It is an unassuming little building at the corner of Screaming Eagle Blvd and Tennessee Ave on Fort Campbell. It doesn’t have a big sign, or a fancy window display. Building 5660 is practical – it suits its purpose.
The Ft. Campbell Armed Services YMCA Backdoor Boutique is a one-of-a-kind program in the Armed Services. The BDB is a free thrift store for E1-E5 soldiers and families. Our provision comes entirely from the generous donations from area businesses, churches and community-minded individuals on and around Ft. Campbell. The BDB accepts donations of any and all usable household items, gently used clothing and shoes, canned/nonperishable food items, toys, all kinds of electronics, appliances and even furniture Monday through Friday between the hours of 0900 and 1600. The small staff and a dedicated group of volunteers examine all the donations and sort the clothing by size. The items are then placed on the floor of the Boutique where they can be taken by families at no cost. The BDB is packed tight with clothing of every size and style, various kitchen items and small appliances, linens and pillows, TVs and other electronics, baby items, toys galore and various odds and ends including sports equipment and even some hardware items.
Shoppers from active duty E1-E5 families must go through a quick registration process before they are invited to shop. To register they must bring a current end-of-month LES and their military ID cards. They are issued a patron card and a blue shopping bag, and they are able to shop once a week (our shopping hours are Tues/Wed/Thurs from 1100-1500) and fill their blue bags and choose one large carry out item. The BDB also has a Wish List program where families can be placed on a waiting list for larger furniture items such as a bed, a crib, a car seat, washer/dryer, a couch or a dining room set.
As the economy struggles and prices rise, the BDB is a place where families can get good items to help reduce the strain on their budgets. Suzanne, who comes weekly with her good friend and neighbor Camille, says “It gives us a weekly outing to bond as neighbors… I got a Dooney & Bourke handbag – a luxury item – that would not fit into our budget normally. The canned goods are a great help… I’m very grateful for the Backdoor Boutique.” Camille, who was introduced to the BDB by Suzanne, says “I didn’t think there was a place like this then Suzanne introduced me to it. I am really grateful for it… I’ve found some awesome and useful things. And it has brought us together – it is something we do together.”
We hope that all eligible families will come and check out the ASYMCA Backdoor Boutique – and become “backdoor company!”