Floyd Thrift Store Angels in the Attic and its bombastic and combative executive director Kathy Blackwell have apparently parted company.
Details of the split are sketchy at best but Blackwell appeared to announce her departure with an acerbic post on the Angels “Whispers” blog where she said:
Isn’t life interesting? Have you noticed there usually is a beginning, a middle and most assuredly an ending? True with most all worldly things.
The “ministry” of Angels appears to have given way to those that rejoice in negativity, false accusations and to those that shy away from the difficult truth in the interest of easy “peace” with those in power. For me, the “power” is truth and seeking God’s will and direction, not cowering down and covering up “truth”.
We know, when one door closes another opens – God has the plan. Angels has, and hopefully will continue, to hold true to the mission statement – caring for one another meeting basic human need – food, housing, heating homes.
Although no public announcement has emerged from the organization, Blackwell publicly resigned from the board last year and then tried to rescind that resignation. The Angels board, however, decided to accept her departure as final.
Over the years, Blackwell’s “my way or the highway” approach to a volunteer organization led other founders like Melvin and Annie Ruth Wood to leave the organization along with strong volunteers Skip and Barbara Pendrey.
One split came over Blackwell’s plans to abandon the Thrift Store’s location on Locust Street in downtown Floyd and move to the old Harris Furniture Store location on North Main Street in Floyd County.
That plan, however, also ran afoul of the wishes of Floyd County Cares, the not-for-profit organization that actually owns the retail shop building on Locust Street and who had the right of first refusal of any actions by Angels.
Blackwell decided to take on the Floyd County Cares organization and targeted Sheriff Shanon Zeman in a series of attacks in the “Whispers” blog and that angered supporters of Floyd County Cares and Angels.
An old rule on organizational structures warns troublemakers to avoid “throwing your keys on the table unless you are sure someone won’t pick them up.”
Blackwell threw down her keys and quit and waited for a tidal wave of support to flood into the Angels door to demand her return.
She was still waiting when the end finally came.
Several of the Angels volunteers who have weathered the storms over the past few years are relieved that the eye of that storm has moved on and they say the sun is shining.
But while her acerbic final post on the “Whispers” blog still appears on the Angels web site, Blackwell is still listed as the organization’s main contact. The boards of both Floyd County Cares and Angels have made no public comment on the changes.
But sales clerks at Angels tell customers privately that Blackwell is gone.