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NEWS | Feb. 4, 2015

Airman’s Attic achieves different kind of mission

By Airman 1st Class Devin Scott Michaels 633rd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

It's the small things in life that make a difference.

Silverware given to a U.S. Air Force Airman living in the dormitories could allow him to have dinner at home. A black beanie given to a truck driver could mean the difference between a good or bad day in the snow. An old toy newly introduced to a poor child could put a smile on his face.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, the Airman's Attic at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, provides such things to Service members and the Salvation Army.

"Seeing the facial expressions on the women and children who receive these donations makes me love what I do," said Joseph Isley, Salvation Army truck driver. "The contributions the Airman's Attic provides for the Salvation Army really make a difference. I'd say about half the donations that I pick up come from here."

The Salvation Army sends Isley to Langley Air Force Base weekly to pick up old or abundant donations, which the Airman's Attic receives mostly from individual Airmen and the Base Exchange.

"The Airman's Attic receives donations from many places, but mostly from Airmen, and twice a month from the Base Exchange," said James Murrell, Community Programs and Information, Tickets and Travel director. "It is a vital part of the Air Force community, because it supplies items at no cost that would be too costly elsewhere, and if Airmen don't pick it up, then it goes to the Salvation Army and is liquidated to help those who need it."

Isley said the Salvation Army sells most of their donations at a local establishment, and the proceeds are used to provide less-fortunate and disaster-stricken families with what they consider the three basic necessities of life--food, shelter and warmth.

"When a parent's not around to supply the basic provisions, we try to step in and make it a little bit easier," said Isley. "I was in a bad place seven years ago and the Salvation Army was able to pull me out of my rut, so I know firsthand that these donations help."

When Isley comes to the Airman's Attic, he said he feels hopeful for people in the world who are struggling or facing disaster, and Murrell said he believes these resources are great for the community.

"It feels good to see people using these resources--it brings value to the community," said Murrell. "Even the smallest acts of kindness are greatly appreciated by someone, somewhere."

The Airman's Attic is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Community Commons, and is always looking for volunteers to sort donated items or assist customers.

For more information, call 764-1363.