I just love an uplifting story. Who doesn’t?

There are so many wonderful people and organizations making a difference in our community everyday, many of which never seek or receive attention.

Let’s change that. 

Today is my first “Cobb Cares” column but I hope you will continue to open the paper every Wednesday and close it with a smile on your face. “Cobb Cares” is all about the good in our community, and there is a great deal of it; however, this column can only happen through your participation. If you see, experience or hear of something positive happening in Cobb County that you would like to share, please email brief commentary to me at krcamp@mdjonline.com or use the hashtag #MDJCobbCares on social media.

Thanking you for proving today and everyday that Cobb cares.

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One reader, who wished to remain anonymous, wanted to give a special, public thank-you to the firefighters at Cobb County Fire Station No. 26, located on Wade Green Road in Kennesaw. According to the reader (who is not a Cobb County employee), the men and women at the station have shown special kindness towards patients and their families and go above and beyond the requirements of their job. “I just feel like they go unnoticed so much. They work for peanuts and risk their lives everyday,” the reader said.

Thank you to the brave men and women at Fire Station No. 26, and to all of our wonderful public safety workers for your service to our community.

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On May 8, the Cobb Community Foundation awarded $225,000 in Cobb County Community Impact Grants to 32 charitable organizations serving our community. The grants awarded are projected to impact 118,000 Cobb Countians and are being matched by $320,150 in private dollars.

However; 37 organizations who applied for the grant did not receive funding and many of those who did receive awards were not able to receive the full amount requested. If you would like to donate to any of these very worthy causes in our community or find out more information, please call Executive Director Shari Martin at 770-859-2366 or visit the Cobb Community Foundation website at cobbfoundation.org.

From the inbox:

We have an unsung hero for Little League baseball in Oregon Park. His name is Wayne Brown, and he is from Marietta. He is a coach, volunteer and board member and, with all this bad weather we had this last week, he was going over and above to make sure these kids got to play our tournament drying fields with shop vacs and leaf blowers. Thanks; I just wanted to do something for this guy who goes above and beyond for my kids and many others.

Anonymous, but thankful, parent

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My friend Kathy Qualey (Marietta), through her nonprofit ZelixZone for Kids, has partnered with several groups including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to produce cookbooks for charitable purposes. Additionally, she has written several children’s books which help children deal with bullying and other relevant topics. Her heart is big and her talent is wonderful.

Barry Morgan, Cobb County Solicitor General

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This week, one of Marietta’s finest once again helped our block get permission from the city to block off our street for a fabulous and more importantly, a safe viewing spot for the fireworks near the square. Marty Ferrell, for the fifth year in a row, has helped us by walking our petition to close the street through to the city manager. He has ensured that the blockades are delivered to the correct spots and picked up. The last two years, I’ve referred to him as “Gatsby” because he provides a wonderful party location for 300+ friends and neighbors in the Whitlock Historic District, yet we don’t know exactly who he is. I’d love to give him a shout out and a huge thank you for always being so willing to help us with the details of the event. It is so appreciated by many.

Meredith Dixon, Marietta

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Please consider Tracy Penninger for this mention. It is not one thing that Tracy has done. She is always advocating for someone. It may a single mom, or an abused woman, or just someone down on their luck. A name search on the Marietta City Facebook group and you will see her going out if her way to organize donations to completely outfit a woman’s new home as she left an abusive husband.  All of this while involved in her church, being an amazing wife/mother/grandmother. She continues to service our community with the utmost humility.

Carol Robertson, Kennesaw

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I am so happy to learn of your new positive feature in the MDJ.  Being a servant leader in the community, I know how much “Cobb Cares” and look forward to reading the stories and submitting some as well.  Here is one I would like to share:

Austell Natural Gas System offers gas customers the opportunity to make a donation to Sweetwater Mission each month when paying their bills.  Austell Natural Gas System then matches each donation up to $25,000 annually.  Sweetwater Mission, located in Austell, has a 49-year history of preventing hunger and homelessness in Cobb County and is Georgia’s largest distributing food pantry.   

Mark Zangari

From social media:

Amanda Mullins posted this on Facebook about Kennesaw resident Justin Rypel helping a boy at a recent Braves game receive a game ball. The name of the boy is unknown so, if you know him, let us know!

Amanda Mullins’ post on July 5:

“So, this kid should have gotten the ball that was thrown into the crowd by Ender Inciarte, but the jerk in front of him caught it and wouldn’t give this kid the ball. So Justin Rypel tweeted at the Braves telling them what happened along with the kids seat number, and a Braves rep showed up 15 minutes later and gave this kid a signed baseball by Ender Inciarte, who is on the field right in front of us. Thanks, Atlanta Braves for making this kid’s night much better.”

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Carol Slayman Fust: Yesterday, a friend who had been on the road from Summerville, Ga. near Tennessee had been hauling and rescuing horses all day with her dog accompanying her, pulled off I-75 at Chastain Road (in Kennesaw) to get a bite to eat. The kind staff at California Dreaming allowed her dog, Barney, to come inside out of the heat and lie at her feet as she ate, even providing a bowl of cool clean water for the dog as he entered. I will definitely be giving them my business.

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Cindy Pashko: I have a friend who made me a walking stick for my retirement. The story behind this is that he handmakes a lot of these walking sticks and gives them to people he meets on his hikes on the Appalachian Trail in the North Georgia Mountains. These are people that plan to hike all the way to Maine. It is a kind gesture with nothing in return. He is in Cherokee County, but I am a Marietta resident who received this awesome gift. His name is Carl Andrew Bauer and his Facebook page is AB Original Hiking Stick.

Have a positive piece of news or person you would like to share? Email me at krcamp@mdjonline.com or use the hashtag #MDJCobbCares when you spread or share the word through social media. Cobb Cares runs every Wednesday on the Life & Style front page as well as at mdjonline.com. Please note that your submissions are subject to editing for space and Associated Press style and all photos must be submitted with permission to be published.

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