Holiday Gifts that Give Back

This time of year, our mailboxes and email inboxes are full of holiday gift ideas, ads with smiling, happy people letting us know our lives are not complete without this or that trinket, shipping deadlines and the like.  It’s enough to make us think that somehow, somewhere, we may have lost the true meaning of the season.  Imagine our delight when Sally Rhoden, Cobb Community Foundation fundholder, reached out to us with a wish list of her own.  Sally asked us to pair her grandchildren’s favorite activities and interests with local non-profits serving children who are unable to participate in these activities due to financial hardship. It’s a two-fold gift, helping to teach her grandchildren the importance of giving back, while giving much-needed funding to community non-profits.

One of the organizations Sally chose to support in honor of her athletic grandkids is The Dave Krache Foundation, which helps local kids play the sports they love.  Allison Giddens, founder of the Cobb non-profit tells us “It is gifts like Ms. Rhoden’s that matter now more than ever.  The families dealing with financial difficulties before are feeling it even more now – and those who were on the cusp of serious hardship are finding themselves in the middle of it.  We are so grateful for Sally’s support which enables local kids to play sports during a time when they need it most.”

Sally has made a practice of “actively looking for opportunities to give back”.  Over the past few years, she had already begun to transition from Christmas gifts of toys to experiences, taking her grandchildren to the Harlem Globetrotters, Calloway Gardens, or giving monthly cooking and woodworking kits that she could enjoy with them.  Like many of us, Sally has had some extra time to reflect during COVID-19 and what became clear was that while her grandchildren may not need more gifts, our community certainly does.

Although Sally’s children (Jay, Jodi and Mitch Rhoden) are now adults, when they were young, she took them along on volunteer opportunities to organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Cobb Christmas and the Special Olympics.  Now that they are parents themselves, they too wish to pass along the values of kindness and charity to their children.   In addition to passing along these values to their children, each of Sally’s children are living them out in their daily lives.  Mitch has served on several boards in Cobb, including MUST Ministries and is the President and CEO of Futren Hospitality, which continues the annual tradition of Cobb Christmas.  Jay chairs the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership and his company, The Macallan Group strongly encourages its employees to become involved in a number of non-profits throughout the community.  Jodi and her family live in North Carolina where she serves on the board of Beloved Asheville and is very active in social justice initiatives.

Instilling the joy of giving in the next generations fits so well with the mission statement of Cobb Community Foundation – Inspiring charitable giving, building resources for the future and connecting donors who care with causes that matter.  If you are interested in giving back to community non-profits, or finding out more about the work they do and the needs they have – please go to Cobb Community Connection to search local non-profits by location, population  served, or causes addressed. If you are a CCF fundholder or would like to find out more about opening a giving fund, please contact Barbara Garner at or call (770) 859-2359.