SpringsFest July 4th Event Benefits SNGA!

On July 4th, Simple Needs GA is the nonprofit beneficiary of the annual SpringsFest celebration in Powder Springs!

That means you can go listen to live bands, sample delicious fare from local food trucks, shop artisan vendors and, of course, watch a thrilling fireworks display, all while supporting our mission of helping people in need in our community!

“We are so honored to have been chosen as the nonprofit beneficiary of this fantastic community event,” said Brenda Rhodes, founder and president of SNGA. “Thanks so much to Powder Springs City Councilman and SNGA supporter Henry Lust for nominating us, and to everyone at the city and the Powder Springs Business Group for their generous support of Simple Needs GA! We are thrilled!”

Located at Ball Park (3899 Brownsville Rd.), the third-annual event is being held on the 4th of July for the first time and is expected to draw thousands of people. Top sponsors include Croy Engineering and GreyStone Power.

The event starts at 4 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m.

In addition to the fireworks, SpringFest will include food trucks such as Bills Grills on Wheels, Daddy’s Girl, Kona Ice and Edna’s Bayou Bistro, along with vendors such as Snapology of Powder Springs, South Cobb Arts Alliance, Radical Scholars and Simone Art. There will be live music and kid-friendly fun such as a video game truck, a face-painting booth and bouncy houses.

Visit the SpringsFest website for more information on how you can volunteer and/or sponsor the event as a vendor.

“We would also love it if you could spread the word about SpringsFest on social media and let your friends, family and church or other community groups know about the event,” Brenda said. “Be sure to use the hashtags #springsfest4th and #thisispowdersprings .”

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

 

 

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!

 

Next Donation Drive is Sat., July 20!

 “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. They made my home feel comfortable and safe. For that I will be forever grateful for Ms. Brenda and all of the Simple Needs GA volunteers.”
recent client of our furniture program.  

DONATION DRIVE ON SAT., JULY 20!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., July 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 July 6, we’ll have drives next month on Aug. 3 and Aug. 17. Mark your calendars!

Top needs are:
BRAND NEW

  • birthday wrapping paper for younger girls and boys
  • kitchen garbage cans
  • Dr. Seuss books
  • board books
  • chapter books for tweens, including classics
  • Amazon Fire 7 tablets and cases (might be on sale during Amazon Prime Day)
  • 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)
  • microwaves
  • toasters
  • irons/ironing boards
  • vacuums
  • coffee makers

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

THANKS AGAIN TO POWDER SPRINGS!
On July 4th, Simple Needs GA was honored to be the nonprofit beneficiary of the annual SpringsFest celebration in Powder Springs! Thousands of people came out to listen to live bands, sample delicious fare from local food trucks, shop artisan vendors and, of course, watch a thrilling fireworks display.

A portion of the proceeds went to SNGA.

True to form, Brenda Rhodes, SNGA founder and president, volunteered at the event for six hours, working with the vendors and, for a short time, at the bouncy house!Springsfest 2

“It was a pleasure seeing Powder Springs City Councilmen Henry Lust and Patrick Bordelon and their families, as well as Rev. Roger Vest from the First United Methodist Church of Power Springs who spent the day running around coordinating vendors and other logistics,” Brenda said. “We are incredibly grateful to the City of Powder Springs for their support!’

SALUTE TO WOODSTOCK HIGH SCHOOL ROTC!
We had a great group of volunteers on July 6 from Woodstock High School’s Navy Junior ROTC program. Thanks so much to Ben Simmons, Community Service Officer, for reaching out to Brenda and volunteering to pitch in. All told, seven students and two adults (PICTURED) came to our Marietta warehouse for the donation drive and volunteer day. 7.6.19 - Woodstock High School ROTC“They assembled duffle bags and did some other projects. They also sorted lots of donations and unloaded cars full of incoming items,” Brenda said. “As you’d expect, they were a disciplined, sharp and energetic group. Woodstock’s NJROTC can volunteer with us anytime!”

FACEBOOK BIRTHDAY FUNDRAISERS—A GREAT WAY TO SUPPORT OUR CLIENTS!
“I want to thank Simple Needs GA for all you did for my son and me. You helped me with a beautiful dresser set for my apartment, as well as providing a wonderful birthday package for my son’s seventh birthday! That was so awesome of you guys. I appreciate it wholeheartedly. You’re amazing!”

Receiving notes like this is part of what keeps our donors and volunteers so motivated to give back to our community. A great way you can help support our programs is by holding a Facebook birthday or other fundraiser.

Screen Shot 2019-07-14 at 6.23.02 AM

This month so far, our supporter Rob Bruce has raised $550 with a Facebook birthday fundraiser. “Rob used Facebook to raise $290 for our clients last year as well,” Brenda noted. “Thanks to Rob and everyone in our social media community for using these tools to make the world a better place. Happy birthday, Rob!”

YOU BLINKED. NOW IT’S TIME FOR BACK TO SCHOOL!
Can you believe it’s almost time for Back to School? For many families in need, this can be a particularly stressful time due to their inability to afford basics that most of us take for granted like school supplies and uniforms.

Our Uniforms for Excellence program helps schoolchildren in Cobb County “dress for success” by providing them with required school uniforms supplied by donors. These items include new or gently used khakis, skirts and polo shirts that meet the requirements of individual schools. (Some donors choose to fund the purchase of brand-new uniforms rather than donate the items themselves.)UniformsforExcellence

Simple Needs GA opened and continues to supply a school uniform closet at the Powder Springs United Methodist Church, where school social workers can find uniforms for the children they work with. We collect uniforms year-round and either add them to the PWUMC closet or distribute them to the Marietta City and Cobb County school uniform closets. If you’re interested in helping us with this, keep an eye on clearance racks at discount-oriented retailers like Walmart. On one trip, we found 10 pairs of khakis for just $7 or $9 each, along with 30 polos at just $3 each!

“Our dedicated volunteer Staci Bushey is using nextdoor.com to collect suitable uniform pieces from her neighbors,” Brenda said. “That can be a fantastic way to gear up for back to school. You could also start a drive at your church or company.”

A PRIME WAY TO HELP SNGA’S CLIENTS!
Amazon Prime members know that huge Prime Day sales are coming on July 15-16. If you’re planning to take advantage of those sales, consider selecting Simple Needs GA as your nonprofit of choice via the AmazonSmilegiving program.

“We’re getting pretty substantial donations from AmazonSmile, and those can increase with the higher volumes of Prime Day,” Brenda said. “And of course, it’s really cool when Prime users go to Smile and then buy new items for our clients using our list of current client needs!”

Here’s the specific link for Simple Needs GA: smile.amazon.com/ch/27-2889754 

PrimeDayLeadupAssetsPrimeDayLeadUP_600x200._CB442607434_

HEARTFELT GRATITUDE TO NEW RECENT DONORS
We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the tremendous support we have received over the past couple of months from Simple Needs GA donors.

The son of one of our former board members donates $100 a month to support our clients and has donated a total of $1,600 in addition to that this summer alone, in addition to $3,000 in 2018.

Another supporter, who attended our open house in April, has started to donate $50 a month as part of our Simply Caring recurring giving program.

A member of the GSO Chorus just donated $1,000 to support people in need in Cobb County and has also donated hundreds of dollars every year to SNGA. thank-you-road-sign-2

“It is truly inspiring to receive so much support from our community, and these funds are making a difference for our clients each and every day,” Brenda said. “The need in Cobb County is tremendous—far more than most people appreciate—and these checks translate directly into things like brand-new toys, school supplies, truck rental costs, cleaning kits and much more!”

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!

 

 

‘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!