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Thrift shop provides positive programs for Airmen

Senior Airman Brandon Gilbert, 28th Contracting Squadron specialist, left, hands a cookie platter to Magan Powell, B-One Thrift Store assistant manager, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 18, 2015. The thrift store has three programs created to assist Airmen in need of household goods or clothing. For more information about the B-One Thrift Store and its programs, call (605) 385-5383 (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert/Released)

Senior Airman Brandon Gilbert, 28th Contracting Squadron specialist, left, hands a cookie platter to Magan Powell, B-One Thrift Store assistant manager, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 18, 2015. The thrift store has three programs created to assist Airmen in need of household goods or clothing. For more information about the B-One Thrift Store and its programs, call (605) 385-5383 (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert/Released)

Jennie Mason, B-One Thrift Store assistant supervisor, takes clothing off hangers for Tech. Sgt. Jessica Nicholson, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron vehicle control noncommissioned officer, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 18, 2015. The thrift store has three programs created to assist Airmen in need of household goods or clothing. For more information about the B-One Thrift Store and its programs, call (605) 385-5383. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert/Released)

Jennie Mason, B-One Thrift Store assistant supervisor, takes clothing off hangers for Tech. Sgt. Jessica Nicholson, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron vehicle control noncommissioned officer, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Dec. 18, 2015. The thrift store has three programs created to assist Airmen in need of household goods or clothing. For more information about the B-One Thrift Store and its programs, call (605) 385-5383. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sadie Colbert/Released)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Moving off-base, getting married or obtaining appliances for a dorm room can be financially overwhelming for an Airman just starting out.

To ease this burden, the B-One Thrift Store allows servicemembers to acquire clothes, electronics, and various household items for discounted prices, but low prices are not the only benefit it brings.

Considered a non-profit organization, the shop includes programs like Up to E-4, Boneyard Bucks and "Babyland," created to assist those going through struggles.

The Up to E-4 Program provides Airmen with a $15 stipend, renewed each month, to use in store. On the other hand, Boneyard Bucks is more focused on providing senior airmen and below with necessity of life items, such as food and clothing, for free through the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

Finally, "Babyland" allows Airmen or their spouses to sign up during their last trimester of pregnancy and can receive an infant car seat from the thrift store at no cost.

The store can be used by anyone to make extra spending money through consignment as well.

Magan Powell, B-One Yard Thrift Store assistant manager, said in order to sign up, consigners pay one dollar and thrift shop workers assist with consignment pricing.
Once enrolled, individuals can bring their unwanted items to be sold in the store and receive 65 percent of the profit.

"We [believe] people are grateful for the programs," Powell explained. "When we tell them about it, they get excited because they haven't heard about it before. It definitely helps those who use them."

Even other military members and their spouses use what the shop has to offer as an advantage.

"I have an extremely large family," said Tech. Sgt. Jessica Nicholson, 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron vehicle control noncommissioned officer. "So it helps that I can find items for good prices."

A final aspect of the store includes providing a portion of their profit to the Officer, Civilians, Spouses Club Association Scholarship, which is made available to seniors in high school and military spouses pursuing a higher education.

Last year they provided approximately $10,000, making up the majority of the finance going into the scholarship.

Powell adds, with the services provided, they also need assistance to run it smoothly.

"We always need volunteers," Powell said. "We only have three paid employees here and a handful of [helpers]. We love to get Airmen in here to volunteer, even if they just come in for a part of their lunch break to help us organize things."

Whenever Airmen need home appliances or just a little pick-me-up, the thrift shop can be there to help.

The thrift store is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and every second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information about the B-One Thrift Store and its programs, call (605) 385-5383.