Volunteers help people to be ‘thrifty’

Christine June
415th Base Support Battalion

***image1***(Editor’s Note: This is the second of a three-part series on KMC volunteers highlighting National Volunteer Week, April 18 to 24.)
The saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” happens every day in the KMC thanks to the volunteers who work at the four thrift stores here.
“Volunteers work very hard in the consignment room helping customers process their consignments,” said Linda Lachmann, Pulaski Thrift Store manager. “They also help with the donated items that come in daily by sorting, pricing and placing items in the store, helping us take clothing to the Red Cross and keeping the store clean and organized.
“Without the help of these wonderful people to fulfill all the obligations that it takes to keep a thrift shop business running we surely would not exist,” she said.
Ramstein Thrift Store’s Assistant Manager, Marcie Cipriano, agreed, “Without the volunteers, this store would not function. They do everything we do.”
Both managers also agreed thrift stores are important to a community, particularly a military community.
“We have so much to offer in these donations,” said Mrs. Cipriano. “You would be surprised and amazed at what people donate, and it’s always something that the person who is coming in needs and they get it at a fraction of the cost.
“Consignment is also important to the people who are leaving because they can unload everything they have that is 220 volts and still get some money back, and it’s not a total loss on the expense of moving to a new country,” she said.
Army Staff Sgt. Melissa Waldman, planning team NCO in charge, Warrior Preparation Center, Einsiedlerhof, has been stationed here for six years and has from time to time, shopped at the thrift store. She and her family are about to move, and she recently consigned items for the first time at the Pulaski Thrift Store.
“I have a lot of items I would like to get rid of, and even though I should probably go to the flea market, it just takes a lot more time to do it that way,” said Staff Sergeant Waldman. “This way, someone else is doing the work so it’s helpful to me because it saves me time.”
The person on that day doing all the work was a volunteer, Hazel Holifield, who has been volunteering at thrift stores since she was first stationed here in 1987.
“I have volunteered at every thrift shop at every assignment since then,” said Mrs. Holifield. “I just enjoyed it so much at the thrift shop that when I go to a new assignment, that’s the first place I look for.”
Mrs. Holifield works at the thrift store a couple of hours a day, three days a week.
“I like everything about it. It’s a great place to meet people and it’s a great place to be of help,” she said. “And sometimes, you get to purchase a bargain for yourself.”
The thrift stores in the area offer benefits to their volunteers, ranging from reduced prices on donated items to reimbursable childcare.
For more information on volunteering and the benefits, call the following area thrift stores: Pulaski Thrift Store, Bldg. 290, at 0631-51605; Ramstein Thrift Store, Bldg. 1200, at 06371-47-5492; and Sembach Thrift Store, Bldg. 201, at 06302-67-6196.
The Landstuhl Thrift Store, Bldg. 3818, is under renovations. The manager can be reached at the Pulaski Thrift Store.