Moving from one installation to another can be a stressful time for military members. Fort Gordon’s Relocation Readiness program is ready to help alleviate some of that stress. One of the ways the program does this is through its lending closet.
The lending closet is intended to help both military and civilian personnel save money while waiting for their household goods to arrive from their previous duty station. There is no fee to borrow items, nor is there a requirement to present PCS orders. And although the program is primarily for those who are in and out-processing, anyone with a valid military ID card may borrow from the lending closet, said Natascha Echols, Relocation Readiness assistant and manager of the lending closet.
The list of available items is extensive and includes household goods such as toasters, coffee pots, cookware, utensils, microwaves, irons and ironing boards, sleeping mats and more. The program recently added folding tables and chairs.
“That was something we were getting a lot of questions about,” Echols said. “And then we have little items that we give them too when they come that they don’t need to return – we give potholders, scrub brushes to clean the pots with, little salad jars, things like that.”
Most items are either new or in “like new” condition; many still in their original packaging.
Items are loaned out for 30 days, but borrowers may request to keep them longer if needed.
“All they need to do is come in and fill out a form that has all of the items we have to offer, and they pick those items while they’re here,” Echols said. “We have a nice stock of items right now to where we haven’t been having any issues with extending anyone’s things, so as long as we have everything in stock, there shouldn’t be any issues with extending.”
Reflecting on her life as a military child whose father was gone for extended periods due to deployments and training, Echols said she remembers wishing her family had similar resources back then. If they existed, she did not know about them. Now she makes it her mission to help other families by informing them of such resources.
“We’re trying our hardest to let them know that we’re here for them,” Echols said. “The people who don’t know about it are the ones who don’t utilize it and come back later and say they wish they knew about it.”
The lending closet is located in Darling Hall, Room 172, at 307 Chamberlain Avenue. Borrowing hours are Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. The office is closed on federal holidays. For more information, call 706-791-1922.