Vintage finds: Hoosier Village Flea Market benefits community initiatives


For the past 15 years, the residents of Hoosier Village, a nonprofit life plan community in Zionsville, have come together to host an annual flea market to raise funds for a good cause.

The Hoosier Village Flea Market, which will sell household items no longer needed by residents, will be presented May 18, 19, and 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 5300 W 96th St., in Zionsville. It is open to the public.

The Hoosier Village Flea Market has grown through the years, raising nearly $200,000 to fund a variety of initiatives, including community park benches, wheelchairs and an art gallery, to name a few.

The Baptist Homes of Indiana Foundation, which oversees the proceeds, is partnered with the flea market and matches up to $10,000 to what the market raises throughout the year.

“This is a huge benefit for people to buy really nice stuff for a low cost, and the items that are left over are donated to a wide variety of charitable organizations,” said Nancy Nelson, vice president of communications and public relations at Hoosier Village. “So, the impact of this flea market goes a long way.”

The flea market was launched in 2005 by Hoosier Village resident Marcia Schoonaert, 82, who led community efforts to reuse, repurpose and recycle for more than 20 years as a recycling educator in the 1970s.

“I don’t like to waste things. It’s not in my nature,” Schoonaert said. “I’ve always been a volunteer for everything and anything, so starting the flea market at Hoosier Village was a natural fit. I’ve got a team of volunteers that feel the same way I do about helping others.”

The residents and volunteers wanted to organize an event that would bring their community together to help others in need.

“Young people that are just starting out with their first home have come to the flea market and have been delighted by what they were able to get with what little money they had to furnish their home,” Schoonaert said.

Residents of Hoosier Village volunteer to organize, sort and price items donated to the flea market.

“By the end of the week, as the market gets closer, there will be close to 50 volunteers that will have helped the market open,” Schoonaert said.

The flea market is a special event for the residents of Hoosier Village, not only to raise funds but also for the comradery.

“We all work together to make this market happen, and we all have the same goal, to help the residents which has brought all of us together as a community and as friends,” Schoonaert said.

With vintage and antique items for sale at the market, the items are often imbued with a sense of nostalgia and history that cannot be replicated by new products.

“Most of the items are very old. You can’t buy these items at the store,” Schoonaert said. “The original owner might have been a collector or an artist. People buy some of the items for presents for their families.”

Collectables are also sold at the market, ranging from wood-carved figurines to hand-crafted plates and bowls.

“The market is a lot of work, but we all enjoy it and we all get along and look forward to it,” Hoosier resident and volunteer Suzanne Aldrich said.

About Hoosier Village

Hoosier Village is a nonprofit life plan community founded in 1952. A life plan community offers quality senior housing, freedom from the responsibilities of home maintenance, and the security of an on-site continuum of care.

Life plan communities provide individuals 62 and over with the following:

  The privacy of an apartment or duplex home and the companionship of community life.
  A wide range of helpful services such as housekeeping, transportation and home maintenance.
  A variety of amenities such as a fitness center, library, inter-denominational chapel and dining venues.
  A full calendar of engaging activities, including social, recreational, spiritual and educational opportunities.
  A continuum of on-site health care that includes assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.

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