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Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow

Barstow, California
Why pay more? Try the thrift store

By LCpl. Samuel Ranney | Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow | January 08, 2013

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Shop smart at the thrift mart

Shop smart at the thrift mart (Photo by LCpl. Samuel Ranney)

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Marine Corps Logistics Base, Calif. --

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” this common saying could apply to Marines and civilians who utilize the thrift store aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow.

For the service members, family members, retirees, and civilian employees aboard the installation who are unaware, MCLB Barstow does in fact, have a thrift store. It has been closed due to flooding, however should be reopening around February, according to Nicole Marks, MCLB Barstow’s thrift store chairman of volunteers.

  Thrift stores should be taken advantage of; buying used things, when they’re often as good as new anyway, is a great way to save money in today’s economy, explained Marks.

The chairman has been volunteering at the base’s thrift store since 2011. She believes the store is much more organized than the average thrift shop and she takes pride in the work her and her co-workers accomplish.

Mike Hire, the director of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, and frequent visitor of the shop, agrees that MCLB Barstow has an above average thrift store.

“Thanks to the efforts of the command, Barstow has an outstanding thrift shop; it’s bright, big and very well organized. The management does an excellent job,” he added. 

Marks and Hire both encourage service members to shop at the thrift store for the low cost merchandise.

“People would save a lot of money by doing their shopping at the thrift store. Shoes for example, are all under $5; many of which people donate brand new, still in the box,” Marks said as she pointed to a pair of Nikes on her feet. “These were only $2, brand new.”

She explained that most of the store’s donations come from Marines who get a permanent change of station. These donations often include many uniform items available to Marines at a much lower cost than anywhere else. Marines must show their military identification card prior to buying uniform items, Marks added.

The best part about buying things from MCLB Barstow’s thrift store is that the money goes right back to the service member. Hire explained that all the money the shop gets is turned into Camp Pendleton and funded into the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society uses the money to then provide financial assistance to service members in need.    

 As part of the reopening, hours are slated to change to accommodate the Marines. Marks explained that the shop will be open during lunch hours to give base personnel the time to come in and shop. She also hopes, with the help of more volunteers, to be open a couple of Saturdays each month.

The biggest reason more Marines aren’t utilizing the store is because they are unaware of its location, said Marks. It’s located in warehouse three aboard the base, a sign reading, “Thrift Store” on Wake Avenue will direct you toward the shop.

Keep an eye open for the shop’s reopening in February ... from movies and books to children’s clothing and furniture, the thrift store may have exactly what you’re looking for.
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