By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterDecember 1, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- With Black Friday and Cyber Monday over and done, people on post can still find that perfect gift at the perfect price at one of Fort Rucker's hidden gems.
The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop, located on the corner of Red Cloud Road and Ruf Avenue, offers a wide selection of items from clothing to appliances, and it's a local way people can save money during the holidays, according to Meghann Terry, Fort Rucker Thrift Shop publicity chair.
"The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop is very well organized and we want our customers to have a boutique experience without having to pay boutique prices," she said. "We receive a lot of quality and name-brand items though donations made and through customers consigning items."
For more than 40 years the thrift shop has not only been saving people money, but also providing a way for people to give back to the community on Fort Rucker.
The Fort Rucker Thrift Shop is a non-profit 501(c)-3 organization established to generate funds, and those funds are disbursed throughout the community in the form of grants to charitable organizations for the betterment of Soldier and their families, said Terry.
"Through our receipt of donations and sales we are able to distribute community grants (that) benefit many children and spouses of our Soldiers, as well as organizations, schools, businesses and programs in the Fort Rucker area," she said. "When people shop with us, all profits made by the thrift shop are given back to the community," adding that more than $150,000 in scholarships and more than $300,000 in grants have been issued over the years.
"In May, through our Teacher Grant Program, the Fort Rucker Thrift Shop awarded (nearly $16,200) in grants to local teachers (from Enterprise, Daleville and Ozark) to assist with various projects and updates to curriculum directly benefiting their students," said Terry.
Most recently, the thrift shop awarded Annie's Café in Enterprise $1,500 towards their Christmas dinner, which provides meals on Christmas day to local military, low-income families, hospice patients and first responders, said the publicity chair.
"It is very important for the thrift shop to give back to organizations in the greater Fort Rucker area," said Terry. "Part of the mission statement of the thrift shop describes how we strive to better the lives of Fort Rucker Soldiers and their families. We realize that a large part of our goal to help service members and their families is assisting and uplifting our surrounding communities to enable them to provide services that we may not be able to directly."
Some of the many organizations that the thrift shop contributes to include wounded warriors, disabled American veterans, Veterans Affairs hospitals, Relay for Life, animal shelters and many others, and all of this is done through volunteer efforts.
"Volunteers sort the donations, tag them and place them on the sales floor, and other volunteers work in the consignment area pricing the consignments," said Tracy Landa, Fort Rucker Thrift Shop volunteer. "Donations arrive daily, so there is always work to be done, and if people aren't able to volunteer their time, they can consider donating items or just stopping by and shopping at the thrift shop."
The thrift shop's store hours are normally Wednesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with consignment hours Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The thrift shop will be closed from Dec. 18 to Jan. 2, so people are encouraged to get their holiday shopping done early.
Shopping at the thrift shop is open to the public, but guests on Fort Rucker are reminded that they will need a gate access pass in order to drive onto the installation.
For more information, visit www.fortruckerthriftshop.org, or call 255-9595.