Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ALL ranks day

I know I have mentioned Airman's Attic before, I usually talk more about it F2F rather then the blog. If you have forgotten it is the place that our younger Airmen can come and choose things for FREE. Yes, that's right FREE. Like 5 food items from our food pantry, FREE. Yes, we do have a food pantry and sadly it is very needed. We also stock baby food and cleaning supplies. Our Attic is hard to describe but if you have ever had the opportunity to visit a thrift shop you can make a similar comparison to the Attic. Only we also have uniforms including blues, ABUs and PT gear. Did I mention it's all FREE. Yep!

So once a month we have ALL ranks days. It is the last full week of the month. We are swamped and it's crazy but it's a good crazy and super great for all those who come. We have LTs, Chiefs, Cols, and everything in between, and of course we can't forget to mention our retirees. We get ALL ranks during this week, hence the name. There are rules; some things no matter that it's ALL ranks are still reserved specifically for our younger Airmen. Some bases do not do the ALL ranks, it is definitely a perk and we see it as win-win. It's good that so many utilize this benefit. It is also a little sad, for some are not there just to help stretch the dollar, they are there out of a real need. And speaking of needs, it definitely meets needs, it is very humbling to be involved with the Attic, the blessing stories are unparalleled!

The Attic just so you know receives no funding from the USAF, it is an ALL volunteer organization. Donations and dedicated volunteers are what keep the doors open. Fortunately here one of the private orgs have taken on the oversight of the Attic or it would go by the wayside. The AFI no longer mandates that this program exist which until I came here I did not know. I thought Attics and Loan Lockers were part of the AFRC programming. It's been a learning experience to find out that they are not and again the private org oversight definitely brings a unique spin to the dynamics od keeping the doors open. But again, lots of folks are pulling together and making it happen and the result is one of THE BEST facilities I have ever seen. HUGE kudos go to our local AFSA chapter as we would not have the awesome food pantry nor some of the other necessary operating items if it were not for their helping support of the Attic

Back to ALL ranks day...I got a little sidetracked there, sorry. We were busy today, which is always the case on all ranks days, goodness, really we are pretty much busy every day we are open! But yesterday MiB stopped by as he tries to do as his schedule allows. Because as I tell him and he had some to find out it is amazing what you can find out about the morale and lives of your Airman when you meet them in such a setting as the Attic.

Anyway, he found some shoes...yes, MiB got shoes at the Attic today, now if Ms Shirl would have had her way he would have had more then one pair. But here's the kicker, we were getting ready to go to an event Saturday night and I said you really need to take the time so we can go find you some new black shoes. He said he knew and this wasn't the first time I had mentioned the need for new black shoes. So it was priceless that he stopped in, it was all ranks and he found new black shoes! I love the Attic :) He was impressed and surprised to makes such a great find as I don't think he has ever truly looked at our merchandise.

 MiB trying on black shoes; Ms Shirl trying to get him a back up pair!

 Seriously, we get good stuff. Our donations include MANY name brands like Aeropostle, Hollister, Izod, Coach, Kuerig, Tommy, MissMe, Levi's, Yankee Candle, Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, , Dooney and Burke, Nike, Abercrombie, American Eagle, Pampered Chef, White House Black Market, Columbia and I could go on and on. The donations we receive for the most part on any given day are gently used with lots of life left in them. It's amazing!

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