Many New Year resolutions revolve around lifestyle activities – diet, exercise, kicking an unhealthy habit, saving money, being more organized, etc. All very important action items! But, have you thought about making a commitment to something that will not only benefit you, but also make our Cobb County corner of the world a better place?


Irene Barton works as the Resource Manager for the Cobb Collaborative. She and her husband Steve have lived in Indian Hills for over 22 years and are the proud parents of two children who attend Walton High School. The Cobb Collaborative is a consortium of nonprofits, businesses and faith-based organizations that share ideas, expertise and resources for improving the quality of life for all residents in Cobb County, Georgia.

Studies show that volunteering can help to reduce stress, keep you mentally stimulated, help you feel connected and provide a sense of purpose. There are so many organizations in Cobb County that you can explore for a volunteer opportunity. Think about what motivates you and you’ll be more likely to explore and pursue that activity. Maybe it’s helping a child learn to read, providing transportation for an elderly person, building a house for a future homeowner, supporting the unemployed through resume writing and career workshops, feeding the hungry, or mentoring a teen. Whether you like to perform office tasks, move furniture, write articles, sort donated goods, plan special events, read books, cuddle infants, there is a place for you! In this issue, you will find a list of organizations that provide a breadth of services to our Cobb County neighbors. And that’s not even all of them! There are many churches in East Cobb that sponsor ministries, teachers that could use another pair of helping hands in the classroom, civic groups that sponsor programs, hospitals and medical campuses that welcome volunteers, and many more.

If this is the first time you have seriously considered volunteering, plan to visit a couple of organizations to make sure you feel comfortable with the staff and other volunteers. Think about if you prefer to work alone or with a team. Do you prefer a “behind the scenes” role or would you like to be more visible? Don’t immediately sign up for a weekly shift if you travel or would rather not have that time commitment. It’s better to be honest with the volunteer coordinator than leave the organization in a bind. If you will be working with children and youth, you may need to complete a background check and have specific training. If it’s not clear, be sure to know who is the point of contact at the organization for questions, issues, etc.

The opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life is an awesome one and typically ends up benefiting everyone. We hope that you will embrace this opportunity in 2018 and resolve to “do good” in our corner of the globe!


This article was written by Irene Barton, Resource Manager, Cobb Collaborative, and originally appeared in the January issue of the EAST COBBER magazine, on page 19. Click HERE to access the digital edition.