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Retired nurse's moving 'business' lifts others with donated goods

Dorothy Lucey's program is so well-known that she doesn't even have to ask for donations. Then, the 71-year-old hauls the furniture and goods to help those in need

ST. LOUIS — For Dorothy Stratman-Lucey, charity begins at home.

It may look like she's cleaning out her garage but everything in the garage was donated. And it's all going to people who need it.

"Clothing, food, furniture," explained volunteer Jacob Whitworth.

Just a few minutes with her and you quickly realize that not all angels reside in heaven.

She spent her career as a nurse, first caring for adults and later children.

"I don't know that I feel the need to make a difference at a global level," said Dorothy. "I feel the need to make a difference, one family at a time, or one person at a time."

And when she retired a few years ago, instead of looking for a rocking chair, she started looking for a couch, and a bed, and a chest of drawers for someone who needed it.

"You would find people that were sleeping on the floor," she said. "They didn't have a chest of drawers. Clothes would be folded against a wall."

She met many of these folks in need doing volunteer work for St. Cronan Church in St. Louis and now she's been collecting items for so long, that she doesn't even need to ask for donations.

"We have a backlog of donations from people who just know her name and have things to give away," Whitworth said.

Somedays, you'll find her sorting through clothes in her living room. Most other days, you'll find her hauling furniture. It's amazing what you can lift when you're lifting others.

"She has more energy than me, it's crazy, "laughs Whitworth.

And she doesn't think it's rude if you ask her age.

"I'm proud of every one of my years," she exclaimed. "I'm 71 years old and in April I will be 72."

She tells me that she will slow down one day but that day is not today.

"Her biggest fear is that her mission doesn't continue," said Whitworth. "I've got 10 of my friends and we have all promised her that no matter what that her mission will continue and we'll do everything we can to keep it going."

Never giving up on giving back. Dorothy Stratman-Lucey proving that there is an angel among us.

"I like helping people and I keep thinking I'm making a difference," said Dorothy.