Col. T. Glenn Moore, Fort Polk garrison commander, helped cut the ribbon for the grand opening and said a few words. “The grand opening is a big day for Fort Polk and the Thrift Shop. Not only does the shop provide a needed service to the Fort Polk community, as well as retirees and people outside the gates, by offering a wide range of donated items at affordable prices, but through those purchases the shop funds a variety of programs important to people on post and beyond,” said Moore.

FORT POLK — Sometimes shopping at a second-hand store is done just for fun. You never know the reasonably-priced treasures you’ll discover. It’s probably the thrill of the hunt that keeps you coming back for more. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a great way to while away a few enjoyable hours.

But for other folks just starting out or living on a budget, it’s more than just a good time. Finding affordable household items, clothes, shoes, toys and more can make or break your financial plan. That’s just a couple of reasons the Fort Polk Thrift Shop, bldg 2201, Alabama Avenue, is important to the Fort Polk community and why the shop is celebrating its grand opening in a new and more accessible location.

Col. T. Glenn Moore, Fort Polk garrison commander, helped cut the ribbon for the grand opening and said a few words. “The grand opening is a big day for Fort Polk and the Thrift Shop. Not only does the shop provide a needed service to the Fort Polk community, as well as retirees and people outside the gates, by offering a wide range of donated items at affordable prices, but through those purchases the shop funds a variety of programs important to people on post and beyond,” said Moore.

He said moving to the new location was a must. The old location was an outdated, two-story barracks building. “When I first visited the Thrift Shop, I thought the building was well past its shelf life and we had to get a new one. What better way to start a relationship than to give the new manager a new building and a good location to work in,” said Moore. 

Once the ribbon was cut, the doors were opened and shoppers eager to browse and buy were encouraged to walk through the building.

Debra Rico, a regular Thrift Shop patron, said she is really excited that they have so much room to work with. “I love that it’s not two stories any more,” she said.

Tahnee Anderson, an employee of the Thrift Shop, said it was hard to move everything from the old building, but it’s worth it.

Another employee, Tayleigh Guciardo, said the old building was much harder to find and get into. “This location is wheelchair accessible and it’s easier to get around from room to room. We have quite a few elderly customers and the old building made it difficult for them to move around,” said Guciardo.

Thrift Shop hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the first Saturday of the month from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and the third Wednesday of the month from 9:30-2 p.m. The Thrift Shop is working on possibly extending those hours to accommodate working Soldiers and Families.

The shop has a variety of specialized rooms for shoppers to explore including those featuring toys, Halloween items, shoes, clothes, children’s clothes, furniture and more. “I love the different rooms. It’s a bright and cheery atmosphere,” said Sheila Galvan, a grand opening day shopper.

Dita Hammer, the Thrift Shop’s manager, said it’s such a relief to finally be moved and open. “We still have a lot of work to do, but now that we are in this new location it will make everything easier,” said Hammer.

Proceeds from the Thrift Shop help support the Fort Polk community in many ways. Organizations such as local high schools (they have to have at least a 51 percent military student body before their request can be considered), the Spouses’ Club scholarship fund and post Boy and Girl Scout troops are assisted financially through the Thrift Shop, according to Hammer.

Hammer also mentioned that the Thrift Shop is always in need of volunteers. “Anyone that can give us some time would be amazing. That’s the help we need. It’s a great atmosphere. They would have a great time,” she said.

Hammer grew up exploring thrift shops and said she loves them. “This is a service that helps people and I’m happy to aid the community in any way that I can,” said Hammer. For more information call 537-0459 or visit www.facebook.com/FtPolkThriftShop.