As He always does, God provided the right person at the right time for Caring Hands. Meet Phil Simmons, our new director of community development. In addition to meeting with community members and corporate partners, Phil will work with our staff and volunteers to remove boundaries to help them fully realize the vision of a holistic community focused on Jesus.
What's your background?
I started my career at the Walnut Creek YMCA as the Teen and Community Involvement Director focused on leadership development, recreational activities, intramural sports, and helping out with the YMCA's annual campaign. Next, I transitioned to Riverfront YMCA, where I worked on several programs that served the urban core of Des Moines. The signature program was the Fatherhood Initiative, which collaborated with many agencies to help non-custodial parents become the parents their children deserved. I also helped with the transition into the Wellmark YMCA facility. From there, I joined the West Des Moines Community School District's Community Education department, where I served as the facilities specialist managing all rental contracts and schedules for all activities outside of bell times in all of their facilities. While that job paid the bills, I was very excited to transition into a position focused on meeting community needs in such a tangible way.
What inspired you to come to Caring Hands?
I relish the opportunity to participate in a community focused on creating and celebrating the spaces that bring folks together. I love the idea that we are truly better when we are in proximity to the broadest range of our community. Whether the differences be economic, social, or political, the idea of leveraging our resources to set a wider table is infinitely worthwhile to me.
How have your first few weeks been?
I am constantly amazed by how our volunteers care about this community. The level of commitment and service is remarkable in an organization that is fundamentally about serving folks with very tangible needs on the eastern side of Polk County.
What do you want people to know about Caring Hands?
We have an incredible capacity for growth, both programmatically and spiritually. I look forward to seeing how God moves in this place in 2023.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to Aubrey for 17 years, and we have four kids: Harper (14), Amelia (12), Elam (10), and Ezra (10).
What's something most people don't know about you?
I have been to 47 states, and I love to cook outdoors.