Want to help a Christmas family? Need help?

If You Need Help for Your Family…

Simple Needs GA’s Spirit of Christmas program is by referral only (from school counselors and other nonprofits and agencies).

If you live in Cobb County and need help for your family during the 2019 holiday season, please check out our list of Christmas resources in Cobb. [NOTE: Deadlines have already passed for some of these programs.]

 

If You Want to Sponsor A Family, Buy Gifts or Volunteer with SNGA’s Spirit of Christmas Program…

Program Description
With referrals from school social workers and others, our goal is to make the holidays brighter for as many kids as we have the resources to help. Many of the families referred to us have missed out on other local holiday programs because of unforeseen circumstances, but we want them to experience the spirit of Christmas just the same. In 2018, our Spirit of Christmas program provided 159 children in 61 families with $100 in requested gifts, along with extras like puzzles, board games, hats, gloves, scarves and, for parents, a $25 Walmart card..c8e39e82-0301-41b0-8f19-61662e6c95a5

How You Can Help
Beginning in late November, we’ll collect wish lists from kids in the program and then the fun begins! You can help by sponsoring a child—or siblings, even—and buying the items they’ve requested. The total amount spent per child is typically around $100. We’ll publish the wish lists on an online sign-up where you can choose the child or children for whom you’d like to shop. If you’d like to shop for multiple kids rather than work from a specific wish list, you can purchase our most-requested items (see below).

Each child will receive a hat, gloves and a scarf. Every family will receive at least one board game suited to the number of children/ages of the kids. And the parent(s) receive a $25 Walmart gift card. You as the sponsor of the child or family can provide these items or Simple Needs GA will.

You can wrap and/or deliver the gifts yourself if you sponsor the entire family —or drop them off at our warehouse where our hard-working volunteers will do the wrapping and delivering.

We also need volunteers to shop, wrap and deliver! If you’re interested in helping out, just let Brenda know. Most of the work takes place in the week leading up to Christmas.

How Your Company, Church, Book Club or other Organization Can Help
Your group can sponsor a child or family as mentioned above. Or you can organize a donation drive for the needed items (see below).

We also need help spreading the word about our Christmas program. Feel free to tell your friends, neighbors and community. Invite them to be sponsors or to learn more about the work Simple Needs GA does throughout the year. Please like and share our posts on Facebook, share on NextDoor, in neighborhood newsletters, and anywhere else you can!

We’d love to have you volunteer as a group the week before Christmas—wrap, deliver, shop—and appreciate the fellowship and festivities of the holidays with our great group of volunteers.

Instead of exchanging gifts with each other, buy a gift from our most-needed list or a gift card for our program.

Financial contributions are always welcome so we can buy last-minute gift requests.

For more information, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

Most Needed Gifts for Christmas 2019
(all new items)

• Gloves/mittens, scarves (especially for older kids/teens)
• Amazon Fire 7 tablets
• Amazon Fire 7 tablet cases (blue, pink, red, black)
• $25 Walmart gift cards
• Books for tweens (Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Goosebumps, Dork Diaries, or other)
• Board games for kids of all ages
• Gift cards to Forever 21, Rue 21, Game Stop, Zaxby’s, movie theaters, Amazon, Target ($25, $15 or $10)
• Hot wheels track (full set; we have enough cars)
• Baby doll accessories
• Pokemon toys
• LOL dolls and toys
• Toys for kids 0-2 (educational toys preferred)
• Educational/learning toys for kids ages 1-3

Our needs do change, so feel free to check in with us if you plan to do a Christmas drive.

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

 

 

Donation drive on Sat., Nov. 16!

“We lost everything we owned in storage while we were struggling, living in a hotel. Starting over is never easy. With the help of Simple Needs GA, we were able to furnish our apartment. We also received birthday gifts for the kids, which they loved! I’m forever grateful and hope to volunteer with Simple Needs GA in the near future.”

—Note from a mom who received help from our Simple Household Needs and My Birthday Matters programs.

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Nov. 16, 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 Nov. 16, the next donation drives are on Dec. 7 and Dec. 21. Mark your calendars!

Top needs right now are:

BRAND NEW

  • Kitchen and bath trash cans
  • Walmart gift cards for $25 
  • Mops and brooms
  • Teen/adult coloring books
  • Baby wipes

NEW OR GENTLY USED

  • Winter outerwear for kids and adults (see article below)
  • Microwaves
  • TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy – tube or flat screen)
  • Mattress pads
  • Queen and twin comforters
  • Vacuums
  • DVD players
  • Casserole dishes (with lids preferred)
  • Floor lamps
  • Baby items

Full list:

https://simpleneedsgablog.com/drives/

DONORS BUY EIGHT TWIN MATTRESSES FOR CHILDREN IN NEED

Our Simple Household Needs program supports people in Cobb County who need beds, furniture or household items. Some of these clients were homeless; others live in empty apartments, having fled domestic abusers and left their belongings behind. Demand among these clients is acute—so much so that our furniture program needed a total of eight twin mattresses at the beginning of November alone.

“The problem was, we had none of them left in our storage space,” said Brenda Rhodes, Simple Needs GA Founder and President. “Whenever we can, we supply these kids with cots or air mattresses in the interim, but I feel badly when they have to wait for real beds. Fortunately, our supporters Charles and Joanna Pinkham of Marietta came to the rescue!”

Joanna and Charles Pinkham 

Having seen Brenda’s Facebook post about the need for twin mattresses, the Pinkhams volunteered to purchase all of them at once. “I was thrilled,” Brenda said. “It was an incredible donation, and so meaningful for our clients.”  

Joanna says she and Charles, who have donated to SNGA in the past, were moved by Brenda’s post. “We like to support SNGA because they do incredible work to help people in our community,” Joanna said. “To think of so many kids currently without beds, we felt we needed to do something. A good night of sleep is so fundamental to kids being comfortable and feeling at home, performing well in school, and more. We wanted to help in any way we could.”

So far this year, our furniture program has helped a total of 133 families—already more than the 125 it served throughout all of 2018. You can support the program by making a financial donation or donating furniture.

We so appreciate Joanna, Charles and all of the donors and volunteers who make Simple Household Needs possible!

ENERGY CENTER USHERS RESTOCK OUR WAREHOUSE WITH HUGE DRIVE

The ushers at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (CEPAC) continue to support SNGA in amazing ways. The latest example came on Nov. 4 at CEPAC’s annual volunteer dinner, where these generous folks presented Brenda with a huge haul of household and other items that they had collected for SNGA’s clients.

(L to R) Deborah Andrews-Gautney, Linda Randall, Dave Herman, Jim and Marilyn Sustrich

“The donations, which filled our entire donation room before we sorted them and put them away, included silverware, toasters, pots and pans, towels, comforters, blankets, pillows, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and much more,” Brenda said. “It was too many items to capture in a single photo! We are so grateful to the Cobb Energy Centre ushers. They have helped us again and again going back to at least 2014. These latest donations will make a huge difference for our clients. The CEPAC ushers are a great group of generous people!” 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 info, visit CEPAC’s volunteering page

CALL FOR WINTER WEAR FOR OUR CLIENTS

The temperature is (finally) dropping. We’re collecting coats, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and other winter wear for our clients, as well as winter supplies like candles and sleeping bags for those who live in the woods. We especially need coats for boys (all sizes). 

We take new, clean, gently used items. Consider holding a drive among your friends, family, or neighborhood and church groups. You can collect the items on your own timetable and bring them to one of our drives on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Thanks! 

SNGA’S SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS GEARING UP! 

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

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

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

Click here for a rundown of how you and/or an organization that you’re a part of can help! Email Brenda@simpleneedsga.org or more info.

KEEP AN EYE ON OUR BLOG, WEBSITE AND FACEBOOK PAGE FOR THE SIGNUP GENIUS LINK TO BUY PRESENTS FOR THESE FAMILIES. WE’LL POST IT BY EARLY DECEMBER! 

SNGA SHOUT-OUTS…

Gratitude to Kerbie Marc for marking her birthday by teaming with family and friends to support people in need. Kerbie is a school counselor for Marietta Sixth Grade Academy. On Nov. 2, she and her husband, Judesther, along with their daughter, Sophie, joined some friends to pitch in for several hours at our Marietta warehouse. “The Marcs amplified their impact by sharing our list of needed items with others,” Brenda said. “We were excited that Kerbie and her family and friends wanted to spend her birthday with us. We even put a party hat on her when she arrived so that everyone knew it was her big day! And one of the families with SUVs also pitched in by delivering furniture and other items to our clients, for which we were very grateful.”

Kerbie (center, pink jacket) and her husband Judesther (at right) and daughter Sophie (at right with unicorn bow). 

Tip of the hat to Jenn Loudermilk and the other From the Top Theatrics volunteers who helped out at SNGA’s Marietta warehouse on Nov. 2. Jenn, who is artistic and music director for the children’s theater company, cofounded From the Top in 2015 along with Jessie Curtis and Cara Jollie. “From the Top is a great organization,” Brenda said. “They always donate a portion of their ticket sales to a local charity, and we had a blast bringing some of our client kids to their production of ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’ last year.” From the Top Theatrics features casts ages eight to 18. For more info, call 678-961-3867 or visit www.fromthetoptheatrics.org.

M.J. Minicozzi, who just turned seven years old, has donated his birthday presents to our My Birthday Matters program for two years running. “It makes him feel really good,” said his mom Carrie.

M.J. (at right) and his family.

 “He said he likes knowing that donating his presents will help other kids be able to celebrate theirs.” Not every child stops to think about what the less fortunate experience, but M.J. is learning the value of giving back and helping others in his community, his mom says. He’s also spreading the job: Last year at his birthday party, M.J. inspired another young person, Addison Bendzsuk, to donate to SNGA’s birthday party. “We could not be prouder to watch him do this at such a young age!” his mom said. Great job, M.J.!

 

HOLIDAY SHOPPING? DON’T FORGET ABOUT AMAZON SMILE!

No doubt about it—ecommerce is changing the way we shop during the holidays. And there’s a great way to support SNGA even as you knock out your Christmas shopping on your iPad: Just go to smile.amazon.com, sign up for the program and choose Simple Needs GA from the list. After that, AmazonSmile will donate to SNGA each time you make a purchase! This can really add up during the holidays. Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!

GA GIVES DAY/#GIVING TUESDAY IS DEC. 3

GAgives  on #GivingTuesday is coming up on Dec. 3, and Simple Needs GA will be a part of the campaign—an initiative of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits that has raised more than $28 million from 160,000 people since 2012. The idea is to catalyze donations to Georgia nonprofits during peak giving season.

Here’s our profile page, which is already accepting donations:

https://www.gagives.org/organization/Simple-Needs-Ga

If you use our GAgives link to make a donation on Dec. 3, you can boost our odds of winning prizes that could help us reach even more people in need. Stay tuned for more info! 

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

 

Cobb Energy Centre Ushers Restock SNGA’s Warehouse with Huge Donation Drive

The volunteer ushers at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (CEPAC) continue to support SNGA in amazing ways. The latest example came on Nov. 4 at CEPAC’s annual volunteer dinner, where these generous folks presented Brenda with a huge haul of household and other items that they had collected for SNGA’s clients.

“The donations, which filled our entire donation room before we sorted them and put them away, included silverware, toasters, pots and pans, towels, comforters, blankets, pillows, coats, hats, gloves, scarves and much more,” Brenda said. “It was too many items to capture in a single photo! We are so grateful to the Cobb Energy Centre ushers. They have helped us again and again going back to at least 2014. These latest donations will make a huge difference for our clients. The CEPAC ushers are a great group of generous people!” 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 info, visit CEPAC’s volunteering page.

Donation Drive this Saturday (Oct. 19)!

“I want to thank you for my birthday gifts. I know my mom is going through a hard time right now and I did not expect to even get anything. We are very grateful. You do a very good thing for people like us.”
Handwritten note from a teenage boy living in a shelter; he received requested items for his birthday this past September via our My Birthday Matters program.

 

“From the bottom of my heart I am grateful for loving people who give to bring joy to others. Without your vision, love and blessing, my children, as well as others, would be without hope and joy. So thank you. I pray that one day I am able to give back and pay it forward.”
Mom staying at a local shelter whose children received birthday gifts from Simple Needs GA.

Greetings, all.
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Oct. 19, 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 Oct. 19, the next donation drives are on Nov. 2 and Nov. 16. Mark your calendars!

Top needs right now are:
BRAND NEW
• Kitchen trash cans
• Birthday wrapping paper
• Walmart gift cards for $25
• Mops
• Women’s size 7 underwear

NEW OR GENTLY USED
• TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy – tube or flat screen)
• Bunk beds
• Mattress pads
• Queen sheets
• Queen and twin comforters
• Vacuums
• DVD players
• Crockpots
• Microwaves
• Toasters
• Toaster ovens
• Coffee makers
• Casserole dishes (with lids preferred)
• Floor lamps

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

CALL FOR WINTER WEAR FOR OUR CLIENTS
With our fall donation drives in full swing, we’re now starting to collect coats, gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and other winter wear for our clients, as well as winter supplies like candles and sleeping bags for those who live in the woods. We especially need coats for boys (all sizes).

We take new and gently used, clean items. One way to increase your impact is to hold a drive among your friends, family, or neighborhood and church groups. You can collect the items on your own timetable and bring them to one of our donation drives on the first and third Saturdays of every month. But time is of the essence—the mercury will be dropping soon. Thanks!

ALL HANDS ON DECK!
We had a great Hands on Atlanta Day on Oct. 5th, with 36 volunteers from Fiserv (formerly First Data), a global provider of technology solutions to the financial world, along with several Simple Needs GA board members and regular volunteers.

“It was a very productive day; a lot was done in a short period of time,” said Brenda Rhodes, SNGA Founder and President. “Fiserv volunteers worked with team leads to sort clothing, assemble cleaning kits, put together Comfort Kits, organize different spaces at the warehouse, and more. Thanks to all of those who came out to lend a hand!”

Fiserv has been a consistent contributor to SNGA, both at annual Hands on Atlanta Days and by doing things like contributing cleaning kits for our clients. “We really appreciate Fiserv’s support of our mission,” Brenda said.

GA GIVES DAY/#GIVING TUESDAY—GET READY FOR THE (SOCIAL MEDIA) BLITZ! 😀
GA Gives on #GivingTuesday is coming up on Dec. 3, and Simple Needs GA will once again participate in the fast-growing campaign.

GAgives is an initiative of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits that has raised more than $28 million from 160,000 people since its start in 2012. The idea is to help nonprofits across the state by catalyzing donations during peak giving season.

To participate in the GAgives campaign, nonprofits set up a fundraising profile through GAgives.org. Here’s our profile page, which is already accepting donations:

https://www.gagives.org/organization/Simple-Needs-Ga

#GivingTuesday was started by different organizations and bills itself as “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” Since #GivingTuesday actually happens during the GAgives annual campaign, the Georgia Center for Nonprofits a few years ago rebranded its effort as “GAgives on #GivingTuesday.”

If you use our GAgives link to make a donation on Dec. 3, you can boost SNGA’s odds of winning prizes that could help us reach even more people in need.

Stay tuned for more info!

MORE SHOUT-OUTS…
• A great way you can help support our programs is by holding a Facebook birthday or other fundraiser. Thanks to Sharon Menear and Patrick Bordelon, Powder Springs City Councilman, for their recent SNGA birthday fundraisers!

• Gratitude, also, to Becky Shipley, Group Vice President, McCleskey-East Cobb & Northeast Cobb YMCA, for signing up Day of Service volunteers to put together My Birthday Matters no-sew blankets for homeless children. SNGA volunteer Jan Shearin (“The Blanket Lady”) helped Becky and the volunteers churn out lots of fluffy blankets for our clients. “We are so pleased to be a part of the Service Day,” Brenda said. “The volunteers also put together some school supply kits for our birthday kids, which we really appreciate!”

KSU Minorities in Medicine group, volunteering, Simple Needs GA
Members of KSU’s Minorities in Medicine group

• We also received some valuable help once again from KSU’s Minorities in Medicine (MIM) group. On Sept. 28, students from MIM came out to our warehouse to volunteer. Bryan Okosun, a junior biology major minoring in chemistry, organized the event as the volunteer chair for KSU’s MIM chapter. “We have volunteered with your organization in the past and loved it!” he said. The organization’s mission is to empower and enlighten minorities in medicine by exposing them to resources and opportunities that will help them succeed. The group gives them access to beneficial networking opportunities, workshops and experiences and promotes academic excellence, scholarly behavior and individual growth.

• Lastly, thanks so much to Ginny, James and all of the other volunteers from Circle K Kiwanis; these old friends pitched in at our warehouse on Sept. 28, and we really enjoyed rolling up our sleeves and getting to work with them. And we truly appreciate the First United Methodist Church of Marietta for including us as a project for its Day of Service on Oct. 12. It was a very productive morning with wonderful folks!

CALL FOR FURNITURE VOLUNTEERS!
Demand for our furniture program is running high. We need more help from people who own pickup trucks and/or have the ability to move furniture.

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

For more info, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

‘By the Truckload’: Volunteer Russ Marshall Gives Back to People in Need

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT
Late last fall, West Cobb resident Russell Marshall, known by friends and family as “Russ,” learned about Simple Needs GA from his wife, Judy.

As she gave him details about SNGA, Judy added that the organization needed truck owners to help out with deliveries for its Simple Household Needs program. Having retired in 2012 after 39 years as a bank regulator with the FDIC, Russ seized the opportunity to put his truck to use. However, there is more to why Russ spends his free time reaching out to those in need.

Simple Needs GA volunteers
Russ and Judy

He was inspired to help after seeing Brenda Rhodes, SNGA president and founder, speak about the organization at Christ Lutheran Church, 176 W. Sandtown Rd. SW. Russ says the concern Brenda showed for those in difficult circumstances convinced him to commit more fully to SNGA and its various programs.

Brenda herself speaks highly of his contributions. “Russ does mostly furniture but also delivers birthdays for our My Birthday Matters program,” she said. “He does pretty much anything we ask of him and has made an invaluable contribution to Simple Needs GA, often working hand-in-hand with our clients.”

Specific encounters with clients continue to motivate Russ to meet the needs of others, he says.

One instance involved a physically disabled woman who spoke of living “a rough life.” While completing a routine delivery on her behalf, Russ noticed she was struggling, due to a mild visual impairment, to fill out the required delivery forms. Then, he asked her to wait a moment while he got a pair of reading glasses from his gym bag that he had purchased at a Dollar Tree. The price? You guessed it. As she tried them on, she shook with joy and repeatedly thanked him until he couldn’t help but feel equally awestruck at how much one dollar had immediately improved this woman’s life.

Now, about a year after Russ decided to act on SNGA’s need for truck drivers, Brenda reflects further on his remarkable commitment to SNGA. “He has been with us almost every Saturday – often until 3 or 4 in the afternoon – since he contacted us this past November to volunteer,” she said. “We’re very grateful for Russ’s help!”

Wondering how you can help people in need? Easy. Simple Needs GA can still use further assistance with furniture deliveries. In addition, please see our list of needed donations.

And if you need inspiration before reaching out, simply talk to Russ.

–Contributing writer Andrew Tull is a recent PR graduate of Kennesaw State University.

Upcoming donation drives–and SNGA news!

“The best feeling in the world is, at last, knowing someone actually loves doing great, life-saving things.”—a child who received birthday presents from our My Birthday Matters program

[Click here for the SignUp Genius to purchase current needs in this program.]

“I’ve honestly never met a person/organization so kind and that goes out of their way to help a struggling single mother and children. Truly a blessing.”—client of our Simple Household Needs program

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly donation drives are on Sept. 7 and Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org for the address of our Marietta warehouse or if you have any questions.

Top needs right now are:
BRAND NEW

  • kitchen garbage cans
  • footballs for youth
  • Toys/gifts babies (under the age of 1)
  • Books: Dr. Seuss, character, board, chapter books for tweens (including classics)
  • stuffed dogs, unicorns, wolves, and tigers

NEW OR GENTLY USED

  • TVs (cable-ready and not too large/heavy)
  • bath towels
  • Crockpots
  • microwaves
  • toasters
  • irons/ironing boards
  • vacuums
  • coffee makers
  • Casserole dishes (with lids preferred)

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

 

11ALIVE FEATURES SIMPLE NEEDS GA
Thanks so much to Jay Plyburn (pictured) of 11Alive for doing a very nice segment about Simple Needs GA on My East Cobb News.

Jay Plyburn

(Michelle Solicitto told Jay about us via Facebook. Thanks, Michelle!)

In addition to being a reporter, Jay is also an entertainer, storyteller and filmmaker (check out his IMDb page). He dropped by the warehouse to interview Brenda Rhodes, SNGA President and Founder, take a tour and learn more about Simple Needs GA. Jay also visited our separate storage space for furniture.

“Jay did a great job,” Brenda said. “It’s very well-edited and is a nice overview of what we do. We really appreciate it and will be staying tuned to My East Cobb News.”

If you have a good East Cobb story for Jay, feel free to email mynews@11alive.com.

LOOKING GOOD: SEPHORA EAST COBB RUNS BACK-TO-SCHOOL DRIVE FOR SNGA
Customers and associates at Sephora East Cobb (The Avenue, 4475 Roswell Rd.) recently donated about 25 brand-new backpacks filled with school supplies to Simple Needs GA as part of a back-to-school donation drive. During the event, held July 27-Aug. 2, a few of the customers even availed themselves of free makeovers in the Beauty Studio!

Nina and fam with backpacks

“The backpacks will come in handy for our My Birthday Matters program (SignUp Genius link here) focused on serving homeless schoolchildren in Cobb County,” Brenda said. “Thanks so much to Nina Jomaa, Director of Sephora East Cobb, for putting together this very thoughtful promotion and donation drive!”

Nina found out about Simple Needs GA from a friend who forwarded her one of our newsletters. She used in-store fliers and Sephora’s social media pages to let customers know about the drive and makeover promotion. Nina [PICTURED] came by the next day to see our warehouse and deliver the backpacks.

Hardworking furniture volunteers

Donors responded enthusiastically to the drive, Nina said. While the makeovers were available, she said, the vast majority of customers just wanted to help children in need. “They loved the idea we were doing this,” Nina said. “It was a great experience!”

SIMPLE HOUSEHOLD NEEDS IS GOING STRONG!
On the first Saturday of this month, volunteers with our Simple Household Needs program picked up furniture from 10 donors and delivered furniture to eight different clients across Cobb County! Meanwhile, at our Marietta warehouse, Simple Needs GA volunteers worked hand-in-hand with clients to help them select small household items of every kind. “On Sunday, I went back to the warehouse and helped three more clients because we couldn’t fit everyone in on Saturday,” Brenda Rhodes said. “This program is growing so fast: By this time last year, we had helped 67 families and individuals; as of Aug. 7, 2019, that number stood at 82!” READ MORE

CHRIST LUTHERAN CHURCH—A SOFT TOUCH!
This past spring, Christ Lutheran Church saw our plea on Facebook and gave us 72 brand-new pillows donated by its members in the course of just one week. Now the congregation at 176 W. Sandtown Rd. SW has donated another set of about 45 comfy pillows for our clients. “Their timing was perfect!” Brenda said. “We were almost out. Over the last week alone, we have given out close to 20 of the pillows donated by the church.”

Pillows for sleeping are such a personal item that we never take used ones. “They can be fairly expensive and tend to be in short supply,” Brenda said. “Thanks again to Christ Lutheran for its ‘soft touch’!”

Kyleigh Hall, O’Dell & O’Neal

O’DELL & O’NEAL COMES THROUGH AGAIN FOR MBM
Marietta-based O’Dell & O’Neal Attorneys, 506 Roswell Street, supports our My Birthday Matters program by making a monthly donation of brand-new birthday gifts and various useful items. Pictured is Kyleigh Hall, the firm’s Communications Manager, with part of a birthday package for a little girl. Thanks so much to Kyleigh, Justin O’Dell and the whole team for making sure homeless children in Cobb have the birthdays they deserve!

A WORD OF THANKS TO PROMO CAT!
When Simple Needs GA’s clients receive one of our Comfort Kits filled with full-sized toiletries, they also get a clean, new water bottle. It’s easy to understand how helpful that can be given the 95-degree heat we’ve been having this month!

Nicole BuShea

We just wanted to thank Nicole BuShea (PICTURED) for supplying our Comfort Kits program with 2,250 brand-new water bottles since 2017. Due to the generosity of Nicole’s Marietta-based Promo Cat, a promotional products and apparel company, SNGA has more money to spend on other client needs, said Brenda Rhodes, SNGA President and Founder. “Brand-new water bottles can be expensive,” Brenda said. “Promo Cat provides these bottles at cost and covers the shipping as well. We’re so grateful to Nicole for filling this important ‘simple need’ of our clients.”

Nicole said she’s glad to help Brenda and SNGA. “The individual programs Simple Needs GA provides to children and families in need are invaluable,” Nicole said. “Supporting them, even in small measures, is one way we can help them continue their mission and impact our community.”

Promo Cat offers custom-branded products and creative solutions to local businesses, church groups, nonprofits and more www.promocat.net/@promocatllc on Facebook.

Lust, Rhodes and Rhodes

JULY 4TH SPRINGSFEST YIELDS $1,087 FOR SNGA CLIENT NEEDS
On July 4th, Simple Needs GA was a nonprofit beneficiary of the annual SpringsFest celebration in Powder Springs. Earlier this week, Powder Springs City Councilman Henry Lust (PICTURED, LEFT), as well as Petergaye Rhodes of the Powder Springs Business Group, dropped by to drop off the check for $1,087.

“We’re so honored to have been selected as the primary nonprofit recipient this year,” Brenda said. “This money will help support our mission of serving people in need in Cobb County. Thanks so much to everyone in the great City of Powder Springs!”

MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH RECURRING DONATIONS
If you regularly make donations to Simple Needs GA (or would like to!), we’d love it if you would consider making your donation automatically recur each month. Just go to SimpleNeedsGA.org, click one of the “donate” buttons and then check “make this donation recurring (monthly).”

You can use your credit card or a PayPal account for these donations. However, if you plan to routinely donate online to SNGA, you might consider signing up for a PayPal Giving Fund account. PayPal Giving Fund charges no fees to enrolled charities, so all of your donations will go to SNGA!

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

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

THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

Simple Household Needs is going strong!

On the first Saturday of this month, volunteers with our Simple Household Needs program picked up furniture from 10 donors and delivered furniture to eight different clients across Cobb County! Meanwhile, at our Marietta warehouse, Simple Needs GA volunteers worked hand-in-hand with clients to help them select small household items of every kind.Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 8.54.16 AM

“On Sunday, I went back to the warehouse and helped three more clients because we couldn’t fit everyone in,” said Brenda Rhodes, SNGA Founder and President. “This program is growing so fast: By this time last year, we had helped 67 families and individuals; as of Aug. 7, 2019, that number stood at 82!”

Our Simple Household Needs program supports people in Cobb County who are emerging from homelessness or are otherwise in need. We collect new or gently used furniture, beds and household items that can help people in need turn a house or apartment into a home. In some cases, these are moms with children who have fled a domestic abuser and have almost no possessions. Some of our clients were even sleeping on the floor or an air mattress before they received beds from SNGA.

We deliver the furniture to clients, then they come by our space to pick out kitchen, bath and bed household items. We try to have everything on our list available. For the most part, the program depends on donations, although we do purchase some items occasionally. “Clients typically are very surprised at how much we give them as they stuff their vehicles!” Brenda said.

20190727_171527

Right now, we could really use donations of queen and full mattresses and box springs; TVs (cable ready and not too heavy/large), end tables, nightstands and bookshelves. Other furniture is welcome as well; since our needs change all the time, please email brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have anything to donate. Here are our furniture donation guidelines.

We’re always in need of smaller household items as well. Here’s a full list of our needed items. We ask that smaller items are brought to one of our Donation Drives which are held on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Another growing need for this program–financial donations.

Serving more clients means higher costs for rental trucks, gas and labor. “We’re spending much more this year than last year,” Brenda said. “Just a few years ago, our budget was $100 a month. Now it’s over $2K. And, unlike some other agencies which provide furniture, we do not charge our clients any fees.”

On the volunteering front, we could always use more help from those with trucks and/or the ability to move furniture. On Aug. 3, SNGA had a virtual caravan of help. “We had people driving a rental truck; a pickup truck with trailer; and three additional pickup trucks, and of course all the ‘muscle’ and logistical help needed to move all the furniture,” Brenda said. “On other Saturdays, though, we have very little help as our ‘regulars’ are all busy.”

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

Our Simple Household Needs program really is making a difference in our community. Consider this note from one of our clients:

“Simple Needs GA helped me in a time of a frustrating transition. I was just leaving a domestic violence shelter and pregnant with my first child. Simple Needs GA took most of the burden of moving and starting over off of me and made my home feel comfortable and safe. For that I will be forever grateful for Ms. Brenda and all of the volunteers.”

For more info, email brenda@simpleneedsga.org

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF PEOPLE IN NEED!

Volunteers Furniture Aug 3 2019 (2)
Hardworking Simple Household Needs volunteers!