For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Luke 19:10

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How Magnets and Texts Became a Part of our Lives

Joe and Jessie Labbe kindly submitted this report, at our request, to encourage others to become involved in promoting the printed WORD by distributing magnets, text and bookmarkers. They started off small but their work has evolved into the production of thousands of supplies each year. Your efforts and exercise may not lead in the same direction, but there is no reason why many believers and assemblies could not be involved in the production of the incredibly popular fridge magnets, as well as bookmarkers and texts. Joe and Jessie Labbe would be happy to share their advice with you. Click on their names above to email them.

In 2003, retirement brought us to North Carolina. Previous to our move, David Petterson had been working in the Denver, NC area, in a store front, offering free magnets and texts to the people in the community.

Is this something we could do as retirees?
In 2004 Bill Seale was staying with us when he was having meetings in Denver. He gave us a supply of magnets and encouraged us to give them out. When we ran out and needed a new supply, we asked David to show us how to make our own. Once I learned how to do this and had my computer set up, I realized how much I enjoyed doing this. It was then I asked David if he would like me to start making magnets and texts for him. He was happy to turn it over, as then he could use that time for other things.
(Magnet samples provided by Bill Seale. Notice the variety and ability to customize pictures and verses to meet your local needs.)

Starting off small – Our First Fair
There was an annual small fair in Denver and David was able to get a booth to give out free magnets and texts. We made about 250 items for that fair.

Annual Apple Festival - Demand Grows Rapidly
Then in 2005 the Denver Christians decided to try a much larger one-day Apple Festival in a town nearby. That festival brings in over 55,000 people. We were now making texts, magnets and bookmarkers by the thousands. With the volume this large, the local Christians all pitched in to help with the laminating and cutting. These items are so well received here in the south that there is a crowd of people around our tables the entire day. With one booth being so crowded, we were anxious to obtain a double size area to set up a second booth. This year 2010 we have been given permission to have double the space which will be much more comfortable for us and the public. Besides giving out our own made texts, magnets and bookmarkers, we order several thousand items from International Bible House, as well as Seed Sowers.

Helpful Technical Details
For the magnets and book markers we use Microsoft Publisher software. We were able to get the set up forms from Bill Seale which saved a lot of time and learning. Once you are set up for 8, 9, or 10 to a page it is not difficult to drop in a picture and type in a verse. Pictures can be obtained from Google images or You can also scan your own pictures from other sources if you desire. There are many Christians who are now making magnets and some like to put a verse that would correspond to the picture and others prefer a gospel verse. Once the magnets and book markers are printed, we laminate them either with 5ml or 10ml plastic, whatever your preference. The type and quality of paper you use is also a personal preference.

The gospel texts are done in Microsoft Word or any word processor one may have. We use many different fonts and sizes depending on the size of the verse or verses. We bought the type of paper we preferred from Staples; it comes in a pack of 100 sheets for about $6.00. There are many colors, styles and designs to pick from. We found a large supply of this paper at Big Lots for 100 sheets for $2.00. After the texts are printed, we laminate them, trim them and put a painted or stained molding on top and bottom resembling a scroll-look. Joe has a unique set up in his work shop to then staple the wood to the texts, staple on a loop for hanging and the text is now complete.

Equipment Required
The equipment needed for this work would include a computer and colored printer, a heavy duty laminator and cutter. If anyone reading this report is interested in making magnets and texts, we would be happy to help in any way. It is much more pleasant to start out small and learn the ropes before you get involved in making them by the thousands.

Busy and Rewarding
We find this work very rewarding. It is especially nice to have a work where we can both be involved. Many friends who see the magnets want a supply to give out on a regular basis, so we keep busy as well making them for those friends.

If you are reading this blog posting and you too are involved with the production of Gospel-oriented magnets, bookmarkers, texts, etc. please add your comments and advice below.

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