Call for committee volunteers!

Greetings, all.

We wanted to let you know about a great opportunity to do even more for people in need through Simple Needs GA. Over the next few months, we will be forming several new volunteer committees. If you’re interested, please consider joining one! Here’s a more in-depth look at what we have in mind…

  • FUNDRAISING
    Volunteer members of our fundraising committee will work to build strong relationships with current and potential funders, including foundations, corporate sponsors, churches, service organizations and individuals. By generating new ideas and discovering new opportunities that can help us meet or exceed our revenue goals, members of the fundraising committee will make a vital contribution to SNGA.
  • _SCD6888EVENTS (AND RELATED SUBCOMMITTEES)
    SNGA is planning a major fundraising event at The Strand Theatre in downtown Marietta. Our events committee needs volunteers to serve on subcommittees geared toward making our Strand and other events the best they can be. Activities will include selling sponsorships, managing volunteers, getting the word out and more.
  • MY BIRTHDAY MATTERS (MBM)
    Members of this committee will help SNGA perform a wonderful service—bringing brand-new toys, school supplies, new underwear and other useful items to homeless schoolchildren and those living in local shelters who are celebrating their birthdays. Members will organize wish-list toy drives, shop for presents, research MBM needs, lead volunteers on volunteer days, deliver the gifts to the children and much more.
  • SHOE THEM LOVE
    This program helps disadvantaged schoolchildren get the uplifting experience of having brand-new shoes of their own. Members of this committee will work to increase donations of $25 gift cards for the purchase of new shoes. They will also work to grow the program and support its operations, in part by collaborating with school counselors and the committee chair.
  • COMFORT BAGS FOR PEOPLE IN NEED
    SNGA has distributed thousands of duffel bags packed with full-sized toiletries to people checking into local emergency shelters. This committee will plan our drives, research ways to get in-kind donations and work to expand the number of people reached by this valuable program.
  • PUBLIC RELATIONS/COMMUNITY OUTREACH
    Join us to help write and distribute press releases, email blasts and blog posts and keep our social media sites up-to-date and vibrant. Volunteers with experience in journalism, public relations, graphic design and SEO are preferred, but anyone with strong communications skills is welcome to apply.

The schedules and required time commitments for all of the above committees and subcommittees will vary; members will need to be able to regularly attend meetings, either face-to-face or via conference calls. For more information, contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. You can also reach us at Facebook.com/simpleneedsga and @simpleneedsga on Twitter.

Thanks for your support of people in need!

Heads up! June 21st donation drive!

“My daughter said she is beyond excited about her gifts. I mean she looooves her gifts, especially the blanket. Thank you for this; I am so grateful.”

The quote above comes from the mom of a 9-year-old girl who had a great birthday with help from our My Birthday Matters program. Thanks so much for your support of our mission. You’re making a real difference in the lives of people in need!

We wanted to let you know about our upcoming donation drive. On Sat., June 21, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we will be accepting donations at our warehouse and also offering tours for those who would like to learn more about us. Please email us at info@simpleneedsga.org for our address.

We’re collecting:
• Brand-new items such as underwear and socks of all sizes; birthday candles; kids’ wrapping paper; coloring books; no-sew blanket kits or fleece; basketballs, soccer balls and footballs; art kits and art supplies, including paper. These items are for My Birthday Matters._SCD7535

• Gently used household items and smaller appliances (no large furniture), as well as bedding, kitchen and bath items, TVs and microwaves. These items are for our Simple Household Needs program, the Cobb and Douglas County Community Services Board and for other agencies that help people coming out of homelessness or who are otherwise in need.

• Any lightly used children’s books for all ages. MUST Ministries will hand out the books during its summer lunch program.

• Pet food (can be opened bags) for a local teenager who has a mission of helping lower-income folks who own dogs and cats.

• Items for the Children’s Room at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page for a full description of what’s needed.

If you don’t have anything to donate at this time, you may contribute by sending in a check or donating online.

smile.amazon.com is a great way to support SNGA. Just sign up for the program and choose Simple Needs GA from the list. After that, AmazonSmile will donate to SNGA each time you make a purchase! Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!

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

You can also support us by using Goodsearch. Every online search you make turns into a donation to SNGA! Other options to help are GoodShop and GoodDining.

Lastly, if you are someone who loves yard sales, ask for donations from the sellers, especially if it’s near the end of the day. They might have items for our clients or the other agencies we support.

Thanks for your support of people in need!

Giving back: May 17 donation drive!

“If the house isn’t clean, the children suffer.”

This is from a thank-you note from a parent who received a cleaning kit from our Simple Household Needs program. “I always buy food first of course,” she said. “Buying cleaning supplies is last.  Thank you so much for this cleaning kit. It made me so happy and relieved.

We want to thank you for your continued support of Simple Needs GA and its mission to help others. In addition to the cleaning kits, we also help those who are coming out of homelessness with essentials when they find a new place to live. In so doing, we strive to help other agencies in our area as well. We like to “fill in the cracks” of need wherever we can!

On Sat., May 17, from 9:30 a.m-1:00 p.m., we will be accepting donations once again at our warehouse and offering tours for those who would like to learn more about us.

Please take a look around your home to find items you no longer need. We are collecting:

  • Any gently used household items and smaller appliances (no large furniture); think of what you would need if you started over as many families do (bedding, kitchen and bath, TVs, microwaves). These items are for the Cobb/Douglas Community Services Board and other agencies that help those coming out of homelessness.
  • Any lightly used children’s books for MUST Ministries to hand out during their summer lunch program.
  • Pet food (can be opened bags) for a local teenager who has a mission of helping lower-income folks who own dogs and cats.
  • Items for the Children’s Room at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia – see full list of what’s needed.
  • New kids’ underwear and socks; birthday candles to be used for our My Birthday Matters program; new coloring books and new basketballs, soccer balls and footballs.

If you don’t have anything to donate at this time, you may contribute by sending in a check or donating online.  Also, when purchasing anything at Amazon.com, please use the link smile.amazon.com and choose “Simple Needs GA” as your agency. We’ll get a % of your purchase. And don’t forget to help us by registering with Kroger Community Rewards (read about it here).

Lastly, if you are someone who loves yard sales, ask for donations from the sellers especially if it’s near the end of the day. They might have items our clients or the other agencies we support need.

These gifts make a real difference. On March 15, for example, several of you donated some household items. Mary Robeck of the Cobb/Douglas Community Service Board had this to say in thanks:

“It is difficult to describe how much it means to a person with a mental illness, especially one who has not had his or her own place to live, or who has been completely homeless, to not only be offered a place to call home, but to also be given necessary household items that had been donated by complete strangers! People who suffer from mental illness often feel lonely, uncared for, and neglected by the community; so, just knowing that people cared enough to donate items that they could use touches their hearts.”

We hope everyone is having a great spring! Thanks again for thinking of those in need.

btn_donateCC_LG

What a great month for SNGA!

While at a local emergency shelter on March 21, Simple Needs GA founder Brenda Rhodes got into a conversation with one of the residents who had received a blue duffel bag packed with full-sized toiletries provided by SNGA’s donors and volunteers. “He said the bag was very useful and appreciated, because many of the residents don’t have anything but garbage bags in which to put their belongings,” Benda said. “He added that this donation was different than other things just dropped off. It was obvious that we put thought into the bags.”

Through your financial contributions, in-kind donations and willingness to volunteer, you make it possible for SNGA to brighten the lives of people facing circumstances many of us could hardly imagine. Thanks so much for all your help!

Below is an update on some of the tremendous support we have received over the past month alone. BTW, you might recall that an anonymous donor pledged to match any donation provided to SNGA in the month of March (up to a total of $2,500). If you were planning to make a contribution, there’s one week left in our “March Madness” campaign!

_SCD7538
March 15 volunteers

On March 15, we had an incredible volunteer day. A total of 45 people from all over metro Atlanta helped us pack 320 toiletries bags, assemble shelves, put together a birthday package for a homeless child, organize our My Birthday Matters storage area, take inventory and more.

“We had a lot of household donations, many of which will go to the Cobb/Douglas Community Service Board, which helps people get set up in apartments,” Brenda said. A few volunteers even came on Friday night to help SNGA get the warehouse ready for the volunteer day. The eclectic group included experienced SNGA volunteers and members of local churches, high schools, MUST Ministries, Family Promise, JLL Atlanta and IBM. A family of five, who had discovered SNGA online, came to volunteer, and another couple popped by for a tour of the warehouse after connecting with Brenda on Facebook. “They came by for just a tour at 11:30 and then ended up volunteering with us until 1:30!” Brenda said. “Our last donation came in at 1:20! We ended up with some great household donations. I cannot thank everyone enough for all their hard work and energy and the great ‘vibe’!”

Then on March 19, more than 100 volunteers from JLL Atlanta put together more than 300 duffel bags for us, assembled 18 no-sew blankets for My Birthday Matters, and even drove the bags from JLL Atlanta’s office in Buckhead to our Marietta warehouse. Click here to see our press release on JLL Atlanta’s important contribution to SNGA.IMG_1827

Earlier this year, JLL Atlanta ordered and paid for $4,700 worth of supplies for SNGA’s toiletries program. Largely as a result of this, we have been able to expand our program and deliver full-sized toiletries to more than 300 additional shelter residents at Family Promise of Cobb CountyThe Extension, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia and Zion Keepers!

“Thanks for donating care packs to assist homeless veterans,” wrote Cassandra Lawson of Zion Keepers, on SNGA’s Facebook page. “Being that many of them come in with nothing, you have absolutely met the needs of many! God Bless!”

What a great March indeed! Thanks so much for your support of people in need!

####

‘March Madness’ at SNGA

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

Simple Needs GA received this heartfelt thank-you letter last month from the parent of a student at Sawyer Road Elementary. This family was the latest to benefit from SNGA’s My Birthday Matters program, which brings items such as brand-new toys, school supplies, no-sew blankets, and cupcakes and candles to disadvantaged schoolchildren celebrating their birthdays. It’s just one example of how your financial contribution to SNGA can make a real difference in the lives of people in need.

We also wanted to tell you about an exciting opportunity to do even more good in your community: Recently, an anonymous donor approached SNGA and offered to match the size of any donation made (up to $2,500 total) during the month of March! That’s right—this incredibly generous individual has pledged to double your gift. We’re calling it March Madness!

(If you’d like to donate now, just click here.)

You could even score a “three pointer”: By some estimates, 65 percent of Fortune 500 companies match donations made by their employees. That means there’s a chance your employer could triple your donation by matching your gift as well. Just contact your HR department to find out about any available matching program.b099Sports-Basketball

Some other quick updates:

1. Next Volunteer Day: On Sat., March 15, from 9 a.m. to noon, we’ll be meeting at our location in Marietta to pack duffel bags of full-sized toiletries for people in need. Thanks to your previous donations, we are excited to expand our duffel project to add four new shelters—Family Promise of Cobb County, the Extension, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia and Zion Keepers—so we need all the volunteers we can get! Let us know if you can help. (The minimum age to volunteer with us is 8; anyone under 18 needs to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.) Just email info@simpleneedsga.org to sign up and receive further details.

2. Needed Items (can be dropped off on March 15): We continue to get lots of requests for basic necessities—especially things that can help people get their start in a new home. If you have any small household items such as towels, sheets (marked with size), countertop appliances, items for the kitchen or bath, etc., please bring them with you on March 15. (You can drop them off if you can’t volunteer.) In addition, we need fleece (1.5 yards of a pattern and 1.5 yards of a matching color) or no-sew blanket kits, birthday candles and new underwear for kids. Lastly, we will be collecting donations of pet food to support The Pet Pantry, a community service project started by a high school student to support the pets of families who rely on food pantries.

3. SNGA Teams with Kroger: Just by swiping your Kroger Plus card, you can generate donations for SNGA—without losing any of your existing discounts or rewards. Just click on our press release for more info!

Thanks for your support of people in need!

An ‘Ellen’ appearance for SNGA? :-D

If you’re a regular viewer of TV’s ‘Ellen,’ you know her sign off is always “Be kind to one another.” Nothing typifies this spirit more than the fantastic nonprofit organization Random Acts, which seeks to promote kindness around the world and even sponsors the Annual Melee of Kindness (AMOK). The global day of kindness takes place this year on Sat., March 1.

Recently, Simple Needs GA founder Brenda Rhodes met with four local college students working for RA/AMOK. They were kind enough to donate eight bags of full-sized toiletries to SNGA’s toiletries program for people staying at a local emergency shelter. The students–Allison Law, Corinne Law, Brancey Montgomery and Kristina Fowler–created a video to submit to Ellen’s segments on AMOK and Random Acts.

“It was wonderful to see young people who are so interested in giving back to the community and who are so inspired by the power of random acts of kindness,” Brenda said. “Last year, the AMOK event had 498 participants who did 156 acts of kindness in 18 countries.The Random Acts/AMOK concept is so inspiring!”

When new guests arrive at the shelter, they often do not have much with them, sometimes only the clothes on their backs. In the video, Brenda explains the basic idea for SNGA’s program: To help people feel more comfortable–and “de-stress” a little–SNGA provides them with a duffel bag containing toiletries and other items they will need during their possible six-week stay at the shelter (all larger-size toiletries, not the travel or sample size). “Each year, we need lots of bags–approximately 1,000 or more,” Brenda says. “They currently contain about 15 items in the men’s bags and about 21 in the women’s.”

If you or your church or other group would be interested in helping with SNGA’s duffel bag project, either by purchasing items, donating money, or buying all the items and putting the bags together, please contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. A small or large contribution will really make a difference to the residents.

So will Brenda be on TV when Ellen airs AMOK videos from around the world? Stay tuned!

Thanks for all your support of people in need!

Getting Results: An Update from SNGA!

“My kids have not had new shoes in a long time. Now they can run and play and their feet don’t hurt. Thank you to everybody at this place. God will bless you, too.”

_SCD6888
UCB vols and SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes (right) on Hands on Atlanta Day, Oct. 5.

Simple Needs GA received this heartwarming thank-you card, which included a kid’s drawing of a pair of sneakers, a few weeks ago after our new Shoe Them Love program provided the kids in this disadvantaged family something they would otherwise have gone without—new pairs of clean, well-fitting shoes. Another child who received new shoes told his mom he wanted to stay inside to avoid getting dirt on his first pair of shiny new sneaks!

Meanwhile, SNGA has started delivering birthday presents to homeless children via our My Birthday Matters program. One of the first recipients, a little boy staying at a local emergency shelter, was thrilled with his new football. “I play with it every day!” he said. Through a pilot program at Sawyer Road Elementary, a 7-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl received new books, basketballs, toys, school supplies, underwear and even cupcakes and candles!

It’s so exciting to see how our new programs are getting off the ground—and getting results. And of course, none of this would have been possible without the amazing generosity of our donors and volunteers. Thank you so much!

Next week, there’s a great opportunity to help us continue in this work: Simple Needs GA will participate in Georgia Gives Day, an annual event sponsored by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits in which people from across the state pull together to support organizations and causes they believe in. On Nov. 13, more than $200,000 in prizes will be distributed to participating nonprofits. By going to SNGA’s Georgia Gives Day page and making a donation, for example, you could be randomly selected for a “Golden Ticket,” adding an extra $1,000 to your gift!2013 GGD Logo

We hope you’ll check out our Georgia Gives Day page and make a donation—and feel free to spread the word about SNGA’s participation in the event!

In other news, we wanted to thank the 50 volunteers—33 volunteers from UCB Inc. and 17 from SNGA—who helped out at our Marietta warehouse on Hands on Atlanta Day, Oct. 5! These generous folks wrapped presents for My Birthday Matters, put together 300 bags of full-sized toiletries for people experiencing homelessness and wrote notes on 112 holiday cards for friends of SNGA! The volunteer day was a great success!

UCB vols assemble toiletries bags on HOA Day!
UCB vols assemble toiletries bags on HOA Day!

We also wanted to thank the eight-or-so donors who were kind enough to drop off new toys, winter supplies and other items. As the cold weather sets in, the winter supplies will be extremely helpful for people experiencing homelessness. As you know, SNGA continues to provide tents, tarps, sleeping bags, candles and other useful items through our program for people living in the woods.

Lastly, our fall donation drives are in full swing. We’re collecting winter supplies, toys and other useful items at our Marietta warehouse on Sat., Nov. 9. Please join us if you can! We’re also collecting items for a great cause: the new children’s room at the YWCA of Northwest Georgia. For more on the stuff we need, click here.

We’ve got lots more planned for the year ahead. Please visit this blog and our Facebook page for regular updates. More information about our programs is also available at SimpleNeedsGA.org.

Thanks for your support of people in need!