MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --
As the price of clothing and other necessities increase there is one organization that strives to lessen that burden on military families.
The Airman’s Attic, organized and managed by Maxwell’s Top Three, is a used items store where service members, their dependents and retirees can get items free of charge, Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon.
Volunteers sort through clothing, books, non-perishable food, military clothing and many more items to allow others to reuse.
The items the attic doesn’t collect are weapons, tube T.V.s, used or opened items, such as used soaps and opened containers of food.
All service members can visit and get military items as needed. The attic limits individuals to 15 clothing items per family member and unlimited toys and books.
Anyone from the rank of Technical Sergeant and below can get diapers, wipes and non-perishable food items.
The first Thursday of every month, retirees and officers can come in to grab a bag full of clothes, shoes or books, Peters said.
The staff and volunteers ask that any items obtained from the attic not sold for profit, Peters said. If the staff does catch anyone selling items from the attic, those individuals will be banned.
Donations from base populous are accepted during open hours and by drop-off in the shed outside the airman’s attic when closed.
Since the attic is open three days a week, it can take a lot to keep up with sorting and placing the donations, that’s where the help of volunteers play a big part in the smooth operation of the attic.
Volunteers are needed the most when the organization receives massive amounts of donated items. Most of the volunteers the attic attains, is through military spouses.
“I started volunteering one day a week just to get out of the house,” said Michelle Peters, Airman’s Attic manager. “I noticed the back was really in need of some organizing, that’s when I noticed that coming in just one day a week was not cutting it. At that point, I would come in three days a week for five hours a day and spend all that time in the back just organizing all the donated items.”
As a long-time attic volunteer, Eileen Taylor says she enjoys meeting some of the younger military spouses and sharing her wisdom with them.
“I was a [military spouse] for 24 years and I think the Airman’s Attic is a really nice way to give back [to our military families],” Taylor said. “We enjoy it.”
Student’s attending the Officer Training School and Airman Leadership School add further help to organizing and sorting the donated items.
Including a mass of volunteers helping out, the attic recently received a sum of $5,000, which was donated by a private organization.
“We are very pleased to have received this money, as it is helping us get supplies to clean the building and help make it a more inviting space to all our visitors,” Peters said.
At this time the generous donation is being spent cautiously, and only being used when needed.
“Not many people know that we have an Airman’s Attic, and I think if more people knew about us, we would have more Airmen who are in need of help utilize it,” said Master Sgt. Brian Peters, Barnes Center noncommissioned officer in charge of registration.
For more information about the Airman’s Attic, or to volunteer, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/maxwellgunter.airmans.attic/?ref=br_rs.