‘Oprah of Scottdale’ helps seniors, kids

One of the things Annie Reid loves most about cooking holiday meals for hundreds of senior citizens living in Scottdale, she says, is “going down to the country and picking my greens” for the dinners.

“I get five bushels of collard greens and one bushel of turnip greens,” she says of her trips to a farm near Rutledge before the Thanksgiving feast. “You can’t get greens like that at the store.”

Add six turkeys, a bushel of sweet potatoes, a bushel of green peas, three pounds of pinto beans, two pounds of okra, seven pans of dressing and corn muffins and a couple of days of cooking and, heck, it’s a snap.

When she’s not providing seniors with free holiday meals (she stages a smaller Christmas feast the first week of January), Reid still manages to stay plenty busy.

The rest of the year, Reid — who does her charitable work through Broken Hearted Outreach Ministries, which she founded in 1993 — gathers clothing for seniors and toys for children.

She also delivers cooked meals to seniors at their homes, and hosts summer picnics attended by county commissioners and DeKalb County police.

“She’s the Oprah Winfrey of Scottdale,” effuses state Rep. Karla Drenner, who has been a guest and speaker at Reid’s events for the last nine years. “Because of her, I’d say no child in Scottdale goes without a toy, and no senior goes without a meal.”

Reid doesn’t consider herself a humanitarian. “I just like what I do,” she says. “If I just sat around all day and watched TV, I’d be bored to death.”

She spends about $1,000 out of her pocket for the Thanksgiving dinner, but that’s no big deal, either. “Oh, I’m just going to cook the food anyway,” she says. “Why not share it?”

Though she’s 74, Reid says she has no plans to slow down, even if her mechanic advised her a couple of weeks ago to roll it back a bit.

“He told me, ‘You’re going to wear out your car hauling all that stuff around,’” she says. “I say, ‘God gave me that car, he’ll give me another one.’ ”