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Post thrift shops an easy, affordable way to outfit children

Story, photo by Sharon McBride
Fort Richardson PAO

Edie Jensen, manager of the Fort Richardson Thrift Shop, sorts through some winter items. Getting and keeping winter gear on-hand for children can be a challenge during the school year. Winter items at the Thrift Shop are gently used and cost only a fraction of what Soldiers will pay off post for a similar item.Getting the kids ready for school not only means buying typical school supplies.

It also means buying school clothes, to include boots, hats, gloves, snow pants; all this stuff can add up, especially if a parent buys their children extra winter gear to cover the times their child’s hat mysteriously ends up “missing” or they can only find one glove.

Getting the children ready for school does not have to empty your bank account.

There are affordable options available on post which can get the whole family outfitted without paying big bucks.

A lot of winter gear and almost-new school clothes are available for purchase at the post Thrift Shop.

“All the stuff we have available is good quality, gently used and can be purchase for a nominal cost,” said Edie Jensen, manager of the Fort Richardson Thrift Shop.

 “Most children’s clothes (especially elementary school-aged) do not get worn out before they have outgrown them,” she said.

Throughout the month of August, to celebrate going back to school, those who shop at the Fort Richardson Thrift Shop will receive 20 percent off on their clothing bill.

The Armed Services YMCA Thrift Store located at Fort Wainwright also has a lot of items parents can buy to outfit their children for back to school.

“When kids are constantly losing their gloves and hats, parents don’t want to pay a bundle to replace them,” Jensen said.

The Thrift Shop on Fort Richardson also has a special program for junior enlisted Soldiers year-round. Soldiers in grades E-1 through E-4 with family members can sign up for a $25-a month credit.

“They can spend it on anything they want to buy,” Jensen said. “This program was designed with the junior enlisted (Soldier and their) children in mind. So they have help getting the items their children need for school and for going outdoors.”

Most people might think that $25 won’t go that far, but with many children’s clothing items priced at $1 or less, customers can get a lot for a little bit of money.

Coats, hats, gloves and a myriad of other school clothes at reasonable prices are also for sale at the Fort Wainwright Thrift Shop in Bldg. 1031, at Chestnut and 102nd streets.

Wainwright’s store hours are Tuesday from 1:30 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 356-1211 for more information.

Fort Richardson’s shop is located next to the Post Office in Bldg. 724 on Quartermaster Street.

The shop hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.; Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and the first and third Saturday of every month from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Call 384-JUNK for more information.