‘Many people are blessed through this’ — Shoppers find treasures in Angels Attic in Brookhaven

Published 8:25 pm Tuesday, November 7, 2017

For 15 years, customers have discovered a trove of treasures in Angels Attic.

The resale store has been operated by the women of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Angels Attic Board of Directors and employees since 2002. The store will celebrate its 15-year anniversary in Brookhaven Thursday, Friday and Saturday with cookies, cider and special sales.

The shop began as a vision by Rev. E. Gene Bennett, who was Redeemer’s rector, and his wife, Carol. The ministry began with a small group of volunteers that included Dorothy Benson, Dott Cannon, Gwen Davis, Barbara Fuller, Maxine Minter, Sue Minter and Martha Morgan who were joined by several others were driven by the same idea.

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The Attic was originally open just one day a week and took over a building owned by the church. That space had been home to a daycare before the Attic moved in.

These days the store at 130 N. Church St. is open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donations are accepted during store hours and also Mondays and Tuesdays between 8 a.m. and noon. A tax-deductible donation receipt is available.

“It is operated under the direction of a six-member board and has many volunteers who work selflessly as cashiers and as needed for day-to-day operations,” said President Emily Rossie.

Rossie serves on the board along with Amber Domanick, Joy Jordan, Dorothy LeBlanc, Martha Morgan, and Pat Walker, all of whom volunteer in the shop. Rev. Anne Matthews serves as an ex-officio member. Additional volunteers are George and Sharon Brumfield, Gloria Channell, Alexis Domanick, Pat Donald, Don Fuller, Janet Gunnell, Lucie LeBlanc and Andrea Roberts.

The shop also has two longtime employees, Anita Thomas and Shelly Mitchell, who originally came to the shop as volunteers, Rossie said.

The Attic partners with Copiah-Lincoln Community College to participate in the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which helps seniors in the area gain employment. Elaine May is working at the Attic through that partnership.

“As a non-profit service organization, Angels Attic is devoted to providing low-cost clothing and household items to its customers,” Rossie said.

The money raised is distributed as grants and gifts to other organizations in Brookhaven and Lincoln County. Some groups that have benefited are Hospice Ministries, Mission Mississippi, Berean Children’s Home, Socks for Heroes, the Prison Storybook Ministry and Brookhaven Animal Rescue League. Angels Attic also helps fund the  Fire-Pup fire safety program presented by the local fire department in area schools.

“Although the goal is to keep most of the money in the community, the board will occasionally reach beyond Lincoln County’s borders,” Rossie said.  “Earlier this year, a donation was made to Ronald McDonald House in Jackson because of a connection with a church member.”

The blessings from the Attic don’t always come from a check.

“I always like to point out that many people are blessed through this ministry — the people who donate clothing and household items, our loyal customers who purchase items at a price they can afford and the clients served by the community organizations that benefit from our sales,” she said. “That touches a lot of people.”

Sales have been great this year, which has allowed the board to increase the number of gifts and grants given.

“In years past, we usually contributed to one organization each month.  This year we have been able to increase that to two or more as circumstances dictate,” Rossie said. “Hurricane relief is a new area to which we are contributing.”

Angels Attic has made several improvements this year — a new ramp and sidewalk from the parking lot was built to provide easier access for disabled and older customers.

Also, new racks were installed to add about 40 linear feet of clothing hanging space in the children’s room and men’s department.

“We are striving to make this little shop a better experience for our customers,” said Rossie.