After a long search to find a permanent base for their clothing ministry, Shantel and Joseph Caudill rented a booth at an east side Crawfordsville flea market.
House of Prayer Ministries, which had grown out of handing out homemade cupcakes and distributing clothes donated by consignment shops, soon ran out of room. The couple filled more booths as donations came in, eventually taking over the entire store in the former lumber yard.
The store reopened Thanksgiving weekend as WellSpring Marketplace, 2208 Indianapolis Road. WellSpring sells clothes, furniture and household items and distributes bagels and other baked goods from Panera Bread every week.
“We were praying, and God just gave a burden to us,” Shantel Caudill said of how the ministry started. “It was put on our hearts to help people.”
She began calling area stores, which offered to donate clothes to the effort. Consignment shops gave her clothes that went uncollected after the seller’s contract ran out.
The couple stored the clothes in their home for the first two years and then distributed items from a storage unit before the flea market opened.
WellSpring receives donations of furniture and household items, but the clothes come from businesses across the state.
Gift certificates are available for families in need to shop in the store. WellSpring also participates in the Meijer Simply Give program, allowing customers to donate food cards to the nonprofit ministry.
The Caudills eventually plan to provide full meals to families. The outreach goes beyond Montgomery County with the family handing out food and clothes to people experiencing homelessness in Indianapolis.
“All the doors that have opened have come through prayer,” she said. “I wouldn’t have known where to call, who to call, or even what to say if I hadn’t been in prayer and felt led to just start looking at different consignment stores, different businesses and whatever kind of leaped out at me that God was leading me to.”