challenges such as coming out of homelessness, escaping from domestic violence or recovering from devastating fires. We cannot thank our volunteers enough and are deeply grateful to those who donate furniture and household items to the program as well.storage Dec 2017

We need much more help for this challenging program. If you have any interest in contributing to Simple Household Needs, we would love it if you could join us! Just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

As an aside, we should mention that Simple Household Needs is expensive, too: We spend about $22,000 a year on things such as truck rentals, labor and buying mattresses and box springs when our donated supply runs out. If you would like to make a financial contribution to Simple Household Needs, just visit this link for more info: https://simpleneedsgablog.com/donate/financial-support/

RECURRING DONATIONS – BE PART OF OUR SIMPLY CARING PROGRAM
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

 THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

 

 

Comfy pillows and more from Christ Lutheran Church

For most of us, the likes of toiletries, towels and cleaning supplies count as “little things.” We hardly give them a second thought. For Simple Needs GA’s clients, though, these items are hugely important.

That’s why we were so thrilled when Christ Lutheran Church, 176 W. Sandtown Rd. SW, recently gave us 72 brand-new pillows donated by its members in the course of just one week after seeing our plea on Facebook.

“We get lots of gently used furniture from our donors, but we don’t accept used pillows and are constantly running short of new ones,” said SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes. “This donation gives us a nice supply for our furniture families. It was fun stashing them all away!”

Brenda also thanked Russ Marshall, a member of the church, for his outstanding contributions to SNGA. “Russ has been invaluable as a volunteer with a truck, doing somuch for us, including putting together cribs for our clients,” Brenda said.Christ Lutheran Church

It was Russ who told Paula Bode, chair of the church’s nine-member social committee, about SNGA. Paula describes Christ Lutheran as “a small congregation with a big heart.” Founded in 1983, the church started as the West Cobb Mission. “The first service had 34 people in attendance,” Paula says. Members volunteer at the likes of MUST Ministries and Cobb Street Ministries. They have held blood drives, contributed to the annual Diaper Day event and, last year during Lent, collected funds for Out of Darkness, a ministry of the Atlanta Dream Center focused on fighting sex trafficking.

This year, Christ Lutheran Church made Simple Needs GA the recipient of its generosity during Lent. “We were so honored by that and also by the church’s invitation to have us come speak about our work,” Brenda said. “It was great to meet such warm and caring people. I especially loved the cool birdhouses (PICTURED). What a neat way to collect donations during Lent!”20190310_094935

The church’s mission statement is to be the Body of Christ in word and deed in West Cobb, Paula says. “We are enthusiastic about our mission and it seems whatever we put out to our members they embrace it, as witnessed by the outpouring of pillows,” she said.

One of the church’s members, Julie Ridings, set up a recent Simple Needs GA service day for congregants as well, and youth at the church are planning a similar event. “Julie and the volunteers were fantastic!” Brenda said.

SNGA’s programs that focus on helping people who have emerged from homelessness resonated with many at Christ Lutheran, including Paula. “I know there are many worthy global causes,” she said, “but I’m a huge fan of trying to help what’s right in front of me.”

Thanks again to Christ Lutheran for their kindness and commitment!

Check out ‘The Incredible Little Happy’!

Greetings, all.
We wanted to let you know about a wonderful children’s book by Simple Needs GA supporter Holly Britt.

It’s called The Incredible Little Happy. An affirmations book for kids, it’s about a cute puppy who goes to the zoo, meets the animals there and learns lots of positive lessons along the way. The book gives parents the opportunity to spend quality time with their children and share positive affirmations with them.

Holly Britt
Atlanta-based author, actress and advocate Holly Britt

Holly, an Atlanta-based mom and actress who is passionate about contributing to her community, wanted to make sure the project gave back in other ways as well.

“Fifty percent of my profits go to individuals in need and nonprofits such as Simple Needs GA, Kiva.org, Wounded Warrior Project, Atlanta Dream Center and several others,” Holly explained.

Before its official store launch, The Incredible Little Happy also provided enough funds for 8,100 meals via global relief agency SERV International. Every book sold continues to provide five meals through SERV to people in need! 

Illustrated by Toby Mikle, the beautiful book is available here at Amazon and here at Barnes & Noble.

As if that weren’t enough, Holly is also hosting a link for donations to various charities, including Simple Needs GA, at theincrediblelittlehappy.com. “One hundred percent of donations will go to helping others,” Holly said. “We’re making random, surprise gifts to many national and international nonprofits.”Screen Shot 2019-04-10 at 9.24.44 AM

You can check out the book’s media page for photos and video.

“My purpose for this book is to give the gift of great thoughts that can lead to great actions–the gift of reminding us to love ourselves and reinforcing the fact to each child that they are special,” Holly said. “I am most grateful for the gift of my daughter Jade who inspires me to be better everyday.”

For more information, email theincrediblelittlehappy@gmail.com.

Thanks so much to Holly for including Simple Needs GA in this awesome project!

 

My Birthday Matters turns 5 yrs. old!

Greetings, all.
Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters program is turning five years old! We hope you can drop by our Marietta warehouse on April 13 to don a party hat and celebrate with us! (OK, party hats aren’t mandatory!) 

The Open House/MBM Birthday Party is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. We’ll be giving tours, chatting with old and new friends and introducing others to our MBM and other programs. Clients will be on hand to share their stories as well. We’ll have some yummy snacks, as well as sandwiches and salads generously donated by Newk’s Eatery, 1975 Cobb Parkway in Kennesaw. Thank you, Newk’s!

If you plan to attend and/or need the address to our warehouse, please email brenda@simpleneedsga.org to help us with our planning. Feel free to bring friends or colleagues who might be interested in learning more about how our work benefits people in need. MBMphoto5

About My Birthday Matters
Five years ago, Simple Needs GA launched a program to bring new presents and basic necessities to disadvantaged children celebrating their birthdays. With the generous support of our donors and volunteers, our My Birthday Matters program has brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of children in need across Cobb County. In 2018 alone, the fast-growing program helped approximately 256 children, up from 217 the year before.

“Today is my daughter’s birthday. She is nine years old and is really excited and extremely happy on her day. As a parent, I am in tears, because this is so important to a child. It’s absolutely great that there are others who care!” — parent of a student at Sawyer Road Elementary.

“I want to thank you and your volunteers so much for such wonderful gifts for my son. He really enjoyed his books! May all of you be blessed for putting such a big smile on his face on his birthday!”
furniture client after one of her sons received his presents from our My Birthday Matters program.

“You and yours have been so much help. Thank you for the love you have shown my family. You have truly shown me we do matter.” — thank-you note from parent of My Birthday Matters recipient.

“Thanks for the birthday items. The boys are very pleased! [A.] is ready to go to GameStop to use his gift card. [T.] is admiring his new book bag and goodies. [S.] is already snuggled in his throw watching the game. Thanks again for everything, including the furniture!” — thank-you note from parent of My Birthday Matters recipient.

 

Thank you for your support of people in need!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Donation Drive: Sat., March 16!

“You made another child, another human being, very, very happy this morning. This is by far one of her happiest birthdays in a long time.”

—text from a single mom of a girl who received a bike that she rode in Walmart and wanted but couldn’t afford. We also bought her a “My Life” doll and some other things—thanks to you, our donors.

If you’d like to brighten a child’s birthday, just visit the SignUp Genius link for our My Birthday Matters program.

NEXT DONATION DRIVE IS MARCH 16!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., March 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. Email brenda@simpleneedsga.orgfor the address or if you have any questions.

If you can’t make it on March 16, we’ll have drives next month on April 6 and April 20. Mark your calendars!

Top needs are:
BRAND NEW: men’s underwear sizes med and large, markers (box of 10-12), kitchen garbage cans, mops and brooms, books for tweens (esp boys), Amazon Fire 7 tablets and cases, light bulbs.

 NEW OR GENTLY USED: comforters (all sizes), candles, microwaves, toasters, irons, ironing boards, DVD players, mattress pads (esp full), air mattresses, vacuums.

We are currently collecting lightly used children’s books for Communities in Schools. You can bring to us – or take directly to them.

 One of the goals for our furniture clients is for them to not spend too many nights sleeping on the floor. We do not receive enough donations of mattresses and box springs, so we often need to purchase them.We welcome financial contributions toward the purchase of those. DONATE.

Additional donor resources:
SNGA client Amazon Wish List
Our updated list of client needs
List of small household items SNGA clients are offered

BRENDA GIVES ‘STATE OF SNGA’ ADDRESS TO LOCAL OFFICIALS
Special thanks to Powder Springs City Councilman Patrick Bordelon (Mayor Pro Tem) for inviting Brenda to speak about SNGA’s mission as the first speaker in a series of presentations by community-based organizations.

CMA is comprised of all the elected city officials in the county as well as the city managers and clerks. For Brenda’s Feb. 10 presentation, the audience members, just to name a few, included: Powder Springs City Councilman (and SNGA supporter!) Henry Lust; Marietta Ward 7 City Councilman Joseph R. Goldstein; Cobb Travel & Tourism President & CEO Holly Quinlan; Austell Mayor Pro-Tem Ollie B. Clemons, Jr.; and Cobb County District 1 Commissioner Keli Gambrill. Pres at Cobb Municipal Association Feb 12 2019

“I was honored to tell the public servants of our county about our mission at Simple Needs GA,” Brenda said. “Several CMA members are highly committed to combating poverty in Cobb and are doing great work in raising awareness. Councilmen Bordelon and Lust, in particular, have done a lot to support SNGA. They get my vote for sure!” 😀

CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH
One of our dedicated volunteers (with a truck!), Russ Marshall, attends Christ Lutheran Church in Marietta. He suggested SNGA be considered for the church’s Lenten Offering and they said yes! Paula Bode (chair of the committee) took a tour during a Donation Drive and was impressed. “We are so excited to be supporting Simple Needs GA!” she said. On March 10, Brenda spoke to the congregation during their two morning services “The members were all very gracious,” Brenda said. “You can tell they are very involved in community outreach.” A table was set up in the lobby with a monitor which explained SNGA’s program. Members were encouraged to take a cardboard birdhouse and fill them with donations. We’ve already received a few requests from those who want to volunteer; looking forward to our partnership!20190310_094935.jpg

HEARTFELT THANKS!
We are very grateful for all of our donors and wish we could call each and every one of them out! Here are a few who have helped out lately. Be sure to “like” our Facebook page so you can read more about each over the next month or so.

The O’Dell and O’Neil law firm (Marietta) and their employees have offered to help out monthly with our My Birthday Matters and other programs by purchasing top needs. The Golden K Kiwanis Club donated $1K this quarter as part of their sustaining sponsorship dollars. Board member Jen Sypeck spoke at the Ruby Cooper Circle at the First United Methodist Church of Marietta; the Circle followed up with a donation and plan to be involved more with us. The Epstein School children volunteered with us, and many families brought donations with them.

Epstein School
Epstein School volunteers

THANKS TO AHG TROOP 2012 FROM WOODSTOCK!
Sixteen members of American Heritage Girls Troop 2012 from Woodstock volunteered at SNGA’s warehouse on March 2. The children, ages 6 to 13, and several troop moms pitched in to make fleece blankets, sort and organize stuffed animals, and put together school-supply packs. They have made in-kind donations in the past to SNGA but it was their first time volunteering, said troop coordinator Kathleen Tallent, who volunteered with her daughter Violet.

“Everyone was very impressed with how many different areas and ministries that Simple Needs GA has a hand in, as well as with how organized the warehouse and volunteer dynamics were run,” Kathleen said. “The overall impression was what a great experience and great organization to volunteer with! We hope to be invited back for more service opportunities.”

Founded in 1995, The American Heritage Girls is a Christian-based Scouting-like organization. It has more than 43,000 members. Thanks so much to Troop 2012 for their great work on behalf of people in need!

American Heritage 1
American Heritage Girls

 

RECURRING DONATIONS – BE PART OF OUR SIMPLY CARING PROGRAM
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

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!