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NEWS | Aug. 26, 2022

One man's trash is another man's treasure

By Dawne Nickerson 628th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Truer words could not be spoken when it comes to the Team Charleston Spouses Thrift Store.

Located in the rooms of the old Child Development Center, the iconic Thrift Store has transformed the old space into a functional area to sell donations. The store receives donations 24/7 thanks to the portable storage shed outside. Donations are then sorted, hung, priced and placed in the store. Every item is reasonably priced and styled in the appropriate room.

The store has everything from clothing, shoes, kitchen and household goods, kid’s clothes and toys, to crafts, collectibles, seasonal items and a “boutique room,” housing higher-end items. There is even a jewelry, scarf, belt, purse and luggage section, and the biggest bookshelf you have ever seen.

You can even try on clothes before you buy them, in the thrift store’s very own dressing room. The staff has gone so far as to provide batteries to test items out to ensure they work before they are purchased.

All of the rooms are styled with the keen eye of Assistant Manager Donna Harley, who creates amazing displays with what she has on hand. The manager, Kelly Wilson, ensures that the business end of things is running smoothly. There is a bridal section, a man cave, and every table in the kitchen and household area is meticulously set and staged to attract even the most discerning eye.

Prices cannot be beat, and the sales are incredible: $10 for all of the clothes you can fit in a brown bag and $7 bags for kids’ clothes. If you know what you are doing, you can stuff a lot of clothes in a brown bag! Every day a special item is highlighted on sale. Books for a dollar, yes please! Who doesn’t need a good book at the pool or beach!?

Why do they do this, you might wonder. Well, it’s all for the Silver Wings Scholarship Fund. All of the money raised goes toward scholarships for military spouses and dependents. This year, Silver Wings Scholarships will donate $12,000 to eight recipients. Scholarship applications are accepted from mid-January to the beginning of March.

“It’s great for the Spouse’s Club to help facilitate these scholarships. The entire community can participate whether donating, shopping, or volunteering, to help these students pursue their goals,” said Mariah Mazerski, Thrift Store Liaison.

Thanks to the great work and creative minds of two paid employees and countless volunteers, these scholarships will help ease the burden of college tuition for many eligible recipients.

“We love what we do, and to know that our efforts help members and their families ease the burden of college makes it even more fun,” Harley said.

The Thrift Store is always accepting donations and is more than happy to have volunteers come and help in the processing of donations, assisting customers, straightening, hanging, and shopping. Yes, you can shop while you work. Every volunteer walks away with $10 of free merchandise and is eligible for 50 percent off for the week they volunteer.

So, the next time you are near the shoppette, pop into the Thrift Store and say hi to Ms. Donna and Ms. Kelly; shop around and see all of the great treasures they have inside. Remember that your support is going further than just that sale, you are supporting the future of our military members and their families.

Thrift Store Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Like them on Facebook, at Team Charleston Spouses Club Thrift Store!