FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Since 1957, the Bragg ’N Barn has been a fixture on Fort Bragg. The once thrift/consignment store has evolved into a thriving non-profit that sells kids’ clothing, dishes, pots and pans, furniture and so much more to military Families.
But it is more than a store. It is a charity that puts its money to work in the community supporting various agencies on Fort Bragg.
On Monday, April 24, the board members, volunteers and employees gathered to celebrate another successful year of the store, but more importantly to distribute the store’s earnings to several charities and organizations that serve the community.
Cynthia Brunson, the board president, said their ability to give back to the community is predicated on the hard work of the volunteer board, volunteers who are not on the board and employees.
Brunson explained that much of the work at the store is done by volunteers, most of whom are military spouses. She noted that when the store first opened more than 60 years ago, it was little more than a closet.
Over the years, the small closet continued to grow and to carry more household items, clothes, and other necessities for the home. Until four months ago, the store sold items on consignment, but as the board looked closer at their finances, space, and time, they realized the store could contribute more if they solely worked on sales.
When the new members of the board were elected, the group implemented new business practices, which included updating policies and business practices. These changes helped to not only draw more customers, but also increased the revenue.
With a fresh start and a lot of enthusiasm, the store has focused on better business practices, more outreach to the community and giving back more to the community.
On Monday, the organization hosted its first official event to publicly share its revenue to organizations that serve the Soldiers and their Families on and off Fort Bragg. The acting Deputy Garrison Commander Brian Atkins was on hand to help award the grants to the various organizations and noted the importance of each and its mission in support of Fort Bragg.
Organizations that received grants were:
• Albritton Parent Teacher Association received $1,250 to purchase t-shirts for the End of the Year Field Day
• Armed Services YMCA Fort Bragg received $5,000 to purchase items for the Baby Bundle and Operation Hero Programs for military Families
• Fayetteville Area Operation Inasmuch received $1,000 for the Breakfast Program for homeless Veterans
• The Navigators, were awarded $500 for a beach retreat for Soldiers and their spouses
• St. Patrick Catholic School was awarded $1,000 to support upgrades to school security equipment
• Support Our Troops was granted $1,435 to send care packages to Soldiers overseas. The money will cover the cost to 100 boxes
• United Through Reading received $1,500 to purchases 500 new children’s books for distribution
• Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service, a non-profit that serves homeless veterans and veterans in nursing homes, was given $2,000
• The Fort Bragg Religious Support Office received $2,000 and will use it to support Fort Bragg Families who are facing food insecurities.
The organization also awards scholarships to military children. The store is located at 2-2412 Woodruff Street, Fort Bragg and will accept gently worn clothing items and household goods.
The thrift store is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and can be reached at 910-907-4053 or visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BraggNBarnThriftShop/.