VOLUNTEER TODAY!

MUST provides a wide range of volunteer opportunities in all three program office locations, the administrative office, the emergency shelter and the donation center. Even if you have a busy schedule, have children, or have a large group you want to volunteer, there is always some way to volunteer with MUST.

About MUST Give Help Be Help MUST Services
Community Service History of Must MUST Newsroom

Originally called Methodist United in Service & Training (later renamed Ministries United in Service & Traning), MUST Ministries was founded in 1971 by the Rev. Wayne Williams who was on staff at Powers Ferry United Methodist Church. Initial programs included a grocery bus ministries for the elderly, a youth tutoring program, and outreach ministries to "alienated" young people at the for Marietta First UMC building on the square. For more than 40 years, MUST has fulfilled Wayne's vision of connecting people who have a desire to help with those who need help the most. MUST soon moved to a bungalow house on Waterman Street next door to the Waterman Street Elementary School (now Cobb County's Salvation Army offices) and opened our first food pantry and clothing closet.

Humble Beginnings

In 1975, MUST moved to the basement of the Elizabeth United Methodist Church, relocating the food pantry and clothing closets.

In 1983, the Loaves & Fishes Community Kitchen opened three days a week serving 40 individuals in the basement of the Elizabeth UMC with one refridgerator, a small stove and five tables. It was about this time that MUST began working in the area of sheltering our neighbors in need. Our first family shelter, "Grace's Place," was located in a house on Old Highway 41 near Kennesaw Mountain. In 1985, MUST got involved with the Good Samaritan Family Shelter -- later to be known by most as simply "Marietta House" -- located on the North Marietta Loop. Another early family shelter was "Marshall's House" in Fair Oaks on Atlanta Road.

Serving More

Our first shelter for individuals opened in 1985 on Waddell Street just off the Marietta Square. S.N.O.R. (Safe Night Of Rest) opened with 20 beds for men, women and children and faced resistance from the community almost immediately as local merchant urged the night shelter to move somewhere else--teachin us the lesson of "NIMBY" - Not In My Back Yard. Throught MUST's history, each shelter guest has been required to pass a sobriety test. At S.N.O.R. the sobriety test consisted of a sniff test and a spiral staircase!

By 1988, it was clear that we needed to find a new home for the growing ministry and the community rallied together to help MUST find a new home at 55 Elizabeth Church Road, the former Elizabeth Baptist Church. The move allowed MUST to double the size of S.N.O.R., soon to be rechristened Elizabeth Inn, and we purchased our first real breathylizer equiptment (there was no spiral staircase at Elizabeth Inn) and enjoyed the presence of a mental health/psychiatric nurse through a partnership with the Cobb/Douglas Community Services Board. Soon after S.N.O.R.'s relocation, the Loaves & Fishes Kitchen as well as the food pantry and clothing closets joined the Elizabeth Inn Campus.

Day Services Centers Emerge

The need is not, and was not, confined to Marietta and the late 80's also brought about the first "Satellite" offices, now known as Day Service Centers. Smyrna First UMC housed the first satellite food pantry in 1987 and after a series of moves over the next ten years, the Smyrna Day Service Center settled at its current Pat Mell location in the first ever property ever "built" for MUST! Soon, a Day Service Center opened in Canton serving our neighbors in need in Cherokee County. These satellite offices grew from a need to expand food and clothing services and soon begain working to prevent homelessness through financial assistance programs.

Summer Lunch is Born

In 1995, a long time MUST volunteer identified the need to provide lunches to children in the summer who normally receive Free & Reduced lunch during the school year. With the help of volunteers, Sunday School Classes and other groups, more than 10,000 lunches were distributed that first summer to children in need in Cobb County. During the summer of 2011, nearly 142,000 sack lunches were served to hungry children in Cobb, Cherokee, Douglas, Gwinnett, North Fulton, and Paulding Counties.

Looking Toward the Future

After more than 20 years in the Elizabeth Inn, it became apparent that MUST had outgrown its surroundings and Hurricane Katrina showed us that we needed warehouse space to properly stage relief efforts for Katrina victims and later distribute food and clothing to the satellite offices in Smyrna and Canton. A 20,000 square foot warehouse space known as the Donation Center was added to the MUST family providing for centralized in-kind donation drop off and processing. A few years later, Marietta Day Services and MUST Administrative offices moved to a new building known as Foothills Campus, freeing up even more space so the Elizabeth Inn could add beds bringing the overnight capacity up to 64 beds for men, women, and children.