Flea market helps support charity for Jeff County
by Dennis Sharkey
A Jefferson County family is using an idea to raise money to help those in need.
Alberta Dover, an operator of the Crossroads Flea Market, said she and her family started the operation to raise funds to help others who need assistance but cannot find it elsewhere.
The flea market is the chief fundraiser for the family’s charity, Forward Favors. When the Dovers moved to Jefferson County more than 50 years ago they needed assistance and were able to get some. Dover said years later they want to return the favor by helping others.
“We kind of wanted to pass it on,” she said.
The flea market is located at the TeePee intersection where U.S. 24 and U.S. 59 highways meet in north Lawrence.
The flea market is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of each month. The market features items from hunting and fishing gear to fresh eggs and small farm animals. Vendors are charged $15 for a space. Part of the money raised goes to pay the lot rent and bills while the rest of the money goes to help fund Forward Favors. The Dovers also operate a concession stand at the market to raise money.
Dover credits her son, Jason, for coming up with the idea and concept for the flea market. Jason said he remembered the help his parents got when he was a kid and wanted to pass the kindness forward.
“My parents needed assistance at one time and they were able to get it,” he said. “I wanted to be able to pass that on later in life.”
Jason said the only request that is made of those who are helped is that they pass the favor on later in life.
“My hope is someday this will spread across the country,” he said.
Alberta said her family started Forward Favors because they saw a need in Jefferson County. The family has always done what they can to help others in the Sarcoxie area but found there were people who needed help but could not get help because they either didn’t live close enough or did not qualify.
“We didn’t really want any boundaries put on us to where we could go to help people,” she said.
Forward Favors has helped a family in McLouth after the father lost his job due to an accident. An Oskaloosa man received a CPAP machine from the charity.
Alberta said they have let it be known to other charities that their services are available if they have an individual or family that needs assistance. Some individuals are helped through word of mouth.
“We will take on that person and do what’s needed,” she said.
Alberta said Forward Favors has seen a lot of money go out the door but the charity is still struggling to get more funds coming in. They’re seeking more vendors for the market. Jason said there’s no shortage of people who need help.
“There are so many people out there that need help but not enough to go around,” he said. “Believe it or not there are people out there that just want to help.”
For more information about Forward Favors or the flea market call 785-842-6220.
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