On April 6, 1950, a group of military spouses formed the Staff Non-Commissioned Officer’s Wives Club with the intent to give back to the Marine Corps communities. 10 years later, on Aug. 23, 1960, the SNCO Wives Club opened its volunteer-run Thrift Store on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
Members of the community were encouraged to donate unused clothing and household items for customers. Items are priced low so any family can shop there.
Throughout the years, the shop has grown in size and is still run by the members and volunteers of the SNCO Wives Club.
“This place really helps my family financially because my children grow so fast,” said Sgt. Desire Hayes, ammunition technician, Combat Logistics Regiment 25. “Sometimes it is just difficult to keep up financially when you have to buy clothes every few months, and the shop really takes the financial weight off of you.”
All of the money made from sales at the shop goes directly to scholarship programs and charitable organizations on and around MCB Camp Lejeune. Each June, the SNCO Wives Club gives scholarships to eligible active duty military spouses and high school graduates seeking to further their education.
“Last year, we gave $60,250 in scholarships,” said Sandra Agosto, president of the SNCO Wives Club. “I feel so proud of all the hard work we do in order to help people reach their goals.”
The SNCO Wives Club supports other local organizations such as Disabled American Veterans, Wounded Warriors and the Chaplains Food Basket Program, as well as local high schools. The club is open to all enlisted spouses, as well as the spouses of retirees, but anyone can volunteer to help at the thrift shop.
“We love to help people, and we are always looking for volunteers,” Agosto said. ”The hours that we spend volunteering are well worth it, and our motivation stems from our genuine appreciation for the Marine Corps families who sacrifice their time to serve our country.”
For more information, call (910) 451-5591 or follow “Camp Lejeune Thrift Shop” on Facebook.