Fort Myer Thrift Shop offers a bit of everything
Thursday, June 12, 2008, By Beverly L. Garland, Pentagram Intern
The Fort Myer Thrift Shop is a gold mine for those who want quality, yet inexpensive items.
The Army Officers Wives Club of the Greater Washington Area (AOWCGWA) opened the thrift shop in 1977. Since then, many physical and financial changes have been made.
According to volunteers, the thrift shop was at a location closer to Arlington Cemetery before it moved to its present location. When AOWCGWA took over, the shop moved to Forrest Circle and was originally in a single building. The upstairs area was the boutique. In about one decade, the shop divided. The boutique moved from the second floor to the location it is in currently.
‘‘Second-hand goods have become important since prices have gotten so high,” said Enrica Frost, a volunteer. Since 1999, the shop has raised over $2.6 million in total sales.
A portion of the proceeds from the thrift shop are distributed in the forms of scholarships and aid to the military community. Army high school seniors and continuing education spouses are eligible for the scholarship. Last year, total sales were $350,000, $109,000 of which went to fund scholarships and Soldier welfare programs.
Many people who donate to the thrift shop have traveled to countries across the world. Customers realize this fact and shop hoping to find that special knick-knack which is unique, rare and can only be found in the shop.
The shop is also beneficial to Soldiers and their families who are moving to or from Fort Myer.
Every Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and selected Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the thrift shop welcomes customers with warm smiles from the staff and soft music for easy shopping.
The thrift shop encourages comfortable shopping. The volunteers and staff talk, laugh and enjoy being in the presence of other employees and customers. Almost all the employees gladly volunteer their time and promise that coming to the thrift shop will allow a customer to feel more content.
The thrift shop is located in two buildings, 224 and 225 behind the stables on Forrest Circle. One building is a boutique that has antique paintings, jewelry, fine china, lamps, and other delicate items. The main shop sits to the right of the boutique and sells clothes, toys and books. Furniture is the most wanted item.
Many things can be found in the Fort Myer Thrift Shop; however the most important would probably be the heart-warming atmosphere.
‘‘Their hearts are bigger than this building,” said Cheryl Sinn, a customer.
For more information regarding the Fort Myer Thrift Shop, go to www.fmthriftshop.org.