EAST COBB, Ga. — Most traditional non-profits focus on a specific group or help in a specific way. But Simple Needs Georgia is not a traditional non-profit. The organization, started by Brenda Rhodes almost 10 years ago, continues to branch out across the community, partnering with other agencies, and helping people of all ages.
“I love to volunteer, and over the years I volunteered in many agencies in the Atlanta area, and I really kind of felt pulled toward the human services side,” Rhodes said. “I started Simple Needs Georgia out of needs that I was seeing in the community as I was volunteering.”
First, she started putting together bags of toiletries for homeless people, but that quickly expanded into a much larger operation involving furniture.
“I was volunteering with people who were homeless or coming out of homelessness and finding an apartment, and they were asking for household items, furniture,” Rhodes said. “So I started pulling together things for them, and as I was doing that I also thought there might be some other needs out there.”
The more she looked, the more she found. Simple Needs Georgia now has six different programs, and that’s just in the summer months!
“Occasionally I think ‘why did I do this?’ I have to admit, because I have a full-time job in addition to the nonprofit which could easily be a full-time job,” Rhodes said. “The percentage of ‘thank yous’ is pretty low, but it doesn't matter. That's not why we do it. But when I think about how we help people, it really is definitely worth it.”
She says she’s thankful for the countless donors and volunteers who’ve helped through the years, and she hopes to continue getting assistance with her efforts.
“Our number one need, like almost any non-profit, is financial donations,” Rhodes said. “If we have a need, especially if we need something quickly, we have the means to go get it.”
She says the furniture program, in particular, gets pricey on a monthly basis.
“We often have to rent a truck which is pretty expensive,” Rhodes said. “We have to sometimes two or three times a month. We have to hire people. We do occasionally purchase mattresses and box springs and sometimes bed frames.”
Those wishing to make a donation can do so twice a month, dropping
“We hold a donation drive every first and third Saturday of the month between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.,” Rhodes said. “We do pick up furniture if we need to. That needs to be scheduled in advance, but we have a donation drive at a warehouse in Marietta.”
For a full list of programs and how you can contribute, visit their website.
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