SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Whether you're looking to stock your home on a budget or on the hunt for hidden treasure, the Hui 'O Na Wahine Thrift Shop may have it -- for a fraction of the retail price.
The spacious, multi-roomed store stocks everything from baby clothes and sequined ball gowns to exercise equipment and televisions. There's even a consignment store, and specials such as the Fill a Bag Day during which customers may fill a reusable Hui 'O Na Wahine shopping bag (available for purchase at the store) with as many items of clothing as they can fit for $7.
And if you still can't find what you're looking for, the store's staff will add your name to the "Wish List" -- a list of customers' names along with the items they're seeking. If the item comes in stock, the staff will give you a call.
You'd be well advised to add yourself to the Wish List because, while it is tempting to describe this store as a hidden gem that's mostly undiscovered by its community, the truth is it has a healthy customer base and things sell quickly.
"If you see something you like, get it now because it won't be here tomorrow," said Herrera.
Katherine Collins, the Hui's publicity officer, concurred, recalling the many times she donated items to the store in the morning only to find that they were gone by the afternoon.
As she spoke, a steady stream of customers flowed through the store, combing through racks of clothes and stacks of furniture.
"My mom told me to come here because there's lots of good stuff," said Jesmyn Agustin, who is expecting a baby boy and came to stock up on baby clothes and supplies. "And I did find a lot of things (for a good price)."
While Agustin was aware of the bargains, she didn't know that proceeds from the store's sales are donated back to the Army community in the form of Hui 'O Na Wahine welfare and merit grants that are awarded to organizations and causes that support the Army in Hawaii.
This year, the Hui raised $120,000 in grants, about $100,000 of which came from Thrift Shop sales.
"That's a significant amount of money," said Shawna Hall, Hui 'O Na Wahine's outgoing president, who was wearing a blouse she purchased from the Thrift Shop, "considering most of it comes from small sales, a dollar here, a dollar there," she said.
That makes the Thrift Shop the backbone of the Hui's fundraising effort. By shopping there you get more than a bargain; you get a chance to support the community.
-- Hui 'O Na Wahine Thrift Shop
Hours of Operation are 9 a.m.--1 p.m., Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and the first and third Saturdays of the month.
It's located at 2107 Ulrich Way (behind the Army Community Service building on Schofield Barracks). Call (808) 624-3254.
The Hui Thrift Shop accepts gently used donations of books, clothes, electronics, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments and toys, among other items. It does not accept donations of used mattresses, helmets, car seats, cribs and other items that are deemed to be health or safety hazards.
If you have questions about donations, please contact the store.
The Hui Thrift Shop is looking for volunteers (who are at least 16 years old) to help sort through donations, arrange inventory and keep the store clean, among other tasks. Once you accrue five hours of volunteer work, you qualify for a 20 percent store discount.
If you're interested, stop by during the store's hours of operation, and the staff will guide you through an orientation, after which you may start volunteering.