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Do-Gooders Blog

Features stories on East Cobb residents doing good and giving back to the community. A place for East Cobbers to recognize random acts of kindness and announce volunteer opportunities.

Help Your Country Beyond the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of the Independence on July 4th, 1776. Here are different ways to show your patriotism year-round by volunteering, making a donation, and other ways to help your country:



Fly the American Flag

Invest in America

Provide Tips

Support Our Troops

Volunteer Time

Work for the U.S.A.


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Meals on Wheels needs volunteers

Cobb Senior Services is looking for volunteer drivers for the Meals on Wheels program in Marietta, Mableton and Smyrna.
Through Cobb Senior Services, volunteers in the program deliver daily hot meals to seniors while also making each client feel welcome with a personal visit. Volunteers or those belonging to an organization or business who would like to “Adopt-A-Route” are encouraged to call Volunteer Services at 770-528-5381 or for more information on the program, visit

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4th Annual Aloha Auction to Benefit Aloha to Aging, Inc. Scheduled for August 15


The 4th Annual Aloha Live and Silent Auction benefitting Aloha to Aging, Inc. will take place on Saturday, August 15 at 6:30 pm at the Mansour Center (995 Roswell St. NE, Marietta, GA 30060).

Tickets for the fundraiser are $40 in advance or $45 at the door and include heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts and entertainment from the Parrot Island Band. A cash bar will also be available. The evening will feature a silent auction and a live auction with dual auctioneers Bill Borden and Kelly Stevens presiding over the live bidding. Auction items include Villas in Tuscany and Antiqua, an African Safari trip, jewelry, sports memorabilia, art, themed gift baskets, and much more!

New to the event this year is Corks for a Cause – attendees can purchase a cork for $25, the number on the cork corresponds to a bottle of wine, with some bottles valued at over $75 each. In addition, Split the Pot raffle tickets will be available – two tickets for $20.

“The need for services for family caregivers, especially those caring for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, is great and continues to grow each year,” stated Dawn Reed, Executive Director of Aloha to Aging.

“The proceeds from the auction enable us to continue to expand our reach as an organization in order to meet the increasing needs of our community.”

Some of the programs and services Aloha to Aging offers include:

  • Aloha Day Club: Therapeutically and socially-structured adult day respite for those 55+ who have stopped driving
  • Monthly support groups for Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s/Dementia/Age-related illnesses, family caregivers, and bereavement
  • Educational opportunities for seniors and families who are caring for aging loved ones
  • Wellness programs for seniors and those with Parkinson’s Disease

Tickets for the Aloha Auction can be purchased online at or by calling 770-722-7641.

For those who are unable to attend, but would like to support the organization, donations can be made online or mailed to Aloha to Aging, Inc., 4608 Lower Roswell Rd., Marietta, GA 30068.

Marietta Golden K Kiwanis Club Hosts 11th Annual Flag Retirement Ceremony

The Kiwanis Club of Marietta Golden K invites the public to attend a special meeting  on Thursday, July 2, 2015, at 10am at the Mountain View Community Center in East Cobb, 3332 Sandy Plains Road to celebrate their 11th annual flag retirement ceremony.  There will be a demonstration of the proper treatment for our National Emblem when it becomes soiled, torn or damaged.  Attending the event will be members of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta Golden K, Troop 444 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from nearby Cub Packs as well as the public.

The major focus of Kiwanis lies in the support and development of youth. The Marietta Golden K Club meets every Thursday at 10 am at the East Cobb Community Center. They actively sponsor Circle K Clubs in colleges, Key Clubs in local high schools, Builders Clubs in middle schools, Terrific Kids, K-Kids Programs, and Silver Pen Writing Contests in elementary schools. In addition, Kiwanians provide mentoring and story-time reading at area schools.


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Share the good news with #ilovecobb

It’s always great to be reminded of all the wonderful aspects of our community, so Cobb County wants to know what you love about Cobb and East Cobb.

The next time you’re posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or YouTube — whether it’s your child’s first soccer game, a trip to Cumberland Mall or a beautiful run on the Silver Comet Trail — spread the word using the hashtag #ilovecobb. Your tweets and posts will help spread the good news about happenings in our community.

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Community Voices: Volunteer work makes us all the richer

Community Voices: Volunteer work makes us all the richer photo
The following article was written by Vicki Griffin for the AJC

Home from college for the summer, I was delighted to discover that my younger son and his friends had opted to work as volunteers at a neighborhood thrift shop, run by a neighborhood family, to benefit the outreach programs their church supports.

There are as many volunteer opportunities as there are interests, to help others and enrich our community.

Although it’s been a while, I love to play tennis and I work with special needs students, but I’d never heard of Special Populations Tennis, until I started my own search. Tennis pro talent isn’t needed to share your time with this wonderful organization. Its foundation is in the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association, but has stood alone since 2005.

Special Populations Tennis serves special needs high school students in Cobb and North Fulton Counties, as well as seventeen different sites from Peachtree City to Cherokee and Forsyth counties.

The program works with children as young as eight, opening a new dimension of inclusion and allowing for family play.

“Tennis attracts people to our organization, but it’s the life skills and relationships that bring everyone back,” Director Jim Hamm told me.

This month, lessons will be held at East Roswell Park and Harrison Park Tennis Center in Marietta. Special Population Unified Doubles, or SPUD, Saturdays teams a special needs athlete with a volunteer for doubles play, that’s coming up in August.

Many local high school students volunteer their time working with younger children in Vacation Bible School classes and at day camps. Zachary Thorman, a rising junior at Lassiter High School in Marietta, spent a recent week working with third and fourth graders, making pancakes and wooden tie racks, and helping build confidence and friendships, as part of the Winshape Day Camp at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church.

“I started doing this last year and I love it. If I could have gone there when I was young, I would have,” Thorman enthusiastically shared.

For youngsters who enjoy caring for people and feel they may be interested in a medical career, North Fulton Hospital has a student volunteer program during the summer months. You just have to be 21 or younger and have a commitment to help others. Specialized training will be provided. Contact Lisa Delamater at 770-751-2671 for more information.

With school out, over 100,000 children in the six-county metro area who participate in the free and reduced school lunch program will need the support of our community to replace those lunches, over 10,000 children in Cobb County alone.

Every Sunday afternoon in June, the church my family attends will ask volunteers ages 10 and up, to help assemble sack lunches to help meet this need, our goal this summer is four-thousand lunches. As part of the MUST Summer Lunch program,, many church and civic organizations will be gathering volunteers to help pack lunches so that children don’t go hungry.

(Reprinted from the AJC. View the original article HERE.) 


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It’s Flag Day! U.S. Flag adopted June 14, 1777.


The annual observance of National Flag Day is held each June 14 to commemorate the adoption of the Stars and Strips as the U.S. flag by Congress on June 14, 1777. However, the tradition began in 1885, when a 19-year-old school teacher, Bernard J. Cigrand, assigned his class to write essays on the flag and its significance. For years Cigrand continued to advocate June 14 as an observance of “Flag Birthday.”

In 1889, New York kindergarten teacher George Balch planned ceremonies for his school to be held on June 14, and later the State Board of Education in New York adopted his idea. In 1891 the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia celebrated a June 14 Flag Day, and the following year the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution picked up the idea. But it was not until April 25, 1893 that there was government involvement, when the Pennsylvania Society of Colonial Dames of America requested that the mayor of Philadelphia, other authorities, and all private citizens use June 14 to display the American flag.

Over the years the idea caught on, and there were a number of organizations requesting that June 14 be an official national observance of the flag, including the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Resolution, the governor of New York, and the American Flag Day Association, and an increasing number of major cities began observing the day. After three decades of local and state celebrations President Woodrow Wilson officially established the 1777 anniversary of the flag resolution as June 14 on May 30, 1916.

As American celebrate the flag on June 14, the Flag Rules and Regulations website offers instructions for properly displaying it. As most people know, the American flag is always flown on top of a single pole, never beneath the flag of a state or another country’s. The flag is typically flown from sunrise to sunset, and it should not be flown at night without a spotlight on it. The flag is to be raised “briskly” and lowered slowly. The blue field containing the stars, known as the “union,” is always flown at the top, although the Flag Code states that it may be flown upside down as a signal of “dire distress,” involving extreme danger to life. The union is always on the left when the flag is displayed in print.

There are official days when the flag is flown at half-staff. These include Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15, the last Monday in May for Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), September 11, the Sunday closest to October 9 for Fire Prevention Week, and December 7 for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Otherwise it is displayed at half-staff only at the direction of the U.S. President.

Confusion frequently arises when displaying the flag in a suspended manner, such as from the eaves of a roof, or over a street. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) instructions say to place the union facing either north or east. If displayed inside a building the union goes to the observer’s left as they enter the building.

There are certain rules for things that should not be done with the flag which are often broken. Most people know it should never touch the ground. Other lesser known rules exist. The flag should always be carried aloft, never be horizontally or flat. It should not be used as wearing apparel, drapery, or bedding and should not be used on costumes or athletic uniforms. It is permissible to attach a flag patch to the uniforms of military personnel, police officers, firefighters, or patriotic organizations. A flag should never be used for promotion or advertising purposes, and it should not be printed on anything intended for temporary use and discarded, such as boxes or paper napkins.

Although many communities observed Flag Day for years following Wilson’s proclamation, it was not until President Truman signed an Act of Congress on August 3, 1949, that June 14 each year was designated as an official national event. The day is intended for Americans to show respect for our flag as representative of our unity as a nation and our independence.

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5K9 Race to Support Cobb County Police Department is tomorrow


The Northeast Cobb Business Association 5K9 is a community-centered event hosted by the NCBA. Proceeds from the event will be used to support the Cobb County Police Department’s K-9 Unit. In 2006, the NCBA raised funds to help purchase two dogs. One of these dogs, Diesel, is retiring this year and we are thrilled to offer our support in purchasing another service dog for the department.

The 5k race begins and ends in the Piedmont Church parking lot. Bring your dog to walk or run with you! Please be responsible and pick up after your dog.

Event details and schedule

Race packet pick up: Friday, June 12th from 2:00 – 6:00pm in the Piedmont Church Conference Center or Saturday, 7:00 am before the race

Saturday, June 13th schedule:

7:00 am – race day registration and packet pick up

8:00 am – 5K begins

8:45 am – Puppy Trot begins (ages 8 and under, must be accompanied by an adult)

9:00 am – 5K Award Ceremony; awards presented to the Top 3 Male and Female finishers (50+, 35 – 49, 25 – 34, 15 – 24 and 14 and under)

Arrival info: Runners will arrive and park in the Piedmont Church parking lot.

Waivers and ID: Waivers must be completed during registration process. Please be prepared to show ID, if necessary, to claim your registration.

Additional info: Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase a service dog for the Cobb County Police Department’s K-9 unit. Invite your friends and family to join you for a fun and easy way to support the Cobb County Police Department’s K-9 Unit.


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East Cobb couple leads rec group for special needs kids at KSU


Jack and Lois Gibbs, Founders of P.L.A.Y


“You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around; that’s what it’s all about!” Childish laughter echoes off the gym walls at Kennesaw State University. For twenty years, East Cobbers Jack and Lois Gibbs have been leading a recreation group at Kennesaw State University for special needs children, called the Physical and Leisure Activity for Youth (PLAY) program. Besides providing fun exercise for children, it gives physical education students required practicum credit when they participate every fall on six consecutive Saturdays from 10am-noon. “Our students are exposed to real children with real disabilities, in a setting that is exactly like what they would encounter at a school,” says Peter St. Pierre, Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Physical Education. “It’s wonderful just to be around the children.”

In the fall, each college student chooses a child after talking with his or her parent beforehand. Then a friendship begins, sometimes lasting for years. Volunteering every spring are high school and middle school youth from the Gibbs’s church, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Is it worth getting up early? “They want to be there!” Jack asserts. “They are very intuitive and require little supervision.”

PLAY is designed for elementary school children who struggle with developmental, sensory, neurologic, mental and orthopedic disabilities. At various stations they can try dribbling and throwing a basketball, kicking a soccer ball, lobbing a volleyball or playing T-ball. More options include tennis, bowling and tumbling. In addition to sports, the children can move to the music in an arm-flapping chicken dance, the “YMCA” song, and even a conga line. It’s a happy time for parents as well. Nathan Sykes’s mother Sylvia says he’s been “welcomed with open arms”. Cindy Knight, Carson’s mom, likes the networking with other parents, and having more time to herself. Though he’s in three other sports, Carson enjoys the PLAY group the most.

Jack and Lois Gibbs are uniquely qualified to lead this program from their experience in education. For five years in Japan, then seven in Germany, Jack worked on a military base as a school principal, while Lois taught special needs kids. Her interest in children with disabilities began during childhood with her beloved Down syndrome sister Carol, or “Bobby”. In those days she was banned from public school, so her mother started school in their living room, hiring a college student to teach her daughter and several friends. Lois taught there as well, when she was home from college. This home school grew to six children and after a year, the Muskegon,Michigan newspaper ran an article on it. A local church
volunteered its basement for a classroom, and another church offered its bus. Later on, this special  needs school served as a practicum for education students at Western Michigan University in  Kalamazoo.

For more information on Physical and Leisure Activity for Youth (PLAY) program, contact Peter St. Pierre, Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Physical Education at 470-578-6775, or

(Written by Mary Bowen) 

What’s happening at Hyde Farm?


Though only 1½ miles east of roaring traffic on Johnson Ferry and Lower Roswell roads, JC Hyde only heard the songs of birds and his mule panting as he plowed another furrow. Taking a break, he tilted back his hat and wiped his brow, catching the cool breeze as it rustled the leaves around him. He  surveyed long rows of sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, beans and okra, and reckoned that his three  sisters would enjoy them before the folks at the Marietta Square. “C’mon, Nell, let’s finish up!” Thoughts of milk and cornbread for supper quickened his pace, and he started humming one of his fiddle tunes.

JC farmed 127 acres with his brother, William “Buck” Hyde, for more than 83 years, living in the  1840s-era log cabin they grew up in with four siblings. The Hydes kept warm with a pot-bellied stove and drew
water from a well. “I have running water,” JC joked in a 1991 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. “I run out to the well and get it.” At his death in 2004, JC’s desire to preserve his property was honored by the Trust for Public Land and the efforts of Friends of Hyde Farm. It has remained a “beautiful living treasure,” as neighbor Linda Hodges describes it. And renovation of all 13 historic buildings is nearly complete using funds from the 2011 PARKS SPLOST Program. $1.4 million has been used of the $3.5 million allocated. Tom Bills, Senior Contract Project Manager for Cobb County Parks and Recreation, praised Cobb County’s partnership with PBG Builders and Leatherwood as “a match made in heaven.”

This Tennessee company has carefully preserved and reused the original building materials, and substituted vintage items where needed. Some East Cobbers may wonder about all the trouble and expense to preserve Hyde Farm. Tom Bills calls the property a “slice of life” of our past agrarian culture. It shows us what life was like back then; family farms comprised the community. School children will learn where their food comes from and how their ancestors lived as they tour the farmhouse and barn.

They will see the other buildings from the outside only. Besides the educational benefits, Bills envisions another connection between the farm and our community: providing fresh produce to local restaurants.
Before that happens, though, much more remains to be done before the farm is open to the public.

Building renovations are still underway, including a nearby house for a farmer who will plow and plant the fields with vegetables next spring, and re-establish a working farm complete with chickens and goats. In the near future, East Cobb restaurant menus may feature the Hyde’s prized Gold Nugget sweet potatoes, along with other fresh-from-the-farm favorites. In the meantime, the only visitors allowed in
Hyde Farm now are school children participating in either the outdoor nature camp or the ARTventure
Camp. To register for the middle school nature camp July 6-10, contact,
or call 770-528-8824. The ARTventure Camp, sponsored by The Art Place and Cobb County Parks and
Recreation, is open for children ages 7-12 from July 30-August 3. Activities include hiking, plant identification, and creating nature journals.

(Written by Mary Bowen) 

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