A community ministry in Prairie Grove that served almost 1,800 families in 2018 is expanding by opening a resale shop in Farmington.
LIFE Ministries is a faith-based, nonprofit that provides assistance to families and individuals living in western and southern Washington County. LIFE stands for "Linking Individuals For Essentials."
Several Farmington churches have committed to being involved with LIFE Ministries and the new resale store in Farmington, including Casting Church, Farmington Church of Christ, Brand New Church, Main Street Baptist, Farmington United Methodist, Northwest Assembly and Farmington First Baptist. Others are welcome to join in the future.
The ministry operates a resale shop from half of its building in Prairie Grove and uses the other half to meet with clients who are requesting assistance with food, clothing, utility bills and prescriptions.
Phase 1 of the expansion to Farmington will be a new resale shop, says Cindy Dobbs, chairman of the ministry's board of directors. If Phase 1 goes well, Phase 2 will be a plan to expand the assistance part of the ministry to Farmington.
The resale shop will be located at 12204 W. U.S. 62, in the business center across from the entrance to Twin Falls subdivision. It will be open 9 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.
The store will open July 13 but will begin accepting donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, and then again on Monday and Wednesday mornings. Donations will only be accepted in Farmington during store hours. The Prairie Grove resale shop is open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and Saturdays.
With a second location, shoppers will have a place to look for gently used clothing and other items in Prairie Grove or Farmington five days a week, Dobbs says.
Dobbs says she, vice chairman Keith Bostian and other board members felt inspired by God for a "greater vision of the possibilities of LIFE Ministries." The board has met twice with Farmington Mayor Ernie Penn and several Farmington pastors and they also support the idea, Dobbs says.
Preston Beeks, pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Farmington, says he attended both meetings, and everyone seems to be excited about the plan.
"I'm happy that they want to expand it," Beeks says, adding he especially is interested in the ministry providing assistance for food and other needs in the future.
Several members of Beeks' church volunteer for LIFE Ministries in Prairie Grove.
Dee Harper, pastor of Farmington United Methodist Church, also has members who plan to volunteer for LIFE Ministries in Farmington. Harper attended both meetings with the ministry board and says he believes the resale shop will be a "blessing" to the community.
Like Beeks, Harper says he is also looking forward to LIFE Ministries expanding its other services to those in need in the future.
LIFE Ministries has outgrown its Prairie Grove space and is receiving enough donations to help start a new resale shop, Dobbs says, adding, "We are excited about the future that God has in store for Farmington and Prairie Grove."
LIFE Ministries signed a two-year lease agreement with Nalls Properties at a discounted price, and money raised through the resale shop will help with the rent, Dobbs says. Three units will be used for the shop. One area will be adult clothing, another will be set up with children's clothing, and a third section will be household items and jewelry.
A separate unit, located between In Touch Massage Therapy and Shelter Insurance at the same retail center, will be used as the location to donate items.
Patsy Davis of Prairie Grove will be manager of the Farmington resale store, and Alicia Wofford of Stilwell, Okla., will be assistant manager.
Wofford says Farmington's resale store will have items similar to those found in Prairie Grove but also will have more of a boutique atmosphere with upscale clothing and merchandise.
Dobbs says LIFE Ministries is excited to see the project become a reality.
"It has been a great and humbling experience to be a part of the seed being planted in Farmington," Dobbs says. "We have come together for a shared cause to help and serve the communities."
In addition to a board of directors, LIFE Ministries also has a House of Representatives, which is made up of representatives from the churches involved. Farmington churches that participate with the new resale shop will have a representative on the House board, Dobbs says, adding all churches are welcome.
Everyone who helps with LIFE Ministries is a volunteer, including the director. For 2018, about 100 volunteers donated 16,340 hours, either by working in the resale shop or helping on the assistance side of the ministry.
The ministry's May monthly report shows 106 volunteers worked 1,610 hours. The assistance side of the ministry helped 154 family units, 518 adults and children, at an estimated value of about $12,000 in May.
Wofford says volunteers will be needed for the Farmington resale store. For more information or to volunteer, contact Dorothy Howerton at 846-5433.
NAN Religion on 07/06/2019
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