Attic welcomes all active duty E-6s and below
by Airman Jose Climaco
The small room next to the Thrift Shop shouldn't be confused as being part of the Thrift Shop.
The main difference between the two is that the items at the Attic are free, while the Thrift Shop sells its goods.
The Attic offers free clothing, toys, small home appliances and books to all active duty E-6s and below, and their dependents.
The change in policy, allowing up to the rank of E-6 access to the Attic, went into effect in May after it was approved by Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Lawrence, 6th Air Mobility Wing command chief, who makes the final decisions regarding the Attic. The change was due to the excess of merchandise at the Attic.
"Why store it?" said Lewis Nelson, Attic volunteer.
There has been a noticeable increase of customers. The Attic averages 10 to 15 customers on the days it's open, which are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., added Mr. Nelson.
The items found in the Attic come from donations, which everyone can be a part of. Donations are accepted at the loading dock at the back of the building after hours, said Mr. Nelson.
The Attic is sponsored by the Air Force Sergeants Association Auxiliary, Pinellas Park.
Mr. Nelson said he and his wife drive 40 miles to volunteer at the Attic. Volunteering is similar to constantly donating, said Mr. Nelson.
"We can always use more volunteers," Mr. Nelson added.
Two volunteers work each shift. Those interested in volunteering at the Attic, or anywhere else at MacDill, can contact the Family Support Center at 828-2721.
Attendance at a two-hour course is required to become a volunteer on base, which is scheduled by the FSC, said Mr. Nelson.