Our vision for the Atlanta Retailers Foundation (ARF) is to establish the ARA as a valued civic organization within Georgia. To realize this vision, the ARA through its Foundation seeks opportunities to contribute positively to the quality of life of all Georgians through philanthropic contributions and community service projects.


  • The ARA sponsored a much-needed K-9 training facility in the city of Johns Creek at the 133-acre Cauley Creek Park development.

  • This facility is aimed at keeping drugs and narcotics off the street and apprehending other criminals and missing persons.

  • Several Metro Atlanta K-9 departments are slated to leverage this facility to strengthen our collective public safety initiatives.


  • An annual national competition held in Washington DC, The Future City program brings talented and socially conscious Middle school students to design sustainable cities of the future.

  • Essays, Physical models, and a formal presentation with Q&A brought more than 40 schools together under ARA’s sponsorship of this event.


  • In February 2015, CCHC began providing much needed medical care that is culturally and linguistically sensitive to the diverse population of Clarkston.

  • In April of 2016, ARA and ARF helped fund CCHC’s Dental Clinic where oral x-rays/exams, cleanings, and tooth extractions are provided.


  • In alignment with the vision of ARF, the Foundation recently contributed towards the creation of an Inter-Faith Prayer Garden at the Mercer University Professional Campus.

  • The following pictures depict our participation in the dedication ceremony on May 14, also highlighting the park benches sponsored by and dedicated to the ARF and ARA.

Why Mercer?

Students come from every corner of the globe to attend one of the six schools and colleges on the Mercer Atlanta campus. They represent every ethnicity and every faith. As they prepare for their careers, students need a place outside classroom walls to reflect, to seek direction, and to find both solitude and community.

The prayer garden and labyrinth offer a sacred space for students, faculty, and all who visit there. They will offer a unique opportunity to build community as sojourners encounter others of different faiths, cultures, and social backgrounds. The site will be a place from which respect and relationship will grow.

“The garden in being used by summer school students and by faculty already. The AIB (Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasters) just filmed in the garden for their show entitled “Sacred Spaces. "We are about to begin planning an event on pilgrimage in the garden, as it is called for in the Abrahamic faiths. The labyrinth represents pilgrimage and can be used by all as a journey / walk toward holiness and a place where God symbolically dwells. I thank you again for your support and your kindness and hope to see you in the near future”

-Charlotte Conah, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Georgia’s Interfaith Taskforce

The President of Mercer University Mr. Bill Underwood with Trustees of the Atlanta Retailers Foundation: Mr. Jamal Tajuddin and Ms. Shyna Mistry Punjani. Ms. Charlotte Conah represents Georgia’s interfaith taskforce.


An $8,000 donation will give Gresham Park users the opportunity to be little healthier.

DeKalb County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Aug. 27 for the installation of an outdoor fitness station in Gresham Park, 3113 Gresham Road, Atlanta.

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Thomas Redmond, who lives on Meadowview Drive near the park. “I like it. I walk every morning and when I get back I can exercise on this after I walk.

“It’s great for the community. It’s well-deserved for the community,” Redmond said. “They can get out and mingle and walk the trail and come back and talk and exercise.”

The equipment, located near the park’s multi-purpose PATH trail, is the result of a $8,000 donation by the Atlanta Retailers Foundation.

Roy Wilson, director of the county’s department of recreation, parks and cultural affairs, said the fitness station “is going to bring families together and bring children out to get them exercising so that we all can be healthy.”

“This is at the gateway to a beautiful PATH that takes you on to another park,” said Commissioner Kathie Gannon. “So now when you’re walking in the morning you can have a place to stop, meet everybody, do a few pushups…and move on.”

Commissioner Larry Johnson said, “A lot of folks can’t afford one of those high-priced memberships, but we can walk in our parks for free and enjoy activities, exercising, walking, and then go over to our recreation center and help out with our young people. “You’ve got everything here together to make a difference in our community,” he said. “That’s what I love about DeKalb County parks.”

The fitness center was the second collaboration between the county and the Atlanta Retailers Foundation. Shyna Mistry, a trustee of the Atlanta Retailers Foundation, said, “This fitness cluster will remain a symbol for all of us and I hope it benefits each and every resident and visitor because it is meant to bring people together and bring a little sunshine into all of our lives.

“We foresee more and more opportunities for partnerships in the coming months,” she added.

Interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May called the partnership with the Atlanta Retailers Association “critical.”

“We’re always excited to build relationships outside…county government,” May said. “They have put their money where their mouth is.”

Two-time Olympic gold medalist DeeDee Trotter, who grew up in the neighborhood, was on hand to give demonstrations on the workout equipment.

“I grew up right around the corner from here, so this is kind of like my backyard,” Trotter said. “This is a great way to encourage everyone in the community to keep active, to keep going towards living a healthy lifestyle.

“Childhood obesity is something that’s been definitely growing, and it’s our job as parents and a community to do what we can to make sure we keep [obesity] going down,” Trotter said.