A local non-profit will soon consolidate its service under one roof. It's holding an event Friday to celebrate the upcoming move.

New Hope Ministry and its thrift store arm, Hope Chest, will be moving to the former Pete Harkness auto dealership building at the intersection North 18th Street and Haynes Avenue in Centerville. They're holding a pre-open house event Friday, May 31 from 5-7 p.m. in the former showroom area of the building.

Over time, the former maintenance garage area of the building will be transitioned into a significantly larger thrift story. The space roughly quadruples the space of Hope Chest Thrift Store's current location near the Centerville square.

The space will give the store more room to accept more clothing but also add furniture and appliances as well as additional space for household goods.

The thrift store has become one of the ways the non-profit ministry fundraises. The nonprofit also offers counseling services, which will be added to the new space at the former Pete Harkness building.

Those services will move first, by early- to mid-June, with the thrift store following.

The organization offers biblical counseling and was founded in 2003 by Cindy Farrington, originally of Lovilia and an Albia High School graduate, who said she felt a calling to start the service.

"It was just a calling," she said. "I felt like the Lord called me to come back here and start New Hope. I had been working at a crisis counseling center [in Illinois] and there was just a point in time where my husband and I felt like we were being called back here to come and start this."

It has grown substantially since, with some 80 volunteers supporting the venture.

"There were other people in the area that God was calling to be part of the same thing," Farrington said. "So, when I got here there was already people connecting with me."

"It's really a mission of the community," Farrington continued. "We just feel like it belongs to the community because they have so amazingly supplied, overabundantly, all this stuff all the time."

Counseling services quickly outgrew their space, as the move will see the organization expand from two counseling rooms to four. They are also adding a teen and children development program.

The move will be funded somewhat by the sale of the home on the South 16th Street where counseling services were being provided originally.

"It was sold within three days," Farrington said. "So that was just one more confirmation that we felt like we really know that God told us to do this. It doesn't make sense for a small non-profit organization to purchase a building like this but Pete Harkness has been wonderful to us. He has done everything he can do to make it possible for us."

Farrington said Pete Harkness is selling the building to them on contract. The organization will continue to fundraise to pay for it, and they are a 501(c)(3) non-profit.

To help with the organization, information will be available at the pre-open house event. Additionally, interested individuals can call New Hope at 641-856-3326 or send donations to NHCC, PO Box 151, Centerville, IA 52544. They also have a website at newhopeministrycc.org.

Kyle Ocker can be reached at kocker@dailyiowegian.com or by calling the newsroom at 641-856-6336. Follow him on Twitter @Kyle—Ocker.



Kyle Ocker is the editor of the Daily Iowegian. Prior to becoming editor, Ocker was a correspondent, sports editor and associate editor at the Daily Iowegian, and was the managing editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express.

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