At their November breakfast meeting, the Cobb Chamber East Cobb Area Council announced East Cobb’s Citizen of the Year for 2018: Brenda Rhodes.

The Citizen of the Year Award is given to an individual whose impact throughout the years are recognized and regarded with pride throughout the area as a role model. These outstanding citizens are chosen for their definable, exceptional deeds, with which he or she has made their community a better place to live.

East Cobb resident Brenda Rhodes is the President and founder of the non-profit Simple Needs GA (SNGA). After many years of volunteering at MUST Ministries, Special Olympics, the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Hands on Atlanta, WellStar Foundation and The Center for Family Resources, Brenda noticed some “gaps” that these worthy non-profits were not able to fill. As Brenda shares, “there are so many agencies doing great work, but most focus on the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter and job training. SNGA was created to ‘fill in the cracks’ by meeting other unmet, but important needs.”

SNGA’s mission is “to meet the simple needs of children, people experiencing homelessness, and others in need, while inspiring our community to do the same.”

In 2017, SNGA’s “My Birthday Matters” program provided birthday gifts and other useful items to 217 homeless children in Cobb. SNGA’s “Spirit of Christmas” program provided Christmas presents to 158 kids in 2017. The organization last year delivered 1,200 duffel bags of toiletries to MUST and other shelters around the county, as well as 200 new pairs of shoes for schoolchildren.

In addition to running a non-profit, Brenda is also able to maintain a full-time job as a business analyst to Genesys. In her spare time, she sings in the choir at First United Methodist Church and is a board member of the Georgia Symphony Orchestra.

A resident of East Cobb for the past 22 years, Brenda enjoys the easy access to “everything you need” and the generous spirit of her fellow East Cobbers.

This article originally appeared in the January issue of EAST COBBER, on page 18. Click here to view the digital edition.