Local ‘angels’ share talents, hard work at church outreach
Two Brookhaven “angels” are heading north later this year.
Dixie and David Simmons, longtime volunteers for the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer’s thrift store, Angels Attic, will be moving to New Albany where David will be serving as general transportation manager with the Walmart Distribution Center.
David has been the safety manager with Walmart Distribution Center in Brookhaven. He came to the Brookhaven facility in 1996.
While David became involved with the Attic through his wife, he’s also been personally helping with the thrift store, taking care of heavy lifting when big donations came in through the years and manning work shifts at the Attic as well. And he also has provided the grill and barbecuing expertise for the group’s occasional cookouts.
Dixie helped found the Redeemer outreach program in 2002 with Sue Minter. Church members are quick to tell you how Dixie put her talent and creativity to work creating artwork for the interior of the store.
The Attic, located across the parking lot and behind the church, sells gently used items and thereby raises funds for Redeemer projects and community charitable efforts. The store receives donated items from church members and the community and then sells them to the public at a very economical cost.
Volunteers, primarily church members, operate the Attic with the help of one part-time paid employee. The volunteers hold monthly meetings after church and elect officers annually. Dixie has been elected an officer more years than not.
All the proceeds from Attic sales, other than expenditures for utilities and the part-time worker, are used for the church and other charitable endeavors in the community.
Saturday, May 24, David and Dixie were busy as they are each spring, helping cook and serve food for the Angels Attic volunteers’ annual picnic on the church grounds. While David flipped hamburgers, Dixie divided time between overseeing her husband’s efforts and helping make sure those heading down the serving table were finding everything they needed.
“We get emotional every time we talk about leaving Brookhaven and the people here,” said David, who’s been the “grill man” for the Attic’s get-togethers for a number of years and wasn’t ready to pass the baton quite yet.
The couple has raised two daughters here – Kathy Hughes and Elise Shotts. They also have three granddaughters, Carrie, Amy and Sophie – all raised in Brookhaven.
“Dixie’s been involved (in the Attic) since the beginning,” said Martha Morgan, Redeemer business manager and Attic volunteer. “She’s always working over there.”
“They’ve been so devoted to the church,” agreed Norma Hill.
“It was the luckiest thing in the world when they came to this church down the street,” said longtime Redeemer member Dott Cannon, who recalled that Dixie walked from the couple’s nearby home to the church one day and liked what she found.
“Dixie’s been the one that gets things done,” said Minter of her longtime friend and Attic colleague.
“Dixie has been a wonderful leader, worker, planner, friend and inspiration to all of us at Angels Attic,” Minter said.
“She never quits. I sometimes think she might be first cousin to the Energizer Bunny. We will certainly miss her.”