Kaiserslautern Landstuhl Spouses’ Association continues efforts at Landstuhl Thrift Shop

Story and photo by Erinn Burgess
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Installation Management Command Directorate

Pulaski Thrift Shop is closing Oct. 26. The closure stems from the European infrastructure consolidation actions announced by the Department of Defense in 2015, which direct a partial return of Pulaski Barracks by 2019.

Although Pulaski Thrift Shop is closing Oct. 26, the Kaiserslautern Landstuhl Spouses’ Association will continue to run the Landstuhl Thrift Shop to provide reasonably priced, second-hand goods to the Kaiserslautern Military Community.

The Pulaski store’s closure stems from the European Infrastructure Consolidation actions announced by the Department of Defense in 2015, which direct a partial return of Pulaski Barracks by 2019.

KLSA First Vice President Angie Shinkle explained that the purpose of the thrift shops is not only to provide community members with low-cost shopping opportunities but also to raise funds for organizations such as Bright Eyes, KMC Scholarships, USO, the Red Cross, the chaplain’s office and several others. Just last year, KLSA was able to give back more than $70,000 to the community from thrift shop profits.

Shinkle stressed the importance of continued donations to the Landstuhl Thrift Shop to ensure KLSA can continue to do what it does for the community. She encouraged the shoppers, too.

“Give Landstuhl a chance! It’s going to have some really cool stuff right now because we just took all of our Halloween and Christmas stuff up there,” Shinkle said, also mentioning the upcoming Halloween Extravaganza.

This festive celebration, including Halloween costumes and decor for sale along with little treats for children, will be held at Landstuhl Thrift Shop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, Bldg. 3818.

Along with providing support to organizations in the KMC, KLSA also promotes friendship and belonging through social activities and community involvement. Those who volunteer for the organization often find themselves enjoying it so much that they get involved on a deeper level, such as Shinkle herself.

“I enjoyed volunteering in the thrift store so much, I became bookkeeper and treasurer,” Shinkle said. She then assumed the role of first vice president this year and now has oversight of both shop locations.

Kirsten Moser, community grants chairperson, also started as a volunteer.

“It can be hard to meet people here,” Moser said. “The thrift shop is a nice place to meet people. It’s fun to talk to the people who come in to shop — both the families that come on a regular basis and the people who just arrived to the community.”

Moser and Shinkle aren’t the only ones who enjoy KLSA enough to stick with it. Full-time volunteer Roswitha Santillo has been a member of KLSA for more than 20 years. She explained she has stayed with the organization for so many years because of “the social contact, meeting many friendly people and the feeling that I am able to help and give something back to the community is time well spent.”

Santillo explained that when she first arrived to the KMC, she did not have friends and had a lot of free time. Working at Landstuhl Thrift Shop has given her lifelong friendships and a sense of pride.

“It gives me a satisfied feeling when we achieve a well-earned income and proudly give back to the community. I am nearly 74 years old, and I hope that I will be able to spend a couple more years with KLSA,” Santillo said.

The organization is in need of board members and volunteers in order to continue its work. A membership drive will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at Armstrong’s Club on Vogelweh. The free event will include door prizes, light snacks and the opportunity for community members to see what KLSA is all about.

Spouses of all services and ranks as well as retirees, reservists and civilians are invited to get involved with KLSA. High school students 16 and older are also welcome to become thrift shop volunteers. For information, email

From now through Oct. 26, Pulaski Thrift Shop offers 50 percent off all items. Shopping hours are 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays,
1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Saturday of October.


The thrift shop opened its doors in its original location on Vogelweh in 1963 after a request from the Kaiserslautern Officers’ and Civilians’ Wives Club — forerunner to the Kaiserslautern Landstuhl Spouses’ Association — to provide a place for lower-paid personnel to purchase usable items of household goods and clothing that they might otherwise not be able to afford. It was promised then that the funds would be donated to charitable and welfare activities within the community, a promise KLSA has undeniably upheld. — Courtesy Photo