Story and photo by Joyce Coronel
You know those skinny jeans at the back of your closet and Aunt Gertrude’s silver candlesticks that you haven’t polished—or used—for the last 20 years?
Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church in Tempe wants them. For good.
And that good extends to charities like Habitat for Humanity, Maggie’s Place, Save the Family, Fresh Start, Paz de Cristo and many more organizations that build hope and save lives.
The church’s annual “Super Flea” sale, which began in the late 1980s, raises thousands of dollars for area charities and, in the process, helps build friendships and camaraderie within the church community.
Jan Spence has been volunteering at the Super Flea for the last four or five years. “I like old stuff,” she laughed. “I’m retired now so I have more time.”
And it takes quite a bit of time to get the Super Flea underway—80 volunteers log hundreds of hours to make the event a success. “We get so many volunteers who do this out of the goodness of their hearts,” said Janie Parks, who helps pull off the church’s extravaganza each year.
There’s the collecting and sorting and tagging. Some of the stuff is more valuable, Spence said. Take for example Aunt Gertrude’s candlesticks. They’ll be placed in the indoor boutique.
“We try to make it more like a second-hand store,” Spence said. “Instead of letting things go for a nickel or so, we try to get a little more.” Whatever doesn’t get purchased is then taken to a consignment store.
“Last year, we got $150,” Spence said of the higher-end merchandise.
From clothing to books and toys and even electronics, the annual sale offers the chance to snag a few bargains and do a lot of good in the process.
Total sales for the Super Flea in each of the last three years topped $6,000 with all of the proceeds going to charities and helping fund mission work.
Spence and Parks were on one of those missions. “Our name is Mission del Sol—mission has always been at the forefront of our work,” Parks said.
The Super Flea sale, Parks said, is a community builder in its own way. She likes seeing the congregation work together for a goal. “We have fun being there together and working. It’s for a good cause.”
Come Saturday, Jan. 28, volunteers will begin setting up, and on Sunday, Jan. 29, the community is asked to bring in their items for donation.
Items can be donated all through the following week with the big event taking place Saturday, Feb. 4.
Donations are tax-deducible and receipts for donations will be available.