In times like these, the good in people shines.
Since March 2020, the MDJ has been reporting on acts of kindness, goodwill and generosity during the coronavirus pandemic.
If you know of an instance of benevolence — on any scale — and are willing to share with MDJ readers, tell us your story.
Tuesday, June 21
Sweetwater Mission hosted the June 17 morning Meals On A Mission event at The Waverly Mobile Home Park in Mableton whereby 113 families were provided with fresh produce, roast beef, canned/dry groceries, Post Cereal, strawberry yogurt and Kenny’s Key Lime Pies. We appreciate the volunteers from the McEachern High School Beta Club and Lions Club who braved the heat to make a difference to the families in need.
Orchard Mill Apartments off Mulkey Drive in Austell hosted the June 16 Meals On A Mission event whereby 71 families were provided with fresh produce, yogurt, a Lions Club first aid kit, Post Cereal, canned/dry groceries and Kenny’s Key Lime Pies. Volunteers kept hydrated as we worked in the heat.
Thank you very much to Craig Thiman who arranged our Hicks Road Community Pride Adopt-A-Mile Litter Clean-Up on June 19 whereby we removed 22 bags of litter and five tires from Hicks Road, Bates Road and parts of Floyd Road. We got to meet some new volunteers who want to be more involved in the community. This event was dedicated to the memory of Lion Waymon Story who has helped us clean up roads many times. Waymon was a wonderful man and will be missed.
If you are interested in learning more about the adopt-A-Mile Program, please reach out to Dawn at email@example.com. She will get you everything you need to be a success.
Monday, June 13
The First Christian Church Of Mableton hosted the June 9 Meals On A Mission whereby 153 families were produced with produce, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, pizza crust, Cheez-It Crackers, Kellogg’s Cereal and Totino’s Pizza Stuffers that were supplied by Sweetwater Mission. The volunteers were inspired by Executive Minister Barry Smith’s reading of Acts 20:32-35 which indicates that others are best served by people with a humble and generous spirit.
Sweetwater Mission hosted their weekly Meals On A Mission at The Waverly Mobile Home Park off Discovery Blvd on the morning of June 10 at 9:30 a.m. We were able to serve 141 families with Totino’s Pizza Rolls, produce, Post Cereal, whole wheat crackers, Quaker Oats and blueberry yogurt. The volunteers from Cumberland Christian Church and the Lions Club had lots of fun and enjoyed the perfect weather as we worked.
On June 11, the Friends of Mableton assisted by the South Cobb lions Club removed 22 bags of litter from Fontaine Road and their adopted Nickajack Road. This litter clean-up is dedicated to our friend, Paul Susko, who has kept that area looking good for many years. It was fun and we got to meet some new friends. The Mableton Chapter of the Georgia Native Plant Society volunteers were working in Heritage Park.
If you are interested in the adopt-a-mile program, please contact Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will let you know about how to get your signs installed and provide you with the supplies such as orange bags, grabbers and safety vests.
Wednesday, June 8
June 3 was a great day in the Riverside Austell Community. We Thrive on Riverside Association hosted a welcome to summer meet up at the Residence of Riverside. Families enjoyed ice cream, game truck activities, resources and music. We Thrive on Riverside Renters Association is keeping the families safe this summer.
Monday, June 6
Sweetwater Mission along with volunteers from Cumberland Christian Church and the Lions Club provided 126 families with produce, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, Post Cereal, snacks, cheese and Kenny’s Key Lime Pies on June 3. Sweetwater Mission appreciates your support in assisting us in helping people in need. Please check out the Summer Kid’s Program on our website, www.sweetwatermission.org.
The Friends of Mableton assisted by the South Cobb Lions Club removed 7 bags of litter from their adopted James Road on June 4. We went on to clean up surrounding areas along Veterans Memorial Highway removing 11 additional bags and a bunch of car parts from our roadways. One of our goals was to get some of Mableton food attractions such as Bay Breeze, The Green Room and Full Throttle looking good.
If you are interested in the Adopt-A-Mile program, please reach out to Dawn at email@example.com. She will set you up with all of the supplies and signage.
On May 30, the Samuel S. Lawrence Chapter Order of DeMolay Squires held one of their Obligatory Days, My Government Day at 1862 Sandtown Road in Marietta.
The Squires invited the Cobb County Sherriff’s Office out to talk about being a Police Officer. Maj. Steven Gaynor and Deputy Raj Shelat talked to Tyler Mauldin about the many responsibilities that they do on a day-to-day basis. These two fine gentlemen are true leaders in our community. It was an
amazing sight to see a child’s eyes light up as he aspires to be a Police Officer one day. Our hats are off to these two fine gentlemen. Thank you for showing up and for all you do.
On June 4, the Samuel S. Lawrence Chapter Order of DeMolay Squires held their regular meeting and got a visit from their sponsoring body, the Samuel S. Lawrence Order of the Masons. Tyler Mauldin introduced each Master Mason by name: Bill English, Worshipful Master; Rob Simpson, Past Master; Rick Ayers, Senior Warden; and Tom Chadwick, Past Master.
Friday, June 3
The First Christian Church of Mableton hosted the June 2 Meals On A Mission whereby volunteers from South Cobb High School, the South Cobb Lions Club and the church were able to serve 133 families with produce, snacks, Post Cereal, Totino’s Pizza Rolls, cheese, peaches and Kenny’s Key Lime Pies. Executive Minister Barry Smith challenged us to be think of things for which we are grateful while serving our neighbors. I know that many of us were grateful to Sweetwater Mission for supplying the food that we can use to make our neighbor’s lives a little better.
Thursday, June 2
Cobb County District 4 Commissioner Monique Sheffield kicked off the summer with a surprise ice cream social for the McEachern Methodist kids, grades K-5, and church leaders on May 29.
In November 2021, the children sent a letter to the commissioner sharing that they prayed for her and her family during their Sunday school hour. As a token of Commissioner Sheffield’s appreciation, children and parents enjoyed ice cream sandwiches, drumsticks, sherbet and other treats.
She told the group, “My heart was instantly touched when I read that you prayed for my family and me each Sunday in September. That was amazing, and I want you to know that your prayers worked!”
-From Cobb County District 4 Commissioner Monique Sheffield’s newsletter
Wednesday, June 1
On May 30, the Samuel S. Lawrence Chapter Order of DeMolay Squires helped elderly ladies to and from church at The Little House of Prayer in Douglasville. Tyler Mauldin helped the ladies in and out of the car, then walked them inside and outside of the church. Showing these young men how to respect others is just one of the virtues these young men are shown.
Also that day, the Squires helped their sponsoring body Samuel S. Lawrence Order of the Masons, 1862 Sandtown Road in Marietta. The Squires mowed the grass, picked up trash and blew off the parking lot. Mauldin helped by showing his appreciation for his sponsoring body and all the support that they continue to show.
On May 6, Cobb County PARKS, in conjunction with The Home Depot, hosted a giving back event at the Floyd Road Trail Head Bike Depot. More than 25 volunteers from the Home Depot Delivery Operations Team, along with Cobb PARKS staff, beautified an area around Catalyst Sports Adaptive Bike storage unit. The Adaptive Bike storage unit houses bikes for people who can not ride a traditional bike on the trail.
This project not only beautified the area but helped to ease the access around the container and gave PARKS an area to put picnic tables in the future. Volunteers placed decorative granite rock as a border around a slate path that surrounds the storage unit. Azaleas and knockout roses were also planted around the site.
Cobb County PARKS would like to thank Home Depot for being so generous with their time, as well as supplying plants for the event. We look forward to more projects like this in the future. A great partnership with a great organization.
-From Cobb County PARKS newsletter
Tuesday, May 31
Sweetwater Mission who provides over 800 families a week with food, recently hosted their 2nd Annual Community On The Move meeting. There was a lot of wisdom in this room directed at the evening’s theme, “Breaking The Cycle.” Thank you Pastor Calvin with Georgia Works who has a tremendous track record of lifting men up who have fallen on difficult times. They are “breaking the cycle of homelessness.” Everyone in attendance appreciates Sherry Martin and Cobb Community Foundation for their continued support in: “breaking the cycle of hunger.” We were grateful to CEO William Johnson with Four Corners Group for “breaking the cycle of troubled teens.” We were blessed to have CObb Commission Chairwoman Lisa Cupid as our keynote speaker who encouraged us to “break the cycle of bureaucratic systems” by being visible, using our voices and voting. It was a wonderful evening and all of us in the community have a piece of the puzzle within our grasp to make Cobb County the best place to live for everybody.
Monday, May 30
The morning of May 27, volunteers from Cumberland Christian Church and the Lions Club assisted Sweetwater Mission in serving 147 families at The Waverly Mobile Home Park. The families were treated to produce, milk, yogurt, pimento cheese, Post Cereal, Totino’s Pizza Rolls and pork roast. This should help feed families over Memorial Day weekend. It was a special day for the volunteers because Tina brought her daughter and grandson to help with the food distribution. That is three generations of volunteers at one event. Also, it is Lizbeth’s last day before she is gone for maternity leave. We all gave her all of our love and prayers.
The South Cobb Lions Club conducted a litter clean-up of Mableton Parkway and surrounding areas on May 28 removing 26 bags of litter and seven tires. We enjoyed each other’s company and we got in a little exercise while beautifying our community. It is a good feeling to look back and admire the work that you have completed.
Friday, May 27
The First Christian Church of Mableton braved the rain on May 26 to host the Meals On A Mission whereby 152 families were provided with fresh fruits and vegetables, Totinos Pizza Rolls, biscuits, yogurt and a pork loin to help with the Memorial Day food needs. Volunteers from Lindsey Middle School and the South Cobb Lions Club assisted Sweetwater Mission in the food distribution. Executive Minister Barry Smith quoted Chip Ingram in saying: “Love is giving someone what they need most, at great personal cost to yourself.” We were able to show our love by getting wet to help our neighbors.
Monday, May 23
On April 29, Mount Paran Christian School held a “Family Serve Day” with Janice Overbeck, local real estate company owner, hosting a Zoom meeting with
over 30 families on how to make dog leashes from leftover plastic bags since these bags are not able to be recycled mechanically and end up in landfills. The new leashes created from these upcycled plastic bags are given to the Cobb County Police Department where they are useful when saving stray dogs.
The families each saved and collected their used plastic grocery bags and made over 40 leashes. Community Affairs Officer Felicia Russell came to The Janice Overbeck Real Estate Team Office in Marietta to pick up the leashes and show her gratitude to the families that made them. The upcycled leashes align with the company’s initiative to end the plastic crisis. The company is working on ways to limit plastic usage and finding different sustainable options for items that would typically be made from petroleum-based plastics.
On the morning of May 20, volunteers from the South Cobb Lions Club and a Powder Springs HOA assisted Sweetwater Mission in serving 102 families vegetables, Post Cereal, crackers, canned groceries, eggs, fruit and tortilla chips at The Waverly Mobile Home Park. We enjoyed serving together to help our neighbors.
The Legacy At The River Line HOA along with the Mableton Improvement Coalition and Lions Club volunteers cleaned up the adopted two mile stretch of Discovery Boulevard and certain places at the nearby Veterans Memorial Highway on May 21 to remove 27 bags of litter. We appreciate Don bringing us breakfast and cold drinks to get us fueled up before we got started. We had a good time as we worked together to improve our community.
If you are interested in the Adopt-A-Mile Program, please contact Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will set you up with everything that you need to get you started.
May 20-22, the Smyrna Community Center hosted the 2022 Regional Goalball Tournament. This was the first major domestic goalball competition in three years, with a record number of teams participating from around the country. Over 150 men’s and women’s visually impaired athletes from 15 different states competed for the regional championship. The winners of each age bracket will continue on to compete at the USA Blind Athlete National tournament on July 15–17 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Competing amongst the various club teams will be 10 of the 12 members of the Team USA goalball team, men’s and women’s, who participated last summer in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games.
We appreciated the help from our sponsors, the Smyrna Business Association and our volunteers. The local Lions Clubs were very instrumental in providing meals, transportation as well as scorekeeping, time clock operation and line judging duties. It was a wonderful event that encouraged our visually impaired athletes to fellowship, strengthen friendships and utilize teamwork to compete.
Friday, May 20
On May 19, the Flower Garden Club of Marietta met to dedicate a beautiful and functional picnic table and benches in the recently created Kemp Park in West Cobb. The park is 95-acres encompassing fields, woodlands, trails and a creek and includes Civil War earthenworks. It was nominated for parkland by the Kemp Family then purchased by Cobb County. Club member Teresa Winget’s husband, Rollie, constructed the table which was installed with the assistance of Cobb County Park employees. Cobb Commissioner Keli Gambrill joined the celebration and restated her commitment to preserving green space in the county and the need to preserve this natural beauty. The Flower Garden Club is committed to promoting the love of gardening and protecting native trees, wild flowers and birds. Club President Maye Suddath stated: “We dedicate this picnic table to be used to create happy memories for families and groups. We are grateful to Peggy Ashley, President of Friends of Kemp Park and its members, and to the Cobb County Parks employees who share our goals and will help to develop and maintain this incredible space.”
On May 19, Orchard Mills Apartments in Austell hosted the Meals On A Mission event whereby 91 families were provided with vegetables, Post Cereal, tortillas, eggs, Zesta Saltines and fruit. We appreciate the apartment management team and South Cobb Lions who volunteered to help us with this effort. The wait time was minimal. Everyone who drove through were greeted with a smile and love.
Thursday, May 19
As a part of Law Enforcement Appreciation, Chuck E. Cheese recently brought food for everyone at the Cobb County Police Department’s Precinct 3 and Chuck E. even came in person to deliver them. It was another great example of the continued community partnership with the Cumberland community and Precinct 3.
-From District 2 Cobb County Commissioner Jerica Richardson’s newsletter
We appreciate the Friends of The Covered Bridge for removing 25 bags of litter, two tires and other debris from their adopted section of Concord Road. This area is very special to our community. We are grateful to Patricia Burns, Janice Brown, Stuart Brown, Sgt. Hicks, Karen Stroup and Juan Morales from the Mill Grove subdivision for keeping it looking good.
If you are interested in your HOA or neighborhood adopting-a-mile, please reach out to Dawn at email@example.com. She will get you everything that you need to keep your streets looking good.
Tuesday, May 17
In May, the Rotary Club of Marietta Metro purchased three new picnic tables, which were made from recycled materials, and power tools including a lawn mower, blower and weed eater for the Reconnecting Our Roots Community Garden.
Located on Lemon Street in Marietta on property owned by Zion Baptist Church, the garden is an oasis in the city for local gardeners to grow their own fruits and vegetables. This gives neighbors with no yards the chance to enjoy healthy foods they cultivate themselves. In addition, the garden serves as an educational center guided by the Master Gardeners of Cobb County under the direction of the Cobb County Extension Service, to conduct classes on cultivation, insect control, composting and the life cycle of plants.
“Having the nice picnic tables now enhances the functionality of the space and the new tools will make it easier to keep the garden area neat and attractive,” said Rotarian Bob Brown who is the club’s project chairman. “The community utilizes this space for gatherings of many kinds like lunch away from the office, bridal showers and birthday parties, so we can be a part of our community in so many ways in addition to helping the environment and providing nutritious food,” said Garden Co-Chairs Kathy and Dennis Esler.
Monday, May 16
You won’t find palm trees or a beach at the Marietta Country Club, but if you were present on April 23, you would have sworn you were at the beach.
The Annual Night Golf Tournament fundraiser, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Marietta, had players decked out in their beachiest attire and saw golf carts decorated with palms trees, pink flamingos and anything else beach-themed the participants brought to compete in the Golf Cart Decorating Contest.
After a spirited dinner and auction, with nightfall approaching, the players hit the links in their lighted golf carts to swing away at glow-in-the-dark golf balls aimed for the lighted holes and flags. Several stops along the way involved Giant Jenga and Cornhole contests. All in the spirit of fun with a purpose. All monies raised benefit the Kiwanis Club of Marietta’s CSI: Marietta. An initialism for Children’s Success Initiative, this program focuses on helping youth in Marietta improve their lives and encourages them on their path to becoming good citizens.
The residents at the Center for Children and Young Adults are now enjoying some beautiful new living room furniture thanks to the Rotary Club of Marietta Metro.
The area boasts new sofas, ottomans and lamps which are attractive and make the area inviting and comfortable.
“It is so important and valuable for these young people to feel they are in a safe and homelike setting. The new furniture helps accomplish this and we are grateful to the Rotary Club for the furnishings as well as their support throughout the year in other ways,” said Jennifer LaBrecque, Grants and Facilities Director for the Center.
The mission of the Center for Children & Young Adults (CCYA) is to provide safe and suitable housing, youth development activities and comprehensive supportive housing services for at-risk homeless youth who have been abandoned, abused, neglected and/or sexually exploited.
Friday, May 13
Cobb Collaborative, Sweetwater Mission, the GA Lions Lighthouse along with other many other organizations that support our brave veterans spent May 13 at the We CARE Veterans Resource Fair at the Cobb Civic Center. There were free health screenings, haircuts, hot prepared food, take home groceries, companies wanting to hire our heroes as well as many, many other services available to our veterans at this event. This is a wonderful occasion, and we appreciate United Military Care for hosting this huge show.
Monday, May 9
We appreciate the dedicated volunteers and guests who braved the rain to participate in the Sweetwater Meals On A Mission held at The Waverly Mobile Home Park on the morning of May 6. We had lots of produce, Post Cereal and milk to provide to our 126 families who drove through. We strive to make the experience as quick and pleasant as possible.
The Padgett Landmon Adopt-A-Mile litter clean-up of Clay Road, a section of Floyd Road and downtown Mableton took place on May 7. Volunteers from the Mableton Improvement Coalition, Lions Club and Friends of Mableton rolled up their sleeves to remove 17 bags of litter and other debris from the area. We had a good time and got a late start because we kept wanting to talk.
For more information on the Adopt-A-Mile program, contact Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will get you everything that you need to keep your mile clean.
Friday, May 6
The First Christian Church of Mableton hosted the May 5 Meals On A Mission event serving 134 families. Sweetwater Mission secured extra produce and milk this week that we added to our offerings. Volunteers from the church and South Cobb Lions Club were inspired by Executive Minister Barry Smith who encouraged us to give our time, effort and resources cheerfully as we bless others.
Tuesday, May 2
Keep Cobb Beautiful hosted the April 30 Paper Shredding and Medication Disposal event at the Cobb Civic Center. Over 700 cars drove through the parking lot with a very low wait time after the initial morning rush. We very much appreciate our police officers who handled the medication disposal, KCB Board members, KCB staff and especially our volunteers. We had a great turn out from POTROS Futball Club and FirstKey Homes. QTV MultiMedia provided the music which kept us moving. We celebrated afterwards with Chick-Fil-A and some good fellowship.
Monday, May 2
The Cumberland Christian Church and Lions Club volunteers assisted Sweetwater Mission on April 29 in providing 129 families with produce, Post Cereal, frozen pizzas and Kenny’s Key Lime Pies. In addition, Sweetwater Mission had attained tortillas, cream cheese and tortilla chips. Deacon Joseph inspired us by his words of wisdom, “Lord, please be with our friends who are coming through this Meals On a Mission event as they go through the remainder of the day.” We did our part to be as nice as possible to give our guests a pleasant experience.
Friday, April 29
On April 28, the First Christian Church of Mableton hosted the Meals On A Mission serving 123 families by providing them with dry/canned groceries, Post Cereal and Kenny’s Pies. In addition, Sweetwater Mission brought frozen pizzas, cheese, tortilla chips and tortillas. Executive Minister Barry Smith reminded us that Jesus showed us how to serve others, swallow our pride, humble ourselves and do things for the sake of others. Keeping this in mind, our volunteers, which included members of the Junior League and the Lions Club, did our best to make our neighbors feel loved as we helped them with their food needs.
The inaugural community cleanup event on April 23 was a huge success. Thanks to all who volunteered to help Keep Cobb Beautiful. The driving force behind the initiative was to bring awareness to the county’s litter challenges and beautify the district in honor of Earth Day on April 22.
There were three meeting locations and the five-hour event kicked off in D4’s unincorporated Smyrna with Board of Zoning Appeals Chairperson Barkley Russell and her fellow members of the Forest Acres Civic Group, Rikki Ansley and Gillian Newberry. Smyrna’s Ward 7 Councilman Lewis Wheaton also joined to put litter in its place. Chris Lanning, candidate for solicitor general, and his family joined at all three locations to help beautify the district.
A special thanks to: Keep Cobb Beautiful employees Kimberly White, Dawn Smith and Dr. Jenkins on their collaboration for the event and for the Dunkin Donuts for the fuel to get the group started as well as all in attendance to help; and KCB appointees Barry Krebs for also hiring a DJ, Jeff Padgett and the Adopt-a-Mile sponsors; Cobb PARKS for the tents, tables and chairs; Public Services Agency Director Dr. Jatunn Gibson and her assistant Grace Williams; The Austell Community Taskforce and the Mableton Improvement Coalition; IT, legal, communications and commissioner assistant, Deedra, for months of planning, collaborating and marketing the event; Cobb County Department Of Transportation for rolling up their sleeves and hauling off the collected litter.
The tally of litter collected was 2,400 pounds. Kudos to Rep. David Wilkerson and his wife, Penny, for joining the “Pick It Up Powder Springs” community event.
-From District 4 Cobb County Commissioner Monique Sheffield’s newsletter
Credit Union of Georgia participated in National Volunteer Week, taking place the week of April 18.
Amanda Arnold, Vice President of Marketing & Business Development, and Farrah Dale, Marketing Specialist, visited and volunteered with Children’s
Healthcare of Atlanta. The two gathered the requested donated items, put together bags and delivered them to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Outpatient Care Center on April 18.
Providing these requested donated items and having them ready to serve helped provide meal assistance to patient’s families in need. This service provides the parents and guardians with the necessary nutrition needed while their child is being cared for in the hospital. Children’s Social Work Department coordinates a food donation program and welcomes contributions.
Credit Union of Georgia was able to provide single serving microwavable meals, breakfast bars, fruit cups, granola bars, crackers and water.
Thursday, April 28
The Rotary Club of Marietta Metro recently partnered with Friends of Disabled Adults and Children for the collection of new and gently used medical devices and equipment like wheelchairs, bath rails, bedside toilets and walkers.
The collection was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Marietta on April 23 and was a great success,” said Rene Lanier, Rotary Club Community Services Director. “Over $208,300 equipment was donated this year. “Our Rotary Club of Marietta Metro is very thankful to the community for taking advantage of this opportunity to donate equipment. It all will be used to help adults and children throughout our area and overseas. FODAC is recognized internationally and is a highly respected resource for the disabled.”
FODAC is a 501(c)(3) which provides over $10 million each year in home medical equipment and has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. It is the only non-profit accredited provider of Home Medical Equipment in Georgia.
The Rotary Club hosts this event annually. However, FODAC makes regular pickups at MUST Ministries throughout the year so items may be dropped off there during business hours. Gently used equipment needed also includes beds, scooters, canes, bed and shower railings, braces, etc.