Local

May 31, 2012

Everyday items, treasures available at FH Community Thrift Shop

Tags:
Story and photos by Beth Bellizzi
Special to the Scout

Five local, tax-exempt, non-profit organizations were awarded a total of $7,800 in monetary disbursements from the Fort Huachuca Community Thrift Shop on May 17. Pictured (from left to right): Lindy Roberts, thrift shop disbursement chairperson; Laura Lopez, Bisbee High School Project Graduation; Dennis Bieicki, Buena High School Project Graduation; Irma Low, thrift shop volunteer; Tom Gross, Tombstone High School Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program; Maria Eichenberger, thrift shop volunteer; Harry Walthers, Sierra Vista Community Chorus; and Lynn Michaud, thrift shop volunteer. Disbursement awardee unavailable for photo: CANTER (Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources).

It was a Thursday and they were prepared; they left their checkbooks at home and armed themselves with plenty of dollar bills. The large sign on the entrance states, “CASH ONLY,” and that’s what they brought. Some came just to look, hoping to find a treasure. Others had a goal in mind. The regulars, many greeted by employees, knew how to maneuver through the shelves, investigating items beyond eye-level.

With a variety that rivals any major retailer and the customer service of an old-time general store, this is the scene repeated at least twice each week at the Fort Huachuca Community Thrift Shop. The non-profit organization sells clothing and merchandise that has been consigned or donated to generate revenue solely to support its charitable initiatives.

According to Thrift Shop Bookkeeper Tanya Gittinger, each Tuesday and Thursday the thrift shop consigns between 1,000 to 1,200 new items and “500 to 600 [of the items] go out the door the same day.”

Located just past the Main Gate entrance to post, the iconic former warehouse with the bright yellow sign is open from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and the first Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The heartbeat of the thrift shop is maintained by manager Diane Pullman. Her zeal for the shop, its volunteers, employees and customers is evident upon meeting her.

“Good morning, thrift shop, Diane speaking,” Pullman politely replied to a phone inquiry. “I don’t know if we are taking women’s again, but I know we are taking men’s and children’s. You can consign 20 items a day [during consignment hours]. You’re welcome.”

If on permanent-change-of-station orders, for a 30-day period during each day the shop is open, authorized users may consign up to 40 items after presenting PCS orders to the thrift shop staff. Consignment hours are from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday and from 9 a.m. – noon on the first Saturday of every month.

Although its commitment to customer service has not changed, the thrift shop has modified its internal business operation over the years.

“I learned to cashier when we had an old, crank register and you had to figure everything in your head,” said Pullman, who started as a volunteer in 1975. Now cashiers scan price tickets into a computer and the sale information “goes right into the customer’s account,” Pullman stated.

The use of technology has also helped the thrift shop improve communication with potential consigners and shoppers. On its Facebook page, “Ft. Huachuca Community Thrift Shop,” staff posts which items they are no longer accepting and other general information.

Noting the unique variety of items in the 11,000-square-feet shop, Pullman said, “We get crystal in here. We get antiques in here. You just never know what you’ll find.”

Although most household items are easily consigned, a caveat remains about furniture. Consigners must call before bringing in furniture and large appliances to ensure space is available for consignment.

All consignment items are inspected through the thrift shop’s quality control standards. Merchandise and clothing must be clean and usable. Complete consignment guidelines are available in the thrift shop office.

While purchases are open to anyone with legal access to post, consignment is reserved for individuals here on temporary duty or who live within 150 miles of Fort Huachuca and are: active and retired regular and reserve component military and dependents; active and retired civil service employees; Veterans Administration identification card holders; or volunteers not in the previous categories who have completed an initial 20 volunteer hours and maintained an average of 10 volunteer hours per month.

The thrift shop staff is transparent with first-time consigners about its use of the 25-percent fee it retains from all sales.

“We tell everyone that 50 percent of our profits [from every sale] go to our scholarship fund and 50 percent goes to our [community] disbursement fund,” said Lindy Roberts, thrift shop disbursement chairperson. This year, the thrift shop awarded $36,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors. Disbursements are awarded every other month; scholarships once a year. Fund applications are available in the thrift shop office.

The thrift shop provides non-monetary donations to the community as well. If consignment items are not sold after approximately three months, they are given to local charities.

The Fort Huachuca Community Thrift Shop may be reached at 458.4606 or fhthriftshop@yahoo.com.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Traffic changes at fort’s East Gate begin Monday due to major construction

The east gate on Fort Huachuca receives a major facelift beginning Monday. The project will impact traffic flow into the installation and there will be delays. Two lanes will be open for inbound traffic which will be routed through the outbound lanes for a portion of the road. Traffic will be inbound only from 5...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Young artist helps local PD catch criminals through her work

Courtesy photo Makenzie Sargent is pictured with some of her artwork. A young woman whose parents work on Fort Huachuca is helping the Sierra Vista Police Department take a bite out of crime through her artwork. Makenzie Sargen...
 
 

Sierra VistAbility Day, job fair to take place

Sierra VistAbility Day Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” In celebration, the City of Sierra Vista Commission on Disability Issues and the...
 

 
Alma-Dolores-Dancers-Arts-&-Humanities-award

Cultural programming comes to SV Public Library

City of Sierra Vista As a library located close to an international border, the Sierra Vista Public Library, or SVPL, staff strives to provide books, language programs, and events for all patrons as the cross promotion of both ...
 
 
WEObs1_20140826_Flynn

Women’s Equality Day: FH celebrates at Alvarado Hall

Before the Women’s Equality Day Observance Aug.26, Capt. Jessica Howell, Company C, 304th Military Intelligence Battalion, takes a moment to read historical facts about Women’s Equality Day on display at Alvarado Hall. The ...
 
 

Glass recycling now available in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA – Clean glass bottles and jars can be dropped off for recycling at the new Sierra Vista Glass Recycling Depot as part of the city’s trial glass recycling project. The Glass Recycling Depot, located in the parking lot of the Pedro Castro Government Maintenance Center, is a glass collection point that is separate...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin