Meade Attic provides free clothes, goods

Service members E-6 and below can find free clothing, home goods and books at the Air Force Meade Attic from Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Photo by Maddie Ecker)

If you are new to Fort Meade, in need of a new uniform or looking for household items, the Air Force Meade Attic has toys, military uniforms and furniture for you.

Members of the 70th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing volunteer at the attic to sort through donations, organize merchandise and provide a helpful shopping experience for customers of all service branches.

“The Meade Attic is a place for Airmen and all other sister services to come and get uniform items and household items,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Yessenia, a volunteer at Meade Attic.

“We try to cater it more for E-6 and below,” she said. “If I’m moving off base for the first time and I don’t have pots and pans, I can come here and get them for free. Say I need a uniform item, I can come here and get Air Force blues or a Navy uniform.”

The attic has been on post since 2004 and moved locations at the end of 2016. It can now be found in the same building as the Post Thrift Shop at 392 Llewellyn Ave.

After moving to the new location, donations were mixed together. Over the past few months, Master Sgt. Dameon and other volunteers have worked to organize, label and stack all items so that customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

A Starting Point

For younger service members, finding household goods at the Meade Attic can save them money to put toward other expenses.

“When I was a young staff sergeant I thought, ‘How am I going to afford all this?,’ ” Yessenia said. “It [helps] save pocket change for some other stuff like rent. At least you have that starting point that you feel like you have some stability.”

Meade Attic is run solely by volunteers.

“Everyone who comes here is a volunteer,” Yessenia said. “Volunteers are always welcome from any unit and service.”

In addition to service members, the Meade Attic is also open to civilian volunteers.

“This is a wonderful place,” said Maria Moratal, a regular civilian volunteer. “It helps out a lot.”

Service members E-6 and below can visit the store Tuesday through Thursday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Spouses and dependents are also welcome to peruse the shop. They don’t need their active-duty sponsor with them.

On the first Saturday of the month, the store is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to all ranks.

Anyone who has access to the installation can donate to the Meade Attic. Donations may be placed inside the large container outside the shop

“We receive [donations] both during our operating hours and also outside those hours,” Dameon said. “The Air Force Sergeants Association built us this wonderful big bin that’s outside. It’s capable of taking in donations outside of our normal operating hours and protecting them from the elements.”

The Meade Attic receives plenty of items, but the number of donations isn’t Dameon’s concern.

“I think the opposite is almost our challenge right now,” he said. “It’s finding enough customers to come and get free stuff.”

Editor’s note: For more information about the Meade Attic or to volunteer, go to its Facebook page at facebook.com/MeadeAttic. Volunteers can also visit the shop during operational hours.

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