Next Donation Drive: Sat., Jan. 20

“My mom said that there are many things that we could not get, but that God is good all the time. Thanks to Simple Needs GA we can have a few of these things. Thank you for my birthday gifts and the box springs and mattress! I slept good last night! My mom and me are really grateful that you helped us. We love you, Ms. Brenda!”
–text from an 11-year-old boy whose family recently received help from Simple Needs GA.

 

“The mother of six was grateful for the dresser. The young mom was very appreciative of the full box spring, and the 12-year-old boy cried when we carried in the twin bed with drawers and matching nightstand (the frame he had was in pieces).”
–Tracy, volunteer for our Simple Household Needs program

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVE!
The recent Arctic Freeze was a nippy reminder that having the right winter wear makes all the difference when the mercury plunges. Our clients still need winter items. Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Jan. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. If you can bring new or gently used sweaters, jackets, coats, mittens, gloves, hats, flannel shirts, blankets and the like, our clients would be most grateful to have them!

If you can’t make it on Jan. 20th, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. Next month that first-Saturday drive will be on Feb. 3, followed by the regular third-Saturday drive on Feb. 17. Mark your calendars!

Right now we’re very low on some much-needed items for our clients (gently used items, please; no stains or damage.). These include:

  • laptop computers for students
  • drinking glasses and dish sets
  • twin/full/queen mattresses, box springs, beds/frames
  • dining tables and chairs
  • dressers and chests of drawers
  • cable-ready TVs (not too heavy) as well as TV stands
  • nightstands/coffee tables
  • small household items
  • baby items such as pack and plays, strollers, high chairs and more

For a full list of needed items, please click here. Specific needs for our My Birthday Matters program are posted on our SignUpGenius.storage Dec 2017

Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have anything to donate at this time. For large furniture, please email photos; we will arrange for you to drop off or for us to pick up (in Cobb County). Thank you for your support!

GETTING RESULTS—THANKS TO OUR DONORS AND VOLUNTEERS!
This past year, Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters program helped 213 children, increasing from 139 in 2016. Our Simple Household Needs program brought furniture and household items to 110 families (up from 66 in 2016).

Meanwhile, as part of our 2017 Spirit of Christmas program, volunteers and donors came together to give $100 in requested gifts to 158 children in 59 families, all of whom also received extras like puzzles, board games and hats, gloves and scarves. Parent(s) also received at least one $25 Walmart card.

The hard work of our donors, volunteers and corporate partners is what makes this happen. Here are some shout outs to just a few of those who have supported Simple Needs GA of late:

 Two Men & A Truck continues to give back to its community in a big way. Over the past few months, the company has been extremely generous to Simple Needs GA, on several occasions sending its trucks and delivery pros to pickup furniture and household items from our donors and then bringing those items to our clients. It’s great to have a company on our team that cares so much about the community. To understand the effort and time this involves, just think about what it takes to help a friend move—getting the truck, sitting in traffic, loading and unloading furniture. Not easy! We are deeply grateful to Two Men & A Truck!two-men-and-a-truck-logo

John Silvey, managing partner of two Zaxby’s franchises in Marietta, located at 2080 Lower Roswell Road and 591 S. Marietta Pkwy, provided lunch, gratis, for our Christmas volunteers. Yeah, John! You’re awesome!

Holly Walther & Team with Success Mortgage Partners sponsored 20 children for Christmas! They also bought them extra items such as hats, gloves, scarves and games, and gift cards for the parents. And did we mention that Holly also brought four pies to us one Saturday for the volunteers?! Holly and her company (4343 Shallowford Rd. in Marietta) plan to continue to help us throughout the year. We’re so thankful. BTW, Ginny Braswell, who is part of Holly’s team, and her husband sponsored two additional children on top of all the work they did for the aforementioned 20. Ginny is a dedicated volunteer with Kiwanis and SNGA and recently donated furniture to SNGA to boot!

Johnny at Security Lock and Safe has helped Simple Needs GA several times at no charge. Located at 705 Roswell Street NE, not far from our furniture storage, this company recently came to our warehouse and fixed our lock after it froze in the cold and got stuck. A few months ago, Security Lock and Safe also swapped out the lock box at our storage space and charged us just for the new lock box, not the labor. Two years ago, they came over to our warehouse, pulled apart the lock box and took several trips back and forth to find parts so we wouldn’t have to pay for anything…all for free, no charge for labor!

Hollaran Party 2Lori Hollaran’s 13-year-old daughter Addy had a “toy drop” party along with 17 of her friends (photo). The group, which included Addy’s 15-year-old sister Rya, also made financial donations toward the purchase of toys for our clients.

In all, the party brought in about 50 toys! The children who made the donations were super-excited to visit our warehouse and deliver these items. “So glad we could be a part of this gift-giving season,” Lori said.

The Marietta law firm of O’Dell and O’Neal Attorneys generously donated a large amount of gift cards, gloves and games. We accepted them with no objections! 😀

Allison K. Giddens and the Kennesaw-based Dave Krache Foundation, which helps local kids play in community league sports even when they lack money for the usual fees, donated basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, and a travel soccer goal for our clients. Score!

Emmy and her team at WellStarIT collaborated to donate a plethora of games and winter hats (photo) for our clients.Emmy WellStarIT

Dedicated volunteer Chandra Burns and her husband Paul sponsored two kids at Christmas–and Paul’s coworkers from his company Conduent sponsored seven children!

Linda Bonstein and the rest of the YMCA’s Togetherhood community engagement committee made Angel “ornaments” and attached them to trees at the McCleskey and Northeast YMCAs. Y members chose one or more ornaments from the tree, bought the items those ornaments represented and then brought the gifts to the Y for delivery to SNGA. “I was so happy with our members’ response!” Linda said. These awesome gifts made our clients happy, too!

Tarver Lowe and his son, James, worked with James’s baseball team (Kennesaw Generals 9U) to sponsor families financially as part of our Spirit of Christmas program. “We chose Simple Needs GA because we wanted to instill in our kids the importance of giving back locally to their community,” Tarver said. “Our kids bonded together and are better as a team because of that. We were very proud of each one of them and the work they put in to help make a difference.”

So were we! Thanks so much for your support!

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP SNGA
Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.

To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at brenda@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

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!

 

Ending the Year with Good Deeds

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

Greetings, all.

As we say goodbye to 2017, we at Simple Needs GA just wanted to send you a quick note of thanks for all of your help over the past year.

There were too many highlights to mention in a single email, but the common denominator of all of them could be summed up in one word: people.

We truly are a community-based organization, with volunteers and clients of all ages and from all walks of life. Human connection—through social media, volunteer days and donation drives, churches, businesses, families and more—continues to fuel our growth and development as an organization.

This past year, our My Birthday Matters program helped 213 children, increasing from 139 in 2016. Our Simple Household Needs program brought furniture and household items to 110 families (up from 66 in 2016) with the help of tremendously dedicated volunteers and corporate partner Two Men and a Truck. Our Spirit of Christmas program was an amazing success: Volunteers and donors came together to give $100 in requested gifts to 155 children in 58 families, all of whom also received extras like puzzles, board games and hats, gloves and scarves; parent(s) also received at least one $25 Walmart card. Special thanks to George McKeehan, Fire Training Commander for the Marietta Fire Department, and his “elf” Jessica for delivering gifts to some of the families! The kids were thrilled! (see photo)

MariettaFireDelivery2None of our clients’ smiles would be possible without our wonderful donors, volunteers and supporters. Even a small donation or a few hours of your time go a long way in relieving some of the stress our families go through at difficult times in their lives.

We know this is true because they tell us so in such heartfelt ways. Take this text we recently received from a mom whose children received Christmas presents:

“I’m getting ready for bed. I got down on my knees and prayed. I thanked God for you and Paul, and your mission spirit. I thanked Him for all of you guys and your effort to help. God bless. Thank you. I cried for a while, both happy and sad tears. If you ever doubt for one second, just remember that you changed someone’s life today. I will always remember that and be extremely thankful and grateful.”

Have a Happy New Year full of Peace, Love and Joy.

https://simpleneedsgablog.com/donate/

Christmas program update / Dec. 16 Donation Drive

“They are the sweetest group of people I have met yet. They helped me and my children big time! 5 stars!”—Simple Needs GA client

 “We were so moved by seeing the extent of your work for the community. Cobb County is lucky to have you and Simple Needs GA to address what so many of us take for granted.”—SNGA donor

HO HO HO! IT’S THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS!
Greetings, all.

Christmas is almost here, and that means it’s time to ramp up SNGA’s Spirit of Christmas program!

Our goal is to provide children with three or four gifts worth $100 per child in total and parents with $25 Walmart cards. We also add at least one board game per family depending on the age and number of children. If we have enough donations, we’ll include some winter accessories for the kids, such as hats, gloves and scarves.

Our program kicks into full gear late in the season with a burst of volunteer activity right up until Christmas Eve. That’s because we help families that, for any number of reasons, were unable to sign up for other programs earlier.

In 2015, SNGA’s Spirit of Christmas gave gifts to 86 kids. Last year, that number climbed to 150!

It’s all thanks to you!

You can help in any number of ways: sponsor a family or child; encourage your company or group to hold a toy drive (or collectively sponsor a family or two); purchase board games, $25 Walmart cards and/or hats/gloves/scarves; volunteer and/or deliver gifts between Dec 20 and 24; provide financial support.

Please let us know how you would like to assist this year by emailing brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVE!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Dec. 16, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. If you can donate new or gently used sweaters, jackets, coats, mittens, gloves, hats, flannel shirts, blankets—anything that could help a person stay warm—please do bring those items if you can.

If you can’t make it on Dec. 16th, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. Next month that first-Saturday drive will be on Jan. 6, followed by the regular third-Saturday drive on Jan. 20. Mark your calendars!

Right now we’re very low on some much-needed items for our clients (gently used items, please; no stains or damage.). These include:

  • twin/full/queen mattresses, box springs, beds/frames
  • dining tables and chairs
  • dressers and chests of drawers
  • cable-ready TVs (not too heavy) as well as TV stands
  • nightstands/coffee tables
  • small household items
  • baby items such as pack and plays, strollers, high chairs and more

For a full list of needed items, please click here. Specific needs for our My Birthday Matters program are posted on our SignUpGenius.

Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have anything to donate at this time. For large furniture, please email photos; we will arrange for you to drop off or for us to pick up.

Thank you for your support!

HOLIDAY SHOPPING? DON’T FORGET ABOUT AMAZON SMILE!
No doubt about it—ecommerce is bringing about huge changes in the way people shop during the holidays. Fortunately, there’s a great way to support SNGA as you sit on your couch and 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! Just remember to go to the smile.amazon.com portal before you do your shopping!s7-j0saE

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 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

SNGA IN THE NEWS
In case you didn’t see it, check out our new blog post about some nice recognition Brenda and SNGA have received this month! And thanks for all your support of SNGA!

https://simpleneedsgablog.com/2017/12/01/inthenews/

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP ON GAGIVES + GIVING TUESDAY!
On Nov. 28, Simple Needs GA participated in GAgives and the #GivingTuesday campaign. We just wanted to thank the generous folks who donated more than $2,800 in total to help people in need in our community. Fantastic! 😀

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP SNGA
Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.

To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

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!

 

Simple Needs GA is in the news!

On Tues., Nov. 28, the Cobb Collaborative honored SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes with its Volunteer Award during the 24th Annual Human Services Award luncheon and ceremony. The event recognizes nominees from local businesses and nonprofits for their dedication to working or volunteering with people in need in Cobb County or for their professionalism, collaboration and community-involvement.

In addition to recognizing Brenda, the organization gave Missy Owen of the Davis Direction Foundation its professional award. Campus Awareness, Resource & Empowerment (CARE) Services of Kennesaw State, which helps homeless students among others, received Cobb Collaborative’s William E. “Bill” Hanson Collaboration Award.

“It is so nice to receive recognition for the work we’re doing at Simple Needs GA,” Brenda said. “Exposure like this helps raise our profile in the community and can introduce more people to what we do, inspiring them to get involved and be a part of it. I was moved to see so many great people with a shared commitment to helping their community.”

And speaking of exposure, Brenda was featured on the cover of the December 2017 issue of the East Cobber magazine, and was profiled in a nice article on p. 4. The piece described Brenda’s lifelong commitment to volunteering for a variety of nonprofit organizations and also explained the history and mission of SNGA. Check it out here!

“Thanks so much to Cynthia Rozzo, publisher of the East Cobber, who has been doing a fantastic job with the monthly magazine since creating it in 1993,” Brenda said. “I met Cynthia last year; when I told her about SNGA, she subsequently came by for a tour of our space to learn more about our programs. I’m so glad she took an interest what we do.”

Lastly, just a reminder that our next two Donation Drives will be this Sat., Dec. 2, as well as Sat., Dec. 16.

As usual, they’ll be at our Marietta warehouse from 10 to 1. For more info, visit our current needs page and/or email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

Give the Gift of Warmth: Donation Drive this weekend!

When ‘Sharon’ came to Georgia to escape domestic violence, she and her 7-year-old daughter, who has autism, had only clothing to call their own; they had to leave everything else behind. Sharon called us on a Thursday—the day she moved into her apartment—to request beds, furniture and household items. Brenda asked our very dedicated volunteer Stacy if she could meet Sharon at our warehouse that day to get them air mattresses and small items. Sharon said she needed food as well so we referred her to MUST Ministries. She mentioned she would take the bus; Stacy generously offered to pick her up from MUST, take her to our space and then drive her home. Sharon was able to get dishes, pots and pans, towels, a microwave and much more. The following Saturday, our volunteers delivered beds and furniture.Client with small items Oct 21 2017

Last month, we helped another client who had fled domestic violence in another state. This single mom has four children ranging in age from 3 to 9. As you can see in the photo, her car was full of small kitchen and bath items. A week later, we were able to give her bunk beds (with mattresses), an armchair, a sofa and loveseat, an end table, a TV stand, a queen box spring (she had some other items in storage)—even My Birthday Matters gifts for the kids. She later sent us a note: “Please accept my gratitude for all that you and your organization have done for me and my family!”

And please accept our gratitude for all of your support. You make our work possible!

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at our Marietta warehouse. Of course, winter is on the way: If you can donate new or gently used sweaters, jackets, coats, mittens, gloves, hats, flannel shirts, blankets—anything that could help a person stay warm—please do bring those items if you can. We will share these with clients (adults and children), as well as social workers and other agencies who work with needy families. See below for some of the other needed items.BabyItsColdOutside750

If you can’t make it on the 18th, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The December Donation Drive dates are Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Mark your calendars!

Right now we’re very low on some much-needed items for our clients (gently used items, please; no stains or damage.). These include:

  • twin/full/queen mattresses, box springs, beds/frames
  • dining tables and chairs
  • dressers and chests of drawers
  • cable-ready TVs (not too heavy) as well as TV stands
  • end tables/nightstands/coffee tables
  • small household items such as towels, new pillows, microwaves, toaster ovens, toasters, crockpots, silverware, glass sets and dish sets

For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here. Specific needs for our My Birthday Matters program are posted on our SignUpGenius.

Email brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have anything to donate at this time. For large furniture, please email photos; we will arrange for you to drop off or for us to pick up (Cobb County only).

Thank you for your support!

GAGIVES + GIVING TUESDAY ON NOV. 28!
Over the past few years, Simple Needs GA has participated in GAgives, an online fundraiser that has brought in more than $13.7 million for 2,700 nonprofits in Georgia since 2012. SNGA has also received donations as part of the global #GivingTuesday campaign. It is the third-biggest day of charitable giving in dollars raised, more than $180 million in 2016 alone.

This year, the two fast-growing events will both be held on the same day—Nov. 28.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Simple Needs GA during these events! Just click here to make a donation through the GAgives Day site.

While you can use this site now and throughout the year to donate to SNGA, if you donate on Nov. 28 that puts us in the running for one of the GAgives prize contests, which trigger additional funding for participating nonprofits.GA-GT V-logo1-RGB

RAMPING UP FOR THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.
Our Spirit of Christmas program seeks to “fill in the gaps” by helping families that were unable to register for other local programs such as the MUST Toy Shop, Cobb Christmas or Toys for Tots.

We can’t express how excited we have been to receive the outpouring of help from our donors and volunteers for this program. Last year, we ensured that about 150 kids from 60 families received gifts for Christmas! The parents also received a gift card.

It’s a big job that requires a lot of coordination. Each year, our goal is to do advance planning so that the program will run even more efficiently than the year before. We’re now gathering names of people who want to sponsor families and/or volunteer to coordinate, wrap, deliver and more.

If you’d like to join us and help plan for the holiday season, just email brenda@simpleneedsga.org.

SOME (INCOMPLETE) SHOUT OUTS!
As Simple Needs GA has grown, so, too, has one of our challenges—thanking all of the awesome donors and volunteers who are the heart of what we do.

 

Here’s an only partial list of recent helpers!

  • A Sunday School class at the First United Methodist Church of Marietta came through for SNGA with a big donation drive and event focusing on items for those who live in the woods.
  • Cribmaster, the Marietta-based inventory and asset-management solutions company, brought a large number of cleaning supplies for our Simple Household Needs program (photo is of Kelly from Cribmasters with some of these donations).Kelly from Cribmasters Oct 2017
  • Families from Little Helpers of Atlanta visited our warehouse and gave our clients a boost with new underwear, socks and other items. The Gwinnett Citizen even did a nice write-up about it.
  • The UMW from Marietta’s St. Andrew United Methodist Church donated toys and other needed items from the Simple Needs GA SignUpGenius page, and employees from IBM, a company that has been one of our biggest supporters, pitched in at our warehouse on a couple of different Saturdays.

We could keep on writing about all of the great folks who helped us with Diaper Day, or the small, but important, acts of kindness by individual volunteers like Barb, who recently picked up water bottles for us so we wouldn’t have to pay shipping!

Thanks so much for all of your help!

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP SNGA
Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.

To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at brenda@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

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!

 

Simple Needs GA Donation Drive this Sat. (Oct. 21)!

“My two oldest ones haven’t really had a birthday party since they were babies. And my 8-year-old has only had one real birthday party when she was 5 years old. I stopped celebrating my birthday almost 13 years ago.”

This heartbreaking comment came from one of Simple Needs GA’s furniture clients, a mom with a boy and two girls. Can you imagine being in such financial need? One of our board members doesn’t have to: She grew up poor and often had to watch her birthday come and go without any recognition from her family. But something great came out of that tough experience: Her idea for SNGA’s now-thriving My Birthday Matters program. We’re so happy to be able to provide birthday presents and other useful items to hundreds of children, including those in the family described above. “We have done more than 150 birthdays so far this year,” noted SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “The total for all of 2016 was 139, so MBM is growing nicely.”

Meanwhile, our furniture program has nearly doubled: We helped 66 families throughout all of 2016. “So far in 2017, we have helped 105,” Brenda said, “and we still have a couple of months left!

Your generous donations and volunteering make it possible. Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., October 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please consider bringing some donations (see below for needed items) to our Marietta warehouse. And even if you aren’t able to bring any this month, feel free to stop by for a tour. We find that those who come by understand our programs better and often have “ah ha” moments on items they can donate.

If you can’t make it on the 21st, don’t forget that we have added a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The next Donation Drive dates are Nov. 4, Nov. 18, Dec. 2 and Dec. 16. Mark your calendar!

Right now we’re running low on furniture and some household items for families coming out of homelessness. We need to restock gently used (no major damage, no stains) mattresses, box springs and frames of all sizes; dressers/chests of drawers; table and chair sets (or just tables if no chairs); couches and love seats; recliners; nightstands; end tables; coffee tables; small desks; bookshelves; TVs (tube or flat screen); TV stands; small entertainment centers; washers and electric dryers (prefer no front loaders); microwaves; and DVD players. We are also accepting gently used kids’ clothing for winter and summer.

Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have larger items to donate; we will arrange for you to drop off or a pick up. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

Birthday and other needs are posted on our SignUpGenius. Thank you for your support!

WE STRUCK OUT ON BOWLING. SORRY!
We had previously announced a bowling event on Oct. 22 at AMF Marietta Lanes. Unfortunately, some unforeseen circumstances intervened and we have been forced to postpone the event. If you happen to know of anyone who was planning to attend but may not have received notice about the cancellation, please notify that person for us! Stay tuned for the reschedule! We apologize for any inconvenience.

GREAT HANDS ON ATLANTA DAY!
Thanks so much to the awesome volunteers (a total of 59 adults and 31 kids!) [pictured] who helped out at our Marietta warehouse of Oct. 7 for Hands on Atlanta Day. We had a great turnout of SNGA regulars and board members, as well as Hands on Atlanta team leads, volunteers and friends. HOA board members Grant Givens and Kenneth Jones also came to the warehouse for HOA Day and were a huge help!
Most of these generous folks hailed from either First Data or UCB—two companies that have been big supporters of Simple Needs GA. Throughout the day, the volunteers tackled a host of projects. They put together Comfort Kits, assembled chests of drawers, sorted new books and other donations, wrapped birthday gifts and made no-sew blankets, to name only a few. The action was nonstop!

They even sent us some nice notes after the event:
“Thank you again for organizing a great day of service – I really enjoyed getting to know Simple Needs GA and look forward to finding additional opportunities for us to support you again in the future.” – Ally, UCB

“Everyone was very complimentary of the projects that they assisted with and all of the wonderful work that your organization does! So glad that we could partner with your team again!” –Susan, First Data

“We were thrilled to have UCB and First Data help us out once again!” said SNGA Founder Brenda Rhodes. “Great folks who were willing to jump in and help with anything. We cannot thank them enough.”

IT’S DIAPER DAY!
Diapers are a burdensome cost for many families in need. One way you can help is by taking part in Diaper Day in Cobb County: On Oct. 23rd, the Diaper Day Committee will once again collect diapers at Glover Park on the Marietta Square for distribution to area non-profits (including Simple Needs GA). Please consider joining us between 4 and 5:30 p.m. If you don’t have time to hang with us in the Park, volunteers can get the diapers from you in your car! Quick and easy!

‘SIPPING, STYLING—AND SNGA’
We wanted to thank Erin Clarke and Meredith Seelos for their great event ‘Sipping, Styling, and Beauty’ on Oct. 10 at Erin’s home in northwest Marietta. The event raised money for SNGA’s Spirit of Christmas program to purchase Christmas gifts for children in Cobb. “I have a brand-new line of handmade, fair-trade ornaments and gifts,” Erin explained. “By creating a marketplace for these unique pieces, we are empowering mamas globally and providing them a source of income so they can care for their children.” For her part, Meredith Seelos was on hand to share her mission of safer and healthier beauty products by Beauty Counter. For more info about what Erin and Meredith are doing, visit www.beautycounter.com/meredithseelos and/or bit.ly/givenoonday.

OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP SNGA
Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.
To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.
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!

SNGA Donation Drive this Sat. (Aug. 19)

“My children and I didn’t have any beds or any furniture at all. We were sleeping on air mattresses. The beds and the dresser have been really great. The furniture is in good condition. I’m happy and the kids are happy. It was a really great experience.”

The quote above is from “Sharon,” a working mom with four kids ranging in age from toddler to teen. The family had come to Georgia to flee a difficult situation in another state. “They had nothing but their clothes—no furniture, no books, no bedding,” explained our volunteer Cathy Dandelakis.

After being turned down by several other social service agencies because she could not afford the $100 payment they expected, Sharon had almost given up on providing her children with a decent home.

And then she found Simple Needs GA.

Since Sharon doesn’t drive, Cathy picked her up at her apartment and took her to our Marietta warehouse, where Sharon filled out a list of needs and then worked with Cathy to find these items. “She was amazed that she was allowed to pick out all the things she needed,” Cathy said. “Some of her most treasured finds were books and new pillows for the children, a high chair and a vegetable peeler.”

Back at the apartment complex, Cathy watched with delight as Sharon’s children came pouring down the steps. “They were so happy to see everything: Dishes! Pots and pans! Bedding! Lamps! Towels! Shampoo!” Cathy said. “Each child received a brand-new backpack filled with school supplies. It was like Christmas in August!” Later in the day, SNGA volunteers Mike and Danielle, along with some helpers, delivered the furniture and beds.

The kids will be getting their birthday presents this Saturday.

“This was my first time having intimate contact with a family and it was so rewarding,” Cathy said. “The family was so grateful; Sharon and the children thanked me over and over. They just couldn’t believe that a bunch of strangers could be so kind. This is why I volunteer for Simple Needs GA. It was a total privilege to be able to provide this family hope for a better life.”

UPCOMING DONATION DRIVES!
Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please consider bringing some donations to our Marietta warehouse. And even if you aren’t able to bring any this month, feel free to stop by for a tour or to help us sort and store donations and take care of other small projects.

If you want to come on the 19th but can’t make it, no worries—we’re now adding a Donation Drive (same time and location) on the first Saturday of every month as well. The next two Donation Drive dates are Sept. 2 and Sept. 16. Mark your calendar! (NOTE: We’ll only send out an email reminder for the Donation Drive on the third Saturday of each month.)

Our greatest needs right now are character backpacks (new only), microwaves, hand towels, washcloths, lamps, pots and pans (especially larger), twin/full/queen/king blankets and queen/king comforters, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, DVD players, toasters, irons, ironing boards, smaller wall art, can openers, shower curtain rings, new mops and brooms, women’s socks, boys’ underwear (esp XL 16-18), and bakeware. We are also accepting gently used kids’ clothing for winter and summer. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

Other needed items include working TVs (not too large/heavy), mattresses and box springs of all sizes, and gently used (no damage or stains) furniture such as dressers, dining tables, dining chairs, small desks, washers/electric dryers (no front loaders), bed frames and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for you to drop off or a pick up.

 A FEW SHOUT OUTS!
We wanted to thank Liberal Moms of Roswell and Cobb (LMRC) for donating 40 backpacks filled with school supplies on July 29 for our My Birthday Matters program! (PICTURED: Sharon Whelan, who worked with fellow LMRC member Alice Cheung on this effort!) We have already started distributing these much-needed packs. LMRC has helped us out so much over the past few months!

Also, we wanted to express our gratitude to Georgia Rambo of Sew Dreams Come True for her custom embroidery of our new polo shirts (PICTURED). Beautiful! Georgia’s Marietta-based business creates custom curtains, pillow shams, throw pillows, duvet covers and more. Thanks so much, Georgia. The shirts look great!

Lastly, big thanks to all the members of the youth group at Burnt Hickory Church of Christ, on Burnt Hickory Road in Marietta, who came to our donation drive and volunteer day on Sat., July 15. These energetic young people (see a video slideshow) spruced up the landscape outside our entrance and assisted with projects inside our space as well. We got a nice note from Evan of Burnt Hickory: “Brenda, you all were a blessing. Thank you for hosting our teens as they learned how to serve and learned more about great things happening in our community.”

FROM GROCERY BAGS … TO SLEEPING MATS!
If you’re like me, you feel a bit guilty when you return from a grocery or discount store with a dozen or more plastic bags. (The United States goes through anywhere from 100 billion to 300 billion plastic bags a year!)

Fortunately, we want your bags (just the kind you get from grocery stores or Walmart, no newspaper bags) for a cool cause—sleeping mats (PICTURED) for people experiencing homelessness. Some awesome volunteers with Give Homeless Hope make these. It takes about 700 bags to make one mat!

Thanks so much for your help of people in need!

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT
Now and again, we like to touch base with our volunteers to find out how their lives have been enriched by serving people in need in our community. Check out our Volunteer Spotlight featuring Stacy McIlwain and Alicia Putnam!

Thanks for your support of people in need!

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Donate online here. Donations can be sent to Simple Needs GA, Inc., P.O. Box 670265, Marietta, GA 30066.

To volunteer as an individual, company, church or other organization, contact us at info@simpleneedsga.org. Visit our volunteer page for more info.

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!

Volunteer Spotlight: Stacy and Alicia

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” – Rabindranath Tagore.

 Now and again, we like to touch base with our volunteers to find out how their lives have been enriched by serving people in need in our community. For our dedicated volunteer Stacy McIlwain, it all started with underwear.

Stacy found out about SNGA soon after moving to Marietta in the winter of 2015.

“I came across a Facebook request from SNGA for underwear for teenage boys to accompany their Christmas gifts,” she said. “As a retired high school teacher, this was right up my alley.”

StacyMcIlwain2
Stacy McIlwain

Stacy went out and bought packs of underwear and a couple of Dopp Kits (shaving kits with toiletries) for the clients. That same day, she met SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes. “Brenda impressed me so much that I told her I would be back to volunteer,” Stacy said.

As a retired teacher, Stacy relishes her ability to use her free time to give back via several SNGA programs, including My Birthday Matters, Simply Sheltered and Simple Household Needs. Her work with the latter program often includes bringing beds to clients who are sleeping on the floor.

Stacy takes sleeping bags, tents, candles, small hygiene kits and other useful items to people living in the woods and loves picking out brand-new books for recipients of our My Birthday Matters program. On the first and third Saturdays of the month, she sorts and logs items coming into our donation room and frequently pauses to think about the difference they will make for families in need.

“Working in the donation room and seeing working irons and electric skillets, matching sheet sets, new brooms and mops, and sets of flatware always makes me do a little dance,” she said. “I know they won’t stay in the warehouse very long. They will be put to use in a client’s home.”

 One of our newer volunteers, Alicia Putnam, found out about SNGA through a volunteer program at work. She has volunteered several times now. “What stood out most to me at first was that this is a local organization supporting our own local communities,” she said. “I was able to work directly with people in the community that are getting back on their feet and moving into their own place.”

Alicia Putnam
Alicia Putnam

Volunteering at our Marietta warehouse, Alicia has been particularly moved by the experience of helping clients pick out household items that will help transform their new houses or apartments into comfortable and dignified homes. “It is a really nice feeling to see their excitement and relief,” she explained.

Alicia is looking forward to volunteering with other SNGA programs such as My Birthday Matters, Shoe them Love and Comfort Kits. “I think these are all really great programs to help care for those in need in our community,” she said. “This is a great organization filling a real need and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Thanks so much to all the donors and volunteers who make Simple Needs GA possible!

Aug. 11 benefit for Simple Needs GA at PearTree in Kennesaw

Greetings, all.

We wanted to let you know about an exciting benefit for Simple Needs GA coming up on Fri., Aug. 11, at the Kennesaw location of PearTree, a floral, home furnishings and gift shop at 1600 Kennesaw Due West Rd.

Kim Kornblatt, owner of the family-owned business, is offering store-wide discounts of 25 percent off on PearTree items.

Available at the event: handcrafted designer jewelry by EsBe Designs; stay-on lipstick and gloss by Lipsense; trendy women’s fashions by Lularoe; and bath and body products by Perfectly Posh, to name a few, along with art and monogramming & products. There will be door prizes, giveaways, wine, appetizers and Nothing Bundt Cakes, too.

“I wanted to have an event that would help our community, so I reached out to small business owners and asked if they wanted to partner with me,” Kim said. “The response was overwhelming! I’m hoping this will be our first of many to come.”

Kim found out about Simple Needs GA from one of her customers. “I’m so excited that you’re right here in our own backyard,” Kim said. “My heart goes out to struggling women and children everywhere. I just wanted to get involved and try to make an impact in our community!”

You can buy an advanced $10 ticket through PearTree’s Facebook page or call 770-422-7360. Kim is asking everyone who drops by to “sip, shop and socialize” to make a $10 donation to SNGA. The event starts at 7 and ends at 10 p.m.

To learn more about PearTree, which also has a downtown Powder Springs location at 4440 Marietta St., visit ptflorist.com.

PearTree ~ Home.Florist.Gifts is a family-owned local business that has been serving its customers with custom floral arrangemet delivery In Powder Springs and metro Atlanta since 1978. The Kennesaw location opened in 2010.

Next donation drive is JUNE 17!

“I don’t need a bed for myself, just for my kids.” – single dad, who called Simple Needs GA and asked for help after finding us online.

Not only did this family receive beds for its unfurnished apartment, but also furniture, household items and, for the children, birthday presents, books and school uniforms. The dad was in tears—and so were we!

Our next monthly Donation Drive is Sat., June 17, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. We hope you’ll consider dropping by our Marietta warehouse to be a part of it.

Even if you don’t have any donations, feel free to stop by for a tour. Those who tour with us understand our programs better and then realize what else in their home we can use for our clients!

Your new or gently used donations can make a big difference. Our greatest needs right now are hand towels, washcloths, blankets (full, queen, king), comforters (full, queen, king), microwaves, new pillows, shower curtain rings and pot holders (Dollar Tree is an option), toaster ovens, toasters, vacuum cleaners, pots and pans, kitchen trash cans and trash bags, coffee makers and filters, smaller kitchen essentials such as measuring cups and can openers. For a limited time, we are also accepting kids’ clothing for winter and summer. For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

We also need gently used (no damage or stains) dressers, mattresses/box springs (especially two xl twin box springs to go with a king mattress in our inventory), small desks, washers/dryers (no front loaders) and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for drop off or pick up.

READY FOR NEW SHOES? WE’LL TAKE YOUR OLD ONES.
Have you ever looked in your closet and said to yourself, I need to get rid of some of these old shoes? (Of course, some of us have more of a problem with “Shoe Acquisition Syndrome” than others!) If so, take heart: Simple Needs GA is now collaborating with the Kiwanis Club, which has 600,000 volunteers across the globe, by collecting shoes for people in need. Kiwanis will take shoes in any size or condition, so long as there are no holes in the soles. It’s a fantastic organization that hosts nearly 150,000 service projects each year. Feel free to bring used shoes to our Marietta warehouse during our monthly donation drives. Thanks!

RACETRAC COMES THROUGH AGAIN
Under the leadership of CEO Allison Moran, Racetrac is well known for its tremendous support of agencies and organizations in our community. And one thing you can say about this company’s energetic volunteers—they are not afraid to sweat. A great group of interns from Racetrac volunteered at our Marietta warehouse last June, and Racetrac came through again earlier this month when the interns helped us by swapping out the toiletry storage room for the household room at our (toasty this time of year) Marietta warehouse. We’ve been getting more donations lately, so we needed more room for bigger items like comforters. The volunteers also helped clean out one of our storage closets and, perhaps most importantly, made huge progress in our donation room. It was filled to the brim with unsorted donations that needed to be properly stored but is now nearly empty! Other tasks completed by the team included book-sorting and wrapping birthday gifts for our My Birthday Matters program.

Thank so much, Racetrac!

THANKS TO 9TH GRADER LIZZY NISWONGER!
For an honors research project at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, ninth-grader Lizzy Niswonger focused her time and attention on Simple Needs GA. She was deeply moved by what she learned. “I decided to raise money for your amazing organization because I saw that you help families in need as well as specifically children,” she said. “I was so honored to help an organization that does so much to help the community!” After touring our Marietta warehouse and seeing the shelves packed with toys, household items, cleaning kits, winter items and more, Lizzy said she was “awestruck” by our mission. “Thank you for all that you do,” she said. “I can’t wait to eventually come in and volunteer!” Thanks to this intelligent and compassionate young person for caring about the less fortunate in her community!

HARD TO DECIDE!
A new client came to the warehouse earlier this month to pick out smaller household items. She was accompanied by a friend who has been a client in the past.

“I feel like I’m being spoiled,” the new client said, to which her friend responded: “That’s why I came with her. To help her make decisions. I remember how hard it was to get to decide.”

It’s a great ‘problem’ to have. Your generosity makes it all possible. Thanks so much for your help!

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

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

Your new or gently used donations can make a big difference. Our greatest needs right now are sheets (especially twin and queen), microwaves, new pillows, shower curtains, toaster ovens, vacuum cleaners, baby wipes, diapers size newborn-2, pots and pans, trash cans, twin/full/queen/king blankets, queen comforters, toasters, DVD players, TVs and smaller kitchen essentials such as measuring cups and can openers. For a limited time, we are also accepting kids’ clothing for winter and summer.

For a full list of items that our clients need, please click here.

We are happy to announce we’re collaborating with the Kiwanis Club by collecting shoes! Any size, any condition, as long as there are no holes in the soles.

We also need gently used (no damage or stains) dressers, mattresses/box springs (especially two xl twin box springs to go with a king mattress in our inventory), small desks, washers/dryers (no front loaders) and other furniture. Please send photos to Brenda@simpleneedsga.org if you have any of these items to donate; we will arrange for drop off or pick up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GREAT TO SEE EVERYONE AT OUR OPEN HOUSE!

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

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

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

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

SNGA WINS $9K GRANT FROM CCF!

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

Discovering the joy of service

On April 29, students at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic School marked a day of service and prayer in honor of the school’s namesake by donating their time and (abundant!) energy to Simple Needs GA’s My Birthday Matters program as well as programs of organizations such as MUST Ministries.

Students at St. Catherine’s

SNGA founder Brenda Rhodes visited the school, located in Kennesaw, to help the children better understand the need in our community. She also told them about SNGA and its My Birthday Matters program, which brings brand-new toys, school supplies, a no-sew blanket, a stuffed animal, reading books, coloring books, underwear, socks, and other useful items to homeless schoolchildren celebrating their birthdays.

SNGA works in collaboration with counselors and social workers in the Marietta City and Cobb County (Powder Springs area) school systems to identify those children who are considered homeless. It also helps children living in local shelters such as MUST Ministries, Family Promise of Cobb and LiveSafe Resources and provide birthday gifts to the children of our furniture clients.

As Brenda explained during her visit St. Catherine’s, the goal of the program is to bring more self-esteem and joy to local children by helping their families make their birthday wishes come true. As part of the feast day, the third graders made My Birthday Matters care packages that included backpacks, crayons, markers, stickers, erasers, coloring books and handmade birthday cards. Fourth graders made fleece blankets. Throughout the day, eighth graders served as leaders and helped the younger kids understand why what they were doing was important.

“All items were donated by our generous families and were collected throughout the week,” explained Avion C. Anderson, who volunteers with SNGA and whose son attends St. Catherine’s.

“It was a joy to speak with the children and hear their insightful questions,” Brenda said. “We really appreciate the school’s commitment to teaching their kids about needs in our community. The projects they worked on will really make a difference for our families and their children!”

According to Sister Mary Jacinta, O.P., Principal of St. Catherine’s, the students always put their hearts into the various service projects on Siena Day. “It is an awesome experience for children to see that, when each of them brings in a small donation, together they can make a big difference in the lives of many people,” she said. “Our students also enjoyed being able to offer a personal message to the recipients of the donations—we believe it is extremely important for our children to add a part of themselves, so to speak, to the material donations which they were offering.”

In addition to direct financial contributions in support of this program so we can buy kids’ specific requests, My Birthday Matters needs a steady supply of new toys, sporting equipment and other fun and useful items to support the needs of program recipients. See our Needed Items and SignUp Genius pages for more details.

We are seeking volunteers and committee members for MBM. For more information, email brenda@SimpleNeedsGA.org.