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Thrift shop offers deals, opportunity to give back

Heather Savage, Priscilla Thurman and Amanda Collins, thrift shop employees, showcase different items for sale at the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop earlier this year. (File photo)

Heather Savage, Priscilla Thurman and Amanda Collins, thrift shop employees, showcase different items for sale at the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop earlier this year. (File photo)

Published: November 28, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 28, 2014) -- Thrift shopping is a little-known pastime that people across the country enjoy, and Fort Rucker has its own hidden gem where people can get their fix.

The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop is more than a place where people can shop, however, but somewhere people can donate, volunteer, consign items and have a chance to give back to the community.

The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop is a non-profit 501(c)-3 organization established to generate funds, which are distributed as grants to charitable organizations on Fort Rucker and in the local communities that benefit Soldiers and their families, said Donna Woodham, thrift shop manager.

The store features not only designer clothes, shoes and bags, but also never-before-opened kitchen appliances, newly released books and pristine home décor, and last year the shop sold more than 75,000 items in with the help of volunteers, consigners and donators, said the thrift shop manager.

 “We sell merchandise to generate profit in order to give those monies back to the community through grants and scholarships,” she said, and over the years many organizations have benefited from the thrift shop’s financial support.

“We contribute to the Boy and Girl Scouts, Army Community Service, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Relay for Life, and to local schools and libraries,” said the thrift shop manager, adding that they help more than 15 programs, including issuing many scholarships and grants that are awarded each year in the community.

About $24,000 in scholarships were given out this year year and an additional $50,000 in the last two years, said Woodham. “We have also given out over $100,000 in scholarships to date and over $250,000 in grants since we began operations.”

Anyone can donate something to the thrift shop by bringing it inside or by placing it in the shed in the parking lot, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the store accepts everything but mattresses.

The store is open for people to shop and volunteer Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The shop has been in operation for more than 40 years, providing a great opportunity for people to contribute to the community by donating items or volunteering time to help sort, tag and display the merchandise, said Woodham.

“Even if people can’t volunteer their time, by donating or shopping they are helping their community because the funds are funneled back into it,” she said.

For people wishing to receive tax receipts for donations, Woodham said they must come inside during business hours, but employees are happy to give them out. People do not need a military ID to shop, donate, buy or consign merchandise.

Consignments are also available on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and people interested in consigning are welcome to visit the shop during business hours, she said, adding that consignment hours are 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Military members may consign items for a 70/30 percentage split, and non-military customers may consign for a 50/50 percentage split. That means if an items that is being consigned sells, military members get 70 percent of the sale and non-military get 50 percent of the sale, and since the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop is a non-profit organization, the remaining percentage is tax deductible.

Consigned items are put up for sale for eight weeks from the date they are brought in and consignors may mark down items once during the first six weeks. If an item does not sell after the eight-week period, those items become property of the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop, but items can be withdrawn for a 10-percent fee of the original price or 50 cents, whichever is greater.

The shop is located on the corner of Red Cloud and Ruf Avenue in the old Armed Forces Bank building, next door to the Fort Rucker Bowling Center.

For more information on the thrift shop, visit fortruckerthriftshop.com.

This article was originally published at http://www.army.mil/article/139158/

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