PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
Thrift shopping is quite popular due to the cool vintage items that can be discovered and hipsters trying to be original, but some do it because they can't afford to shop retail prices. If Airmen are struggling, there is only one place they need to stop.
The Airman's Attic is that place, a resource available through the Airman and Family Readiness Center, run entirely by volunteers where staff sergeants and below can get items from small appliances and dishes to clothes and electronics entirely for free. Military uniforms are also available for free to any rank personnel.
"We run solely on donations," said Rackel Haskell, Airman's Attic volunteer lead. "We have military from Fort Carson,
the (Air Force) Academy, Schriever
, and Cheyenne Mountain coming here."
Because everything is available free of charge, visits are limited to once per week and each person can only take five items per visit. Each "item" doesn't necessarily mean only one thing, however.
Ten toys, books or movies equal one item, Haskell explained. Ten articles of children's clothing or a set of dishes also equals one "item." If Airmen have any questions of how the system works, any volunteer can answer their questions, or charts are available to help as well.
The Airman's Attic helps so many different people Haskell said. The people she sees the most are Airmen who are moving out of the dorms or single Airmen getting ready for a deployment.
"We give things to the Child Development Center too. We give them clothes and help the youth center with school supplies," Haskell said. "We work with the first sergeants who come to us when they have anyone in need. We try to do whatever we can."
The Airman's Attic helps so many people, donations are constantly needed to replenish the shelves. Haskell said the items needed most are household goods, appliances and dishes.
There is a 90-year-old lady who donates quilts, said Sandra Trean, Airman's Attic donations lead. "She is 90 years old and makes a quilt every single day. And once a month her friends bring the quilts to us."
The 22 volunteers at the Airman's Attic put in so much time processing the donations and making them available to the customers as soon as possible. The volunteers put in more than 600 hours of work during the month of September. While they are always busy, the volunteers love the store and its customers.
Trisha Edwards, Airman's Attic volunteer, said she originally started volunteering for something to do when she was pregnant and now loves it.
"It's great to see the community come together to help," Edwards said. "Some get items they need and in a few months come back to donate the items so someone else can use it. Then they continue to donate - it's great."
If Airmen are in need of anything, the volunteers at the Airman's Attic can help you find what you need. And if you have any extra items lying around not being used, both the volunteers and customers will be happy for the donations.
The Airman's Attic is located in building 1525, across from the RP Lee Youth Center, and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday for shopping. Donations can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday (or in a box outside the door anytime). For more information, call 556-3215.