By Gabrielle KuholskiOctober 9, 2013
Fort Huachuca, AZ. - Since 1988, that Installation Staff Chaplain's office has been helping Families in need of assistance with Turnaround Point. Located in the launderette building and across from Armed Forces Bank, Turnaround Point, or TAP, is a store containing a variety of gently used items that active-duty Soldiers and their Families can take for free. The Family has the option of keeping the items or returning them when no longer needed.
"[TAP] is unique to Fort Huachuca," said Jo Moore, Outreach Ministries director,
Installation Staff Chaplain's Office, adding that it is also unique to the Army. Since the program started, she has not heard of another installation picking up the program.
The mission of TAP is Soldiers taking care of Soldiers. On average, 1,400 Families use the program per year.
"There are some times when the Soldiers get here and their household goods aren't here and then they call and ask if [Turnaround Point] has anything they can use until their stuff gets here," Moore said.
Some Families are in need of the items due to financial situations. Moore often receives thank you notes from those who received assistance and feel grateful TAP was there for them. She read aloud one note in particular thanking TAP for items needed for a Family expecting a baby.
The store carries just about anything you can find in a thrift shop. Items include kitchen wares; household appliances such as refrigerators, washers and dryers; electronics, such as TVs; furniture; bedding and towels; and recreational items like children's toys and books and games for Family members of all ages.
TAP carries civilian clothing for all Family members. According to Moore, children's clothing is popular item and the store even accepts donated school uniforms.
No appointment is necessary to visit the store but Families are asked to sign in at the front counter upon entering TAP.
"[Families] do sign in, so we have a record, we're trying to keep track of how many people utilize the program," Moore said.
The program relies on two different types of donations--donated items and donated time.
Both Fort Huachuca community and off-post residents can donate goods in "gently used" condition. A large rectangular box is located in front of the store entrance to drop off items, or a pick up time can be arranged through Moore. If needed, a donation reciept for tax purposes is available upon request.
Besides material donations, the store could not exist without the help of ten volunteers who run the store. Sonya Brock has been volunteering with TAP for five years. As a military spouse, said she likes the opportunity to help out Soldiers and their Families.
"It's something to help others," Brock said. "There's no stress working here like there is working a regular job."
TAP is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information on TAP or making a donation, call 533.4748.