Good Samaritan Church to hold flea market Friday, Saturday
A flea market that’s become a destination for bargain hunters and browsers will mark its 17th year of fundraising when Ellijay Good Samaritan Catholic Church presents the 2019 resale event this Friday and Saturday.
The flea market will take place at the Lions Club Fairgrounds from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 13 and from 8:30 a.m.-noon Sept. 14.
All sale items are donated in good, usable condition, mostly by church parishioners.
“People from the community have actually started donating items along with our parishioners. We’ve gotten a reputation for having this event, so other folks will also bring stuff to donate,” said event organizer Debi Slaughter.
Past flea markets have seen large home appliances, furniture, kitchen and housewares, clothing, knick knacks, toys, books and other media, electronics, bedding and exercise equipment up for sale.
A Christmas shop inside the lower end of the Lions Clubhouse will offer decorations and other supplies for the approaching holiday season. Another popular offering that will return this year is the opportunity to fill a grocery bag with clothes for kids or adults for $4, Slaughter confirmed.
“We have more small appliances this year, things like toasters and blenders,” she added.
Customers eager to get first dibs on fresh items often line up early outside the fairgrounds, but the gates won’t actually open to the public until 8:30 a.m. each day, Slaughter confirmed.
“The past few years, there have been over 250 people waiting to get in,” she said.
Parking is available at the fairgrounds and in the grassy lot across from the clubhouse. Cash, as well as debit and credit cards, are all accepted for payment. Physical assistance is available for customers who need help loading their purchases, Slaughter said.
Though most of the donated items find new homes each year, not everything sells. What’s left at the end of each flea market is made available to area thrift shops and nonprofits.
“Faith, Hope and Charity (gets things) for their store. This year, Habitat for Humanity, which has a thrift store in Blue Ridge, is going to come, too. We also ask the Gilmer County Library, the pregnancy care center and Homeward Bound Pet Rescue to come take what they need (for their stores),” she added. “We don’t want to throw anything out. We try to repurpose everything.”
Proceeds stay local
The flea market is the biggest annual fundraiser conducted by the downtown Ellijay place of worship at 55 North Church Street.
Proceeds from past events have helped fund various building improvements at the church. Starting this year, proceeds will benefit three Good Samaritan charities that operate locally.
“(They) will be divided between our Knights of Columbus fraternal organization, Saint Vincent de Paul and our youth group to help with expenses of their annual mission trip,” said Slaughter. “All proceeds will go directly back into our community.”
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a national charitable organization that offers outreach assistance locally through the Good Samaritan parish. It’s a program for which there is always demand, Slaughter confirmed.
At an August Family Connection meeting, Good Samaritan parishioner Sue Hughes said the Ellijay church typically gets at least two calls asking about help for homeless persons in a week.
“St. Vincent de Paul assists people in crisis. For example, if someone is not able to pay their rent or an electric bill. They meet twice a month locally and people can come and apply (for assistance),” Slaughter said.