Japan / Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni / News Stories

Thrift Store continues as fundamental local resource

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan  — After the relocation and grand re-opening of the Thrift Store on Nov. 20th 2009, the Thrift Store has continues to be a place of charity, savings and volunteer opportunities for service members and civilians aboard the air station.

The Thrift Store is located in building 1117 next to Yujo Hall. It is currently open from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 to 7 p.m Wednesdays and Fridays.

Hours are scheduled to extend from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays beginning June 1.

“Our mission first and foremost is to help the needy Marines, sailors and their families,” said Gwen Peterson, Thrift Store manager. “Then we look at ways that we can help the children in the community and private organizations.”

Service members are welcome to visit the thrift store any day during the week to buy items as long as they are in uniform.

The thrift store sells books, videos, CDs, furniture, kitchen and household items, sporting goods, suitcases, strollers, clothing, shoes, jewelry, accessories, bikes and souvenirs.

Large items can be arranged to be dropped off or picked up.

Local Japanese residents donate to the Thrift Store, which affords service members and civilians a chance to own a little piece of Japanese culture without having to spend a lot of money.

“We also have a lot of Japanese items that come and go,” said Candice O’Halloran, Thrift Store senior advisor.

There is also a military room filled with uniforms and other items available to active military service members for free.

“The military section has expanded greatly,” said Peterson. “In the past few months, it has doubled in size.”

Since the expansion, the Thrift Store has been able to accept more donations, store more items and donate more items to different organizations such as the American Red Cross, Single Marine Program and the Provost Marshal’s Office.

“We also pick out the best stuffed animals and give them to the fire department so that whenever they make stops, they can hand them out to children,” said O’Halloran. “The Thrift Store has also helped the community by giving money and goods.”

The Thrift Store provides volunteer opportunities to service members to devote time to help sort items, clothes and keep the store clean.

“We need volunteers anytime,” said Peterson.

Volunteers who work 20 hours in the current month get their purchases half price in the following month, are eligible to vote during business meetings to determine how proceeds are distributed, and can receive free lunch from the store.

Volunteers can work with flexible hours during the day or night. For more information, call 253-4711.

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