The Fort Campbell Courier

Local thrift shop provides free merchandise

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Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2006 12:00 am

From vacuum cleaners to formal gowns, one convenient thrift shop on post carries "just about everything."

Fort Campbell's Armed Services YMCA Backdoor Boutique, located at 5660 Screaming Eagle Blvd., allows active-duty Soldiers, sergeant and below, and family members to shop at no cost once a week.

"Shoppers can take two regular grocery bags and fill them with clothes, dishes or whatever they need and one carry-out item, for larger items, for free," said YMCA Backdoor Boutique coordinator Charlce West. "We also have a wish list people can put their name on for any furniture that is donated to us. When we get that item in, we call them and they can come and pick it up."

West said the store carries household essentials, clothes, food, toys and all childcare necessities.

"We have just about everything," West said. "We also have a ballroom with more than 30 suits for men and 300 formal gowns for women."

The ballroom is offered to any active-duty Soldier and family, not just sergeants and below, West said.

"We take a $20 deposit from them to buy the gown, and they can keep it up to 10 days," West said. "When they bring it back to us with the dry cleaning receipt, they get their $20 back. The deposit includes shoes and handbags."

Military spouse, Barbra Stockton, is just one of the more than 900 families a month who utilize the boutique.

"It's great, I come here and get things like clothes and items for my house that I didn't have when I first got here," Stockton said. "People give away things that you can use, and it is all for free. Now I'm getting a dress for the up-and-coming ball."

The boutique has more than 15 volunteers to unload and put away the abundance of donations the store receives.

"I donate a bunch of clothes here, and I look around and see what a great thing this is for E-5 and below, because some of them don't have enough money to go out and buy clothes or baby items," said Backdoor Boutique volunteer Lisa Hogarth. "Seeing what a good thing this is, I decided to volunteer to help out."

As the holidays are quickly approaching, the boutique will provide a Thanksgiving meal today through Monday for families and Soldiers sergeant and below.

"We are giving away more than 250 small Thanksgiving meals along with brand new book bags that were donated to us," West said. "We also have a Soldier's Tree for needy families. We have the Soldier pick out two gifts per child. They can register for that through their unit."

The boutique is open Monday n Thursday 10 a.m. n 2 p.m. Individuals wishing to donate items can deliver the donations at the backdoor of the boutique Monday n Friday 9 a.m. n 4 p.m. All donations to the Backdoor Boutique are tax deductible

For more information call (270) 956-1566.

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