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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'Flea for All' could open the door to new services

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Donated items are still being accepted to be sold at the Flea for All Friday and Saturday at Rejoice! Community Church, in Le Mars. Rod Hofmeyer of Zestos, left, and Donna Britcher, of Rejoice! Community Church, in Le Mars, hold some of the items already donated to raise money to help those in need.
Volunteers organizing monthly sales of donated, used items hope they'll raise enough money to expand the ministry of helping others by opening a thrift store in Le Mars.

During a "Flea for All" in Le Mars Friday and Saturday, clothing, appliances, furniture, household items and dozens of other donated goods will be sold at prices organizers said everyone can afford.

Rod Hofmeyer, coordinator of Zestos at Rejoice! Community Church, in Le Mars, and Donna Britcher, a Rejoice! member, said the flea market is another part of a ministry extending in the community.

The effort began with The Banquet, now known as The Shepherd's Table.

The free monthly meal is prepared and served at Rejoice! by volunteers from area churches. The meal will be offered at 6 p.m. today (Wednesday).

Anyone may attend these meals and take home free food distributed through Zestos, a ministry Hofmeyer began in his rural Alton home and has expanded into Orange City and Le Mars.

With the opening of a local Zestos office, Hofmeyer recently began working with volunteers and pastors from area churches interested in storing and distributing surplus food.

Rejoice! is the location for the Zestos office at 1320 Third Ave. S.E, in Le Mars, but the ministry is communitywide, Britcher said.

"What you see developing is a Christian community effort," she explained.

Hofmeyer said the Zestos ministry is about serving people in need.

"We reach out to minister to people in all different ways with food, clothing and other needs," he said.

The idea for a Flea for All locally is patterned after a successful effort to meet needs through monthly flea markets during the summer months last year in Orange City, he said.

Zestos received donated items people needed such as furniture, appliances and clothing from Orange City area churches and individuals, Hofmeyer said.

"We found out we were caring for a lot of ministry needs because the food needs are commonly associated with other needs like clothing, furniture, appliances and things like that," he said.

Proceeds from the monthly flea market sales in Orange City were used to help pay for Zestos' ministry needs, Hofmeyer added.

The fundraising through flea markets involved a lot of work setting up and tearing down from the sales each month, he said.

That sparked a discussion about a new way to expand the Orange City area Zestos' ministry, according to Hofmeyer.

"We used the proceeds we'd generated from the flea markets to establish a new thrift store in downtown Orange City in March 2010," he said.

A thrift store for Le Mars is envisioned as a future area of ministry for Zestos locally, Hofmeyer said.

"There again it's locally-based, generating donations from people here with the idea that we are raising money to provide food distribution or clothing or other resources right here in Le Mars," he said.

The Flea for All will be offered Friday from 4-7 p.m. in the parking lot at Rejoice!, near the Le Mars Outdoor Swimming Pool near 12th Street S.E.

There will be free cold drinks and burgers Friday during the Flea for All.

On Saturday, the sale is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with free coffee and rolls.

A trailer to store donated items has been provided by Foreman Tire/Performance Tire, he said.

The trailer is filled with clothing, furniture, a Wurlitzer organ, home decorating items and numerous other donations for the flea market.

Britcher said she encourages people to arrange to leave their donations for the sale by calling Rejoice! at 548-4430. She will also take calls at 712-539-0174.

There are plans to continue the Flea for All into the fall months during the third or fourth Friday and Saturday of the month.

Exact dates will be publicized monthly.

Donations of clothing, appliances, furniture, household items and other items will be needed for each monthly Flea for All, Hofmeyer said.

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