The season finale of “19 Kids and Counting" aired on Oct. 22 and it proved that when each and every Duggar chips in, they can achieve a huge common goal. It also featured the return of lovable Amy Duggar, who was featured very little this entire season.
“Flea Market Finale” was the continuation of a previous episode when the Duggar family decided to stage their very own flea market to raise money for the NICU at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Michelle decided to go all in and the family opened it up to the surrounding community. They set up a donation drop-off area and the response was tremendous. Jim Bob Duggar stated, after realizing what an overwhelming task they had ahead of them, “It’s going to be all hands on deck to make this happen.”
The Arkansas Children’s Hospital is near and dear to the Duggars. In 2009, tiny Josie Duggar (who was born nearly four months prematurely and weighed only 1 lb. 6 oz at birth) spent nearly three months in the hospital’s NICU until she was big enough and well enough to go home. For this reason, the family was eager to raise money for other NICU families that face the same challenges they did with Josie. Michelle Duggar noticed that many families that brought in donations were also touched by the hospital in some way.
In the end, the Duggar family set up six tents, 47 tables and five separate areas that including a ticket area, the flea market, a staging area for a live auction, a bake sale, and concessions. The Duggar flea market also included a dunk tank, face painting, a petting zoo and slide, and horses. The younger children made signs and DJ, Big Dan Hentschel from NASH 94.3 radio station helped the Duggars promote their fundraiser. They had more than 4,000 items to sell and workers wore special blue t-shirts emblazoned with the Duggar motto, “Buy used. Save the difference.”
Right before the flea market opened at 8 a.m., Josh, Anna and their three children surprised the Duggars. It was their first trip back home since the big move to Washington, D.C. Mackynzie said adorably, “We snuck up on them because we wanted to surprise them.” According to "The Washington Post," Josh Duggar continues to work with grassroots outreach for the conservative Family Research Council.
At least a hundred people lined up outside and poured in once Michelle opened the sale and welcomed everyone. Amy Duggar, who was surprisingly not featured this season, lined up to shop and pitch in. Jill Duggar said of her cousin, “She’s the perfect combination of spunk and entertainment.” Amy took her turn in the Duggar dunk tank and helped shoppers to support her family. Johanna and Jedidiah concentrated on the boy vs. girl flea market challenge. The girls sold all of their ping-pong ball guns and bows in the first three hours. However, in the end, the boys sold their pocketknives for $122, for a profit of $72. The girls sold their items for $80, for a profit of $30.
The flea market stayed open for six hours and it was a huge success. The final tally was $18,471.50 – all to benefit the NICU unit at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. The Duggars’ goal was $10,000, so they were incredibly pleased with the end result.
So, what’s next for the Duggar family and “19 Kids and Counting?” Michelle Duggar stated on Tuesday that she and Jim Bob have been praying hard about adoption. They are also excited about Jessa Duggar and her on-going courtship with 18-year-old Ben Seewald. Could a Duggar wedding be in the future?
“19 Kids and Counting” will take a break, at least for a few months. On Oct. 29, another TLC series, “Little People, Big World,” moves into its time slot and will air eight new episodes. It’s quite possible that “19 Kids and Counting” could return in January, or February – just in time for sweeps. The show always does very well for the network.
More about the Duggar family from "19 Kids & Counting"
The super-sized Duggar family includes mom Michelle, dad Jim Bob, plus children Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jeremiah, Jedidiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn and Josie. The family resides debt-free in Arkansas and stars in a weekly reality TV series called "19 Kids & Counting."
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