Thrift Shop now open and ready for business

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Aaron Montoya
  • 49th Wing Public Affairs
For more than 25 years the Thrift Shop has been known to help support Holloman Air Force Base and it's Airmen. It has been an affordable source of new and gently-used household items and articles of clothing. This year, the Thrift Shop is being run by Tracy Patton, wife of Lt. Col. Jeff Patton, 9th Attack Squadron commander.

"I think the Thrift Shop is a great opportunity for us to sell merchandise at a fraction of the cost that they could normally buy it, and it's all new or very gently used." said Patton.

The shop strives to save all members of Team Holloman time and money. Patton was also a volunteer last year, and her passion led her to become the current manager.

"I was a volunteer all of last year. When you are around passionate people, it makes it fun." said Patton. "I have always been a little bit of a treasure hunter myself. I love the idea of taking old things that have maybe lost its use to the owner, but can be repurposed into something new."

Being able to reuse items and hand them down to younger generations is a mutually beneficial asset for both Airmen and the Thrift Shop. It's also not just a great place to buy discounted goods, but you can also find a lot of art projects there as well.

"Two things that come to mind when I think about thrift shops are that they are trendy, and they are smart. People need to be smarter with how they spend their money, and it's trendy because everybody is talking about taking things that are old or vintage, and making them current and relevant." said Patton.

Patrons are also able to sell on consignment, starting Sept. 3.

"We get a lot of people who consign which gives them the opportunity to make money as well." said Carrie, wife of Maj. James, 6th Reconnaissance Squadron pilot. (Last name withheld due to operational security constraints.) "People bring stuff in. They price it, and we sell it. Maybe half of our money comes from consignments, which means we are giving people out there an opportunity to make as much money as we are here. When they bring something in they keep 75% and we keep 25%."

The opportunity to make some money and help out fellow Team Holloman members is free to everyone on base. Donations are also welcome from anyone and everyone.

"If you can get on base, you can come to the thrift store." said Carrie. "Also 100% of our donations are from people on base. Anyone can donate, after garage sales people bring the rest of their stuff. Some people don't even want to deal with having a garage sale and they bring in their goods instead."

If you want to donate any goods to the Thrift Shop, there are two bins available 24/7 on the south and east side of building 232 on 2nd St. and Connecticut Ave.

"Some people think we have to be open to donate, that's not the case. We empty those bins every day. If people have items or merchandise they would like to drop off they can do so anytime." said Patton.

The biggest benefit the shop offers to Team Holloman is that 100% of the funds they earn is put back into the base and the local communities. Donations from profits are made on base, to charities and added toward scholarships.

"We let people know the opportunity is here, they come in and give up their time for a great cause. We had about 12 volunteers who came in regularly and gave their time. Last year we raised about $15,000 for scholarships and money that we gave throughout the community to different charities and organizations both on and off base." said Carrie.

This year the Thrift Shop has been equally beneficial to Team Holloman.

"I love to see the reaction on people's faces when they come to help us. To have them find out that everything we do comes back to either the base, local community or scholarships. We look out for each other." said Patton. "This year we raised about $17,000 for scholarships. About $5,000 was given to the First Shirt Fund, the Airman's Attic and the Wounded Warrior program.

This year the shop almost didn't open on time due to unforeseen construction that had to be done inside the building. The Thrift Shop called on Airmen and other members of Team Holloman to lend a helping hand.

"We had a whole bunch of unexpected construction on the building and the 9th Attack Squadron was one that helped us move four rooms of merchandise, including the book room, consignment and the storage facility so that within 30 minutes we could have the contractors in. We had about 10 people from the 16th Training Squadron come over and within 45 minutes, put it all back." said Patton. "We were able to pull off a miracle and open on the day we were scheduled to open because of all of those people, also the First Shirts just really came through for us."

Both Carrie and Tracy were overwhelmed with the massive support that they received in their time of need.

"Honestly, I have heard about it, but I haven't seen it firsthand." said Patton. "They know what our organization does and what it's about. Thankfully most of the commanders have always been able to come through for us. They really try to help us out."

The Thrift Shop, located inside Building 232 on 2nd St. and Connecticut Ave. is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and can be contacted at (575)572-2343.