MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. --
Spring cleaning came early for the Malmstrom Thrift Store as the MAFB Spouses’ Club dedicated two weeks and more than 200 hours revamping the store for 2020.
“We like to think of it more as a mini-facelift,” said Erin Schiavone, thrift store head volunteer. “We painted some accent walls, added some shelving, reorganized and purged, a lot. We wanted more of a boutique-feel when you walk in.”
The MAFB Thrift Store provides a place to drop off donations and gives people the opportunity to buy quality used items at an affordable price.
The thrift store also includes “Cinderella Closest” which is a space dedicated to suits and dresses that can be rented for formal events and only cost the dry cleaning fee before they are returned.
“The Thrift Store, MSC Auction and various fundraising efforts throughout the year help the MSC raise money in order to give back to the MAFB community,” said Schiavone.
The MSC Auction will be held on March 28th at the Grizzly Bend and the theme will be “Roaring 20s.” There will be a live auction, silent auction and dessert auction; tickets are available for purchase for $25 a person or a VIP table for $300.
“Every year, the MSC awards education scholarships to outstanding dependents of Malmstrom Air Force Base, Red Horse [Squadron] and Montana Air National Guard Station, located in Great Falls,” said Schiavone.
The scholarships are awarded based on a brief essay, leadership statement, academic record and letter of recommendation.
Last year, the store and auction raised enough money to give away $24,000 in scholarships to 21 recipients.
“This year we hope to be able to give out more scholarships to more people”, said Valarie Bills, thrift store chairman. “Taking care of Airmen [and] their families and giving back to our community is important to us.”
The thrift store is located at Building 581 and is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
However, the thrift store staff accepts donations from anyone outside of normal operating hours and items can be dropped off inside the building lobby.
Items eligible for donation include household goods, furniture, clothing, shoes, books and toys for all ages. Anyone with base access is eligible to shop at or make donations to the thrift store.
The thrift store is a volunteer-only, non-profit operation on base with all of the proceeds going back to active-duty dependents and veterans to further secondary education.
“We are strictly volunteer run and always looking for new people to come in and help,” said Bills.
For more information on scholarships, items for donation, MSC Auction or volunteer opportunities please contact the Malmstrom Thrift Store at 731-3213.