MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - The Whistle Stop Thrift Shop has been serving Cherry Point patrons since 1974 and is staffed by volunteers, many of whom are retirees, military spouses and Department of Defense employees.
“The Whistle Stop is a great place to get household items, clothing and military accessories for very cheap prices,” said Sandy A. Arturi, a manager at the thrift shop, “with all donated items being sold and the profits going to many community projects.”
Arturi said the Whistle Stop raised more than $100,000 last year. Funds raised by the thrift stop have supported the Chaplains’ Christmas dinner giveaway, the air station library, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and local schools. Last year, the Whistle Stop donated more than $5,000 to the Havelock High School Marching Band for new uniforms.
The thrift shop has many uniform items for inexpensive prices. For instance, a complete set of camouflage utilities is $10. The store also carries covers, boots and ribbons.
“I have had several lance corporals and below who come into the thrift store for uniform items,” said Cpl. Shane A. Orrick, a military police officer with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. “It helps the Marines who don’t have $80 to spend on a new set of cammies.”
“The amazing prices here have helped many junior Marines and even young families,” said Sgt. Maj. Holly C. Prafke, the H&HS sergeant major and the manager of Treasures of the Point Consignment Shop located in the thrift shop. “Both the thrift shop and consignment shop are here for all the families, and they give back to the community.”
Consignment shop items are handmade by air station residents and employees. Other items sold at the thrift shop include furniture items, sporting equipment and books.
Those who wish to donate used items can drop them off at the back of the thrift shop. Receipts are available for tax purposes when donations are made during volunteer working hours.
The thrift shop is open Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and the Saturday following the payday on the 15th of each month from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Volunteers are on hand during these times and Mondays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information, call 252-444-0949 or visit the Whistle Stop Thrift Shop Facebook page at facebook/whistle stop thrift shop.