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Master Sgt. Jon Borseth, a volunteer at the Airman’s Attic on Yokota Air Base, Japan, sorts through toys and other donated children’s items recently. The facility provides used clothes, electronics and other merchandise to community members at no cost.

Master Sgt. Jon Borseth, a volunteer at the Airman’s Attic on Yokota Air Base, Japan, sorts through toys and other donated children’s items recently. The facility provides used clothes, electronics and other merchandise to community members at no cost. (Vince Little / S&S)

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Airman’s Attic is under new direction.

The Yokota Top 3 organization assumed responsibility this past winter and performed a minor upgrade of the store with fresh paint and new racks to enhance access. The Family Support Center previously operated it using volunteers.

The volunteer-driven facility on Yokota’s west side provides used clothes, electronics and other merchandise to community members at no cost.

“It’s a great community initiative and service to our base,” said Chief Master Sgt. Cathy Barker, the 374th Airlift Wing’s command chief master sergeant. “It continues to give back.”

The Tokyo American Club recently shipped about 11,000 pounds in donations to the store, she said.

The batch included a sofa, flat-screen computer, home theater system, 32-inch television and queen-size mattress.

The Airman’s Attic normally is open to all status-of-forces-agreement personnel, Barker said, but a one-day giveaway was held in mid-May for servicemembers ranked E-5 and below. Customers could grab one big-ticket item and also fill a bag with smaller goods.

Among the more popular items available: baby gear, strollers, toys, books, kitchenware, videos, compact discs and clothes.

The store averages about 55 customers a day, up roughly 15 from Feb. 1, when the Yokota Top 3 took over, said Master Sgt. Ray Ortiz of the 730th Air Mobility Squadron, who helps manage the Airman’s Attic.

He says selections can change dramatically.

“You never know what’s going to be here. That’s why you’ve got to make it a regular stop,” he explained.

Jenice Leonard said she’s followed that advice since arriving at Yokota five years ago.

She and her husband are the foster parents of two Japanese children.

“I’m so loyal to this place,” Leonard said. “We haven’t bought any outfits in four years. We always come to the Airman’s Attic. Also, I always bring things back.”

The facility is a give-and-take operation, Barker said. Officials, however, don’t want it to become a collection point for people’s castoffs and undesirables.

“We’re looking for quality donations that our airmen can put to good use,” she said.

Airman’s Attic volunteers always are needed, organization members said. If interested, e-mail Ortiz at raymond.ortiz@yokota.af.mil or phone DSN 225-2728.

Airman’s Attic hours

Hours of operation for the Airman’s Attic at Yokota Air Base, Japan:

Closed Monday

Tuesday: 5-7 p.m. for servicemembers ranked E-5 and below only

Thursday: 5-7 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. to noon

Telephone: DSN 225-2728

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