Doing Good: Local business collects coats, blankets for those in need

Who’s doing good?Each Tuesday, we write about charity events such as fun-runs, volunteer projects and other community gatherings that benefit a good cause. To suggest an event for us to cover, contact Devika Rao at


Kacy Thomas is passionate about reaching out to the less fortunate. “There was a time where [my husband] Vincent and I were in need for basic needs like food and clothing,”said Thomas, general manager of Flash Teeth Whitening in Vinings. “We feel blessed to have the opportunity to operate our business and want to share our success by giving back and helping those in need.”

They sought and received help through MUST Ministries, a volunteer-driven organization that addresses the basic needs of individuals, families and children in eight counties.

“We understand how hard it is to be able to afford every little thing you need especially when it comes to keeping warm in the winter,” said Thomas. “MUST was there for us, and now we want to give back to them.”

So it was fitting that the Thomas’ and their business Flash Teeth Whitening hosted a coat and blanket drive for MUST Ministries to help keep the men, women and children it serves. The generosity of the community and Flash’s clients helped the group collect over 200 items including coats, blankets, sweaters, towels and even some hygiene products.

“MUST is grateful for coats, blankets and cold weather items when we have so many people in need asking for help. Parents are coming in and saying their children are cold at the bus stops, adults are cold at outdoor jobs and many are sleeping outside in cars or in the woods,” said Dr. Ike Reighard, president and CEO of MUST Ministries.

The items will help the 32,000 people the ministry serves, where two out of three clients are children. In addition to basic items, MUST provides food, hot meals, housing, emergency shelter, employment services, Summer Lunch, Christmas Toy Shops, a thrift store and other services in Bartow, Cherokee, Cobb, Douglas, North Fulton, Gwinnett, Paulding and Pickens counties.

To give back, like Flash, volunteers can host drives or give time to MUSTwear, food pantry, computer training, administration, resume writers, and much more.

“What a wonderful and thoughtful gift we received from Flash Teeth Whitening when they provided 200 coats to help meet our great need. They put smiles on people’s faces in more ways than one! Business partners like them make our community better and are helping change lives,” said Reighard.

Flash Teeth Whitening is dedicated to make the community better. Although this is its first coat drive, the Thomas’ plan to continue the effort. The team at Flash has also done free teeth whitenings for Partnership Against Domestic Violence a battered women’s shelter, and hosted a special event for veterans.

In other news: LGE Community Credit Unions gave $120,000 to local charities and individuals in need through its LGE Foundation. The benefitting charities were Racheals Rest, MUST Ministries, Warehouse of Hope, Calvary Children's Home, Next Step Ministries. Paulding CASA, City of Refuge, Safepath, 10 Women of Hope, Children's' Healthcare of Atlanta, Love beyond Walls, The Giving Kitchen, and Boys and Girls Club of Cobb County. Since 2010, LGE has invested over $418,000 in the lives of those in the community including children, homeless, abuse victims and those that fall on hard times.