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The undead helping the living – 4th Annual Marietta Zombie Walk is this weekend

The undead of Marietta, Georgia are coming back to help our community of the living on October 18, 2014and for the fourth year the zombies will bring donations to support MUST Ministries. In 2011 we started with over 300 undead and the horde has continued to grow to last year close to 800 strong filling 15 barrels of food and donating almost $2000 to help the living in need.

Carnival of Doom is once again sponsoring the 4th Annual Marietta Zombie Walk benefiting those in need within our local community. All proceeds and collected food from the Marietta Zombie Walk goes directly to MUST Ministries in their mission to help local humans in need. This year, we are truly excited to be part of the Marietta Harvest Square Arts & Crafts Festival and some fun  post-walk activities are in the plans for Glover Park to entertain the undead even more.

What’s a Zombie Walk? A Zombie Walk is an organized (as organized as zombies can be) public gathering of people dressed in zombie costumes.  The walks take place in an urban center as the participants make their way around city streets and through public spaces in an orderly fashion. In Marietta, the undead will again roam the streets around Marietta Square in a not-so-brisk 0.8 mile stumble. This is an undead family event.

There’s a little undead in all of us, so bring out your best zombie look and food donations (human cash & credit card donations work) and join the local undead in Marietta Square. Victims Spectators are welcome to come play with us while helping the local food pantry (zombies do not need food for humans, right?) The Infestation (Gathering) starts at 5pm in Glover Park after the Festival. The Feeding (Walk) starts promptly at6pm. Makeup artists will be on hand during the festival to help bring out the undead for a monetary donation or arrive already in character using your own creativity.

For more info: or or twitter @MariettaZombies (#MariettaZombieWalk)


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Kell Band March-A-Thon to support MUST Ministries

MAT photo2

The Carlton J. Kell High School Marching Band is set to perform in their Sixth Annual March-A-Thon on Saturday, October 25th. Last year was the fifth time that the Marching Longhorns took on this type of fundraiser and community involvement event. According to March-A-Thon coordinators, the goals have always been simple: to connect with the community, to use their talents to give back to the community, and to raise much needed funds for the band itself. The marching band has accomplished these goals all five years.

During the summer and fall months, the band practices in the band parking lot at least 3-4 nights per week and all day on select Saturdays. The homes in the neighboring subdivisions can almost always hear them playing from a distance. The March-A-Thon was created in 2009, when Kell’s Marching Band decided to give the neighbors a chance to hear the band “up close and personal” by marching right down their streets. They passed out flyers in the areas they would be marching through, letting the people know they were coming and asking them to come out and cheer them on. Along the route, the marching band collected donations of non-perishable food and gently used clothing that they would, in turn, take to MUST Ministries. Coordinators were equipped with 55-gallon food barrels, from MUST Ministries, to put the donations in. The residents of Kell’s neighboring communities overwhelmed them with their generosity! The three barrels were OVERFLOWING with f ood! All of the donations of both food and clothing filled the back of a pick-up truck. When the donations were taken to the MUST Ministries drop-off location, the MUST workers were blown away by what had been collected. David McGrath, former Director of Bands at Kell High School, commented “It was such a wonderful feeling to know that our students made a connection with the community and that the community gave back to us in a way that was humbling, to say the least.”

This year’s March-A-Thon will begin with step-off at 2:00 PM from the North Landing subdivision on Trickum Road in Marietta with a destination of Kell High School around 6:00pm. The students will march nearly 6 miles and will continue the tradition of collecting items for MUST ministries. Leading up to the event, the students have been raising monetary donations from friends, family, and local businesses, all in support of the band and this yearly event. Last year, they raised more money with this event than with any other previous fundraiser. Director of Bands, David Roth and Assistant Director of Bands, Taylor Watts appreciate the community support for the Kell Marching Band.

Anyone wishing to make a monetary donation to the Kell March-A-Thon can send them to PO Box 965338, Marietta, GA 30066. All checks should be made out to KBBA (Kell Band Boosters Organization). KBBA is a 501(c)3, non-profit organization.


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Walmart Choses MUST for $100,000 Grant to Fight Hunger

Must Ministries

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation today announced giving more than $54 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Georgia, including $100,000 to MUST Ministries. “Walmart is excited to continue helping the communities we serve,” said Glen Wilkins, director of public affairs and government relations at Walmart.

MUST is applying the contribution to the extensive feeding program at the 43-yr.-old charity. According to Dr. Ike Reighard, President and CEO of MUST, the financial support will provide critical dollars for helping the thousands of clients who rely on MUST for food.

“MUST distributes just under a ton of food every week day through our food pantries,” Reighard explained. Pantries in Marietta, Smyrna and Canton hand out groceries to those in need. In addition free breads and sweets are distributed daily at those locations and additionally at the homeless campus.

The MUST feeding program also includes holiday meals and Thanksgiving boxes. Plus, 77,000 meals are served annually at the Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen. Shelter clients eat breakfast and lunch there each week day, and all three meals on weekends. Week day lunches are open to anyone who is hungry. The feeding program is a vital part of the $8.2 million charity’s programming.

Reighard said MUST is also grateful to some individual Walmart stores who have made cash donations in the past. “Walmart is focused on addressing hunger relief and so are we. The partnership is ideal because they help supply the funds and we implement the programs. We are deeply grateful to Walmart for their generosity to the 31,000 people a year we serve.”

Walmart is operating globally, but giving back locally to make a significant social impact. MUST serves in eight counties and helps those recovering from poverty by providing basic needs of life, including food, housing, employment services and clothing.


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MUST Ministries Expands Leadership Board

MUST Ministries

MUST Ministries announces eight new members are joining the Board of Directors. MUST is a regional faith-based charity serving eight counties by providing food, housing, employment services and clothing. The new directors are Brian Cartwright, Brannon Fitch, Kevin Isaacs, Sharon Mason, Nelson Mumma, Mitch Rhoden, Bill Robinson and Monte Wilson.

The Vice President and General Manager of Zep Distribution, Brian Cartwright held several positions within the trade organization Consumer Specialty Products Association before joining MUST’s Board of Directors.

Brannon Fitch is the Market President for BB&T Bank and currently a Cobb Chamber of Commerce Board Member

The Director of Sales at Salem Communication, Kevin Isaacs has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing and sales. He is also a former adjunct professor of marketing at Kennesaw State University.

Sharon Mason is Chief Operating Officer at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and is very active in the community. She has served in numerous leadership roles.

New board member Nelson Mumma is Senior Director of Global External Affairs at the Coca-Cola Company. Over the years, Mumma has been actively engaged in numerous church leadership ventures and fundraising endeavors.

Mitch Rhoden is Pres. And CEO of Futren Corp and a licensed real estate broker. He has an MBA and was formerly an engineer officer in the U.S. Marine Corp. He is on the board for the Cobb Chamber, and has volunteered at MUST for 20 years.

Bill Robinson is currently the executive vice president and chief human resources officer at the global technology company, Sabre. Robinson connected to MUST through his volunteering experience with the homeless shelter, The Elizabeth Inn.

WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center COO Monte Wilson is joining the MUST board with extensive experience as a board chairman for several non-profit organizations. He is active in the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and a member of the 2014 Class of Leadership Cobb.


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Golf Tournament to benefit MUST Ministries


Set against the backdrop of the North Georgia Mountains, The Golf Club at Bradshaw Farms is the backdrop for MUST Ministries’ annual golf tournament. Set for Sept. 8 with an 8 a.m. registration and 9 a.m. shotgun start, the event is requesting sponsors and signing up golfers.

The beautiful Woodstock location is recognized for its 27 holes of challenging golf. MUST will provide an opportunity to win a car in a Hole in One Contest and will be giving prizes for top teams, longest drive, closest to the pin and putting. A raffle of great prizes is also scheduled.

All proceeds benefit the 34,000 people a year who come to MUST seeking help and hope. MUST, a volunteer-driven organization serving for 43 years, addresses the basic needs of life to those struggling with food, housing, employment and clothing. MUST has five facilities in Cobb and Cherokee counties and programming in eight counties.

Players can sign up for $125 per golfer at or email for more information.


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Chick-fil-A, MUST team to prepare meals for children

Tyler Hediger, left, of Chick-fil-A, gets some assistance from the company mascot as he loads sack lunches to be delivered to Cobb children as part of the MUST Ministries Summer Lunch Program. About 5,000 children received a chicken sandwich along with the rest of their meal. Staff/Jeff Stanton


Chick-fil-A owners worked together to provide 5,900 lunches Wednesday for children across seven counties who receive free and reduced lunches at school.

Sixty Chick-fil-A locations surrounding Atlanta donated the food and time to make thousands of lunches that were then sorted and delivered by MUST Ministries.

Chris Fields, senior vice president of programs and administration at MUST Ministries, said the summer lunch program has been around for 19 years. Groups of volunteers meet at churches in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Forsyth, Gwinnett, north Fulton, Paulding and Pickens counties five days a week to make, pack and deliver lunches to nearly 6,000 children across eight counties for 10 weeks during the summer.

“Hunger doesn’t stop when school lets out,” Fields said. “This program makes sure that we know there are 6,000 kids who are going to have a meal on the table every day.”

Kaye Cagle, a spokeswoman for MUST Ministries, said businesses, families and senior assisted living homes frequently donate some meals and food to the program through local churches. This is the first time a business has agreed to donate meals to feed every child for a day as Chick-fil-A did Wednesday, she said.

“I think the most important part of the story is how many children are being fed every day,” Cagle said. “It’s a monumental undertaking.”

Chris Darley, who owns the East Lake Chick-fil-A on Roswell Road, said his restaurant donated 380 meals for volunteers at the First Presbyterian Church off Church Street near the Square to deliver on its three routes. Darley said each meal includes a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, chips and a cookie.

Darley said he thinks it is important for his business to support and serve the community it’s in, so he was excited to work with 60 other Chick-fil-A franchise owners to deliver the lunches.

“(The owners) wanted to do something together that we couldn’t do on our own,” Darley said.

Martie Moore, the coordinator for the lunch program at First Presbyterian Church, said every week day of the summer 13 volunteers gather at the church to make sandwiches for the children.

“The best thing has been getting to know all the volunteers and the volunteers getting to know each other,” Moore said. “It just kind of builds the community in our church and we also have volunteers from other churches.”

This is the seventh week of the 10-week program, and Fields said 158,000 meals have been delivered so far this summer in MUST’s coverage area. By the end of the program, Fields said 250,000 lunches will have been delivered across the area, and 100,000 will be delivered in Cobb.

Moore, who teaches art classes at Burruss Elementary School, said she enjoys seeing the children over the summer.

“They come in and sometimes they’re all dirty from playing outside all morning, and they’re so cute, and they say ‘thank you,’” Moore said. “This way, you don’t worry so much about them.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Hilary Butschek, July 17, 2014. Read the original article here.

Community & Southern Bank Donates Office Supplies to Must Ministries

Must Ministries

Community & Southern Bank (CSB) gives back to the Metro Atlanta community by donating excess office equipment and administrative supplies to a local charity, Must Ministries (MUST). CSB’s donation of chairs, office supplies, printers, desks, filing cabinets and other office items will provide Must Ministries with some of the necessary equipment to meet its administrative duties, as well as furthering its community initiatives.

“MUST is so grateful for corporate citizens who give back to their communities. CSB is a prime example of a community partner, donating numerous items that will help us in so many ways,” said President and CEO Dr. Ike Reighard. “A donation like this helps MUST by allowing us to better serve others.  Additionally, this donation saves our ministry money so we can in turn allocate more funds where it’s needed most. We are humbled and blessed by their generosity.”

Must Ministries, a nonprofit organization, has served the Marietta, Smyrna and Cherokee county communities for over 40 years by providing food, assisting with employment opportunities and housing programs. As a volunteer-driven organization, Must Ministries strives to address the basic needs of individuals, families and children.

“CSB recognizes and values the positive work that Must Ministries has done and continues to do within our community,” said Mark Abernathy, CSB President. “Through such donations, our desire is to support and empower philanthropies that share our commitment to community.”


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MUST Ministries, United Way of Greater Atlanta collaborate to help Cobb veteran families



A new partnership in Cobb County is “an important step in providing supportive services to veteran families in need,” according to Chris Fields, Senior Vice President of MUST Ministries. In an innovative partnership, MUST and United Way of Greater Atlanta are joining forces to help those veterans living in or transitioning to permanent housing.

United Way case workers will be located in MUST facilities to implement the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. The initiative willconnect eligible veteran families to outreach, case management and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, which may include healthcare, legal, childcare, transportation, housing counseling and other supportive services.

“We are committed to serving veterans in Cobb County by supplying access to the services they need.” Fields explained. “Serving veterans has long been a commitment of MUST Ministries and we are excited to partner with United Way to extend that commitment. What an honor to serve those who have served our country so faithfully.”

According to the national census, an estimated 47,000 Cobb residents are veterans. Many of these veterans are struggling financially or are homeless. The census also shows 13.6% of people in Cobb County live below the poverty line, including hundreds of veterans. Almost half of those veterans are estimated to have a disability.

On a daily basis, MUST provides meals in the Loaves and Fishes Community Kitchen, employment services, Supportive Housing, clothing, access to healthcare and other key components to sustain daily living.  Through this partnership, additional resources will be available to those who have served our country, but are now searching for stability.

For more information, call MUST Ministries at 770-427-9862.


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MUST Ministries opens thrift store to support services: MUST Marketplace launches Jan. 16


An exciting new approach to becoming more sustainable is beginning this month at MUST Ministries, according to Dr. Ike Reighard, President and CEO. After months of research and strategic planning, MUST Ministries is opening a 4,600-sq.-ft. thrift store to help fund the organizations commitment to helping area residents move from poverty to stability.

“After analyzing many resources, it became abundantly clear that the organization has generous in-kind donors who bring more than enough clothing, housewares, furniture,  art work, small appliances, baby items and more to the Donation Center.  Allocating the excess items to a thrift shop concept allows MUST to continue giving clothing to clients, and to sell the “extra” to gain funds for our important mission,” Reighard announced.

“Clients will now have the option to purchase items in addition to the free vouchers they receive, giving them a feeling of parity and not just charity. Financial donors and other donors bringing items to the Donation Center were surveyed and overwhelmingly supported MUST’s need to acquire a new income stream and favored the thrift store concept.,” he explained.

“This concept is very exciting on many levels. We give clients the dignity of shopping in a nice store, we give donors an opportunity to make a difference by what they give to the store, we invite the public in to shop and see the great work we’re doing here and we help sustain our programs with the proceeds.”

The large store, open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-6, is housed in remodeled space at the current Program Services location at 1407 Cobb Parkway North location to prevent additional expense for rent. Reighard explained that MUST has been blessed with high quality donations that will help make this approach successful.

“We receive wonderful donations that will continue to benefit our clients and those items sold will also benefit our clients. We hope our supporters will donate high-end items like designer clothes, fashionable jewelry, desirable electronics and quality furniture to further help the store.” MUST Marketplace donations can be taken to the MUST Donation Center at 55 Chastain Road, Suite 110, Kennesaw, Tuesday-Saturday, 9-5.


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Gobble Jog Race Goes for World Record, Benefits MUST Ministries


When a small group of volunteers planned the first Gobble Jog in 2003, they had no idea how quickly the event would grow into one of the best attended and most beloved holiday festivities in the South. The 1,400 original runners helped raise $29,000 that year and the Gobble Jog was literally “off and running” with a 10K, 5K, 1K and Tot Trot.

Over the next 10 years, the Gobble Jog became a tradition for thousands of people who get together with their friends and families to kick off their holiday. Today, more than 11,000 runners and walkers pour into the historic Marietta Square on Thanksgiving morning for the fun and excitement of a great event for a great cause. The proceeds now exceed $425,000 and continue to benefit MUST Ministries, one of Georgia’s recognized servant leaders.

“This year, we are adding something different and exciting,” said Special Events Coordinator Cara Reeve.

“The Gobble Jog is one of a series of races being monitored by the Guinness Book of World Records that will determine the largest number of participants in a multivenue event.”

She explained that Thanksgiving races all over the country have banded together to take the world record currently held in Malaysia. The event has become a wonderful, street party atmosphere with costumes, “Gobble Dogs”, family teams, corporate teams, church groups, firefighters running in full gear and lively music, Reeve explained.

“Everyone loves kicking off the holiday season at MUST’s event, seeing their friends and neighbors, getting in some exercise and seeing the festivities.”

In addition, now there is a way to help MUST even more. Participants are asked to establish a personal fund raising page and help raise more money to help feed, house, clothe and train the 34,000 clients a year who come to MUST for help and hope. For more information or to register, go to


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