MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI -- Station residents attended the Marine Thrift Store’s Customer Appreciation Day, Sept. 27, 2014, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Attractions included free food, raffle prizes, a live DJ, face painting, a bounce house and more as a way for the thrift store to thank the community.
The Marine Thrift Shop is a nonprofit organization and relies on donations to provide low prices.
“Residents, who purchase our merchandise, donate and volunteer, are how the thrift store sustains itself. Today is a chance to say thank you to our community for all the support we get,” said Noel Peppler, Marine Thrift Store manager. “Their getting cheap stuff from us and we want them to know that the thrift store is really here for them.”
Peppler shopped at the thrift store almost every day prior to her employment and said what she admired the most was free uniform items for service members.
“Uniforms are expensive, and I know because my husband is in the military,” said Peppler. “We’re able to give service members anything we get military-wise absolutely free.”
One resident takes full advantage of the thrift store not only for the free uniform items for her husband, but for the affordable prices as well.
“I shop at the thrift store at least once a week because I find little pieces from back home,” said Kayla Porter, an avid thrift store shopper. “We found a snowboard here with the boots, bindings and everything else for a cheap price. I also donate once a week because as I’m buying, I fill the house with more things so the old stuff goes out and the new stuff comes in.”
Peppler said Porter is one of the many customers who contributes and helps the thrift store thrive through a continuous cycle of purchases and donations. Without this constant support, the thrift store would be unable to provide free military items or low prices on its merchandise, which is why Customer Appreciation Day is a priority.
“I love the thrift shop because I love great deals and you never know what you’ll find while sifting through piles of who knows what,” said Porter. “You know what they say: ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’”