by Tara Hanover
Do you feel like you’ve seen our cover family in the community- at school functions, the ballpark, the grocery store…? I’m sure you have, because they are one of the busiest and big-hearted families in Cobb.
Meet the Wilken’s family
They have lived in Smyrna for seven years, but this is not the first times they’ve called Georgia home. Randy and Mirtha first met in Atlanta nearly 16 years ago. Although they moved early in their marriage, their positive experiences in the ATL practically guaranteed they’d eventually find their way back to the Peach State.
Randy is the son of legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Coach and Player, Lenny Wilkens and Marilyn Wilkens. Without a doubt, he has carried on his parents’ legacy and inherited their generous spirit in giving back to the community in which they live. Community service is where Randy and Mirtha feel at home and its present in everything they do. Randy is the Southeast Regional Direction for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in Atlanta. In his free time, you can find him volunteering on the soccer field and basketball courts coaching all three of his kiddos, Isabelle, Leo, and Allisandra. Mirtha is an “army brat” and former broadcast journalist who recently joined the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s fundraising team. She also makes time to sing in the choir at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.
Isabelle, 12, Leo, 10, and Allisandra, 6 are all about having fun, being on the go, and hanging out with family and good friends. The two oldest kids attend Master Park’s Tai Kwon Do class once a week and their youngest participates in Mrs. Rita’s gymnastics class at the Smyrna Community Center. This family’s list of favorite things to do include potlucks with friends, long hikes on the many local trails in our area, weekly visits to the library and shooting hoops or kicking goals.
Mirtha and Randy know how giving back is essential for our future generations who in turn watch, learn and follow a path that is filled with compassion and kindness. They lead by example and invest their time and hearts into community. My Mamaw always said, “Charity starts at home”. And you know what? She was right!
There are individuals and families that live in our neighborhoods and attend our schools that can benefit from small acts of goodness and a charitable heart. Something as simple as sending a sweet thank you card to a teacher, taking a slice of lasagna from the family dinner to the senior citizen who lives three houses down from you or even paying it forward for a stranger’s cup of coffee. You never know what another person is going through, but one act of kindness could change someone’s life in a dramatic way.