ACS lending closet is stocked
By Dennis Ryan | Pentagram Staff Writer | Thursday, April 24, 2008
Army Community Service provides a wide variety of programs in support of Soldiers and their Families. The Army Family Action Plan allows Soldiers, civilians, retirees and Family members to talk about issues affecting Soldiers and their Families.
Army Family Team Building helps spouses adjust to and later become leaders in the Fort Myer Military Community. Army Emergency Relief provides emergency funds or loans for a variety of reasons.
These are just a few of the long standing programs designed to help Soldiers and their Families. Sometimes Soldiers or their spouses may need a lesser and more temporary type of help.
Sometimes Families arrive at Fort Myer before their household items. This is a problem when a mother or father has to cook for a Family. This is when the ACS Lending Closet comes to the rescue. The closets are a perfect example of ACS fulfilling its motto, ‘‘Real-life Solutions for Successful Army living.”
Volunteer Bonnie Harold calls herself an ACS newcomer because she has only helped out for nine years.
‘‘People come over for dishes, pots, pans and car seats,” she said. ‘‘We work closely with the MPs. One time an MP stopped a car where the child had no car seat. They brought them right here and got them a car seat.”
The Fort Myer lending closet is probably the only one in the Army to have a wheelchair. Aging or handicapped visitors to the adjacent Arlington National Cemetery often borrow a wheelchair to navigate the hallowed hills to pay respects to loved ones.
The lending closet is primarily designed to help relocating military Families, Harold said. The military has first choice, but the closet is open to all military members and Army civilians.
As many as 75 people a year may take advantage of the program, she said. Items are normally lent for two weeks, but Harold stressed they are flexible.
‘‘We’re here to give them a service,” she said. ‘‘If something is not returned, we call and they bring it back in. They’re pretty good.”
Parents may need to borrow a baby stroller, high chair or playpen. The closet contains the basic comforts of home.
‘‘We have regular folding chairs with a table,” Harold said. ‘‘You can set up housekeeping and sleep on futons on the floor.”