The Friendship Club provides grants to local charities that provide food, clothing and shelter to Cobb families who are in crisis and/or have special needs. Since the Friendship Club's founding in 1972, Cobb County Government employees have donated more than $3 million to local charities. The organization also provides emergency assistance to Cobb County Government employees who have experienced an unforeseen emergency situation.
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Under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, the Friendship Club has donated more than $3 million to local charities, many of which involve Cobb County children who are in crisis. The Board visits the non-profit organizations who request donations to tour their facilities, get to know the staff, learn about the programs, and determine exactly how the Friendship Club’s contributions will be used.
Since its founding, the Friendship Club has donated more than $3 million to local charities and employees!
Our mission, as members of the Board of Trustees, is to continue to administer these funds as prudently as possible, and to be instrumental in raising the third million!
Employee Emergency Assistance Guidelines
In addition to making contributions to charitable organizations, the Cobb County Employees' Friendship Club also assists Cobb County employees who experience financial emergencies and are unable to pay bills such as rent, mortgage, utility, or medical bills. This assistance is referred to as the "Employee Emergency Fund."
In an effort to ensure that this money, donated by County employees, is spent fairly and responsibly, the Employee Emergency Fund is administered by The Center for Family Resources (CFR). CFR staff is trained to interview and make a determination of the need for financial help or a referral to financial counseling. All requests for help require a confidential, in-person interview at the CFR office. An interview requires an appointment. When that appointment is made the employee must identify himself or herself as a Cobb County Government Employee looking for help from the "Cobb County Friendship Club Fund" also known as the Employee Emergency Fund.
The Center for Family Resources is located at:
400 Franklin Gateway, SE, Suite 250
Marietta, GA 30067
- Eligibility is limited to current Cobb County Government employees in full or permanent part-time jobs.
- The primary applicant must be a Cobb County Government employee.
- Requests will be considered for expenses for the employee and family members living in the household only.
- Employees are not required to be members of the Cobb County Friendship Club to receive assistance.
- Employees must provide an explanation regarding the nature of the emergency that is the underlying reason for requesting assistance. Documentation may be required to verify this information.
- Employees will be required to provide documentation of temporary inability to meet their financial obligation. Required documents will include:
- County ID badge and Driver's License or other picture ID.
- Social Security card for each person in the household.
- Verification of current employment with Cobb County Government and income for the past four (4) weeks through check stubs or a letter from the Human Resources Department on the department's letterhead stating the employee's income.
- Verification of all other household income for the last four (4) weeks through spouse's check stubs, letter(s) from employer(s), written proof of child support, pension, Social Security payment, etc.
- Current copies of bills or quotes for services for which payment is requested.
- Other documentation as may be needed by The Center for Family Resources in order to make a determination regarding eligibility or to determine services.
- Employees may make requests for assistance two (2) times per year. A maximum of $1,000 per request may be provided, not to exceed a total of $2,000 in a twelve (12) month period.
- All bills must be in the name of the employee or spouse.
- Assistance will not be provided to any account delinquent because of payment with a bad check.
- All requests for assistance require a confidential in-person interview.
- Debts for which assistance is requested must have been incurred while the applicant has been employed by Cobb County Government.
- Assistance will not be granted in circumstances in which documents and/or information is falsified. Such falsification may result in denial of any future assistance as well.
- Assistance will not be granted when there is a consistent inability to maintain current financial obligations. Assistance may be granted if the CFR case worker determines employees have demonstrated the ability and willingness to make changes in their money management practices to be able to meet their financial obligations.
- The Center for Family Resources may choose not to work with an employee who becomes hostile or unruly. The CFR supervisor will be notified and an attempt to set another appointment would be made for a time when the employee can return in a cooperative manner.
- Exceptions to these Guidelines will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by CFR. Any exception recommended by CFR will be presented to the Board of Trustees, and approval will require a majority vote of the Quorum of the Board. To expedite the approval process, voting may be conducted via email. All verbal approvals or agreements by the Board must be documented (i.e. contact name and number). Approval of any exceptions will be confirmed on the following month's agenda and copies of emailed votes will be printed and turned over to the Secretary to keep as backup for the official minutes.
Assistance with rent or mortgage payments require that:
- Mortgage statement or rental lease must be in the name of the employee or spouse.
- Verification of the amount currently owed must be provided. A letter from the landlord/mortgage holder itemizing the amount owed including any amount in arrears, late fees, or charges is preferred. A verbal statement from the landlord/mortgage holder may be accepted if the employee cannot obtain written verification.
- The landlord/mortgage holder must agree to accept the employee's rent or mortgage payment. Written documentation must be included in the file to support distribution of funds. If the agreement is verbal, documentation should include the contact name, position, and date of the person providing the verbal agreement on behalf of the landlord/mortgage holder.
- If the rent/mortgage exceeds the allowed amount, the employee must provide verification that the remaining balance has been paid. Personal checks will not be accepted as verification.
- Assistance with first month's rent and/or deposits may be provided. Verification of a valid lease in the employee or spouse's name and demonstration of a realistic plan for maintaining the financial obligation in the future must be provided.
Assistance with utility payments requires that:
- Utility bill must be in the name of the employee or spouse.
- The bill must include a past due amount from the previous month.
- If the utility charge exceeds the allowed amount, the employee must provide verification that the remaining balance has been paid. Personal checks will not be accepted as verification.
Assistance may be provided for doctor/dental bills, hospital bills, or co-payments not covered through the employee's or spouse's medical plan for situations resulting from a major illness or accident.
- Bills must be no more than six (6) months old.
- The vendor must verify the amount that is due, either verbally or in writing.
- Verification must be provided that the bill has been submitted to the insurance vendor and is not eligible for payment.
Food may be provided by:
- Food from the pantry of The Center for Family Resources.
- A gift certificate to a local grocery store.
- A combination of food from the pantry and gift certificate to a local grocery store.
Note: Any gift certificate provided will not be valid for the purchase of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, or lottery tickets.
Furniture or Clothing
Assistance with furniture may be provided as a result of the employee experiencing a major loss by fire, storm, or other disaster.