The Bragg ‘N Barn on Fort Bragg is making room to better serve the families that serve their country. The main post thrift store is currently undergoing renovations to bring positive logistical changes to the beloved second-hand shop. Conceived in large part by the Bragg ‘N Barn's manager of three months, Monica Allen, the World War II-era building will undergo a remodel that focuses on enhancing the experience of both shoppers and workers.
“The end goal is a clean, safe shopping environment for our community, as well as a good proper flow of donated and consigned items,” Allen explained to Up & Coming Weekly. “We want to ensure there's a place for everything and that the store is organized so we can increase sales and give back even more through our welfare grants and scholarships to military dependents.”
The Bragg ‘N Barn is a space nearly bursting at the seams with good intentions and is stocked full of clothing, furniture, household goods, books and toys. Still receiving donations during this time, the store is excited to implement the new plans and get more merchandise out on the floor.
“We're focused on making more floor space to accommodate more donated items,” Allen said, sharing plans for the store's renovation. “There's a lot of focus on cleanliness in the dressing rooms and the children's play area. The children love the play area, and it's a constant struggle to keep it clean and organized because they're having fun with their shopping. We want to make it safer and easier for employees to keep it clean.”
Originally a mule barn built during WWII, the Bragg ‘N Barn gets its rustic moniker from its roots. The historic brick building is a slice of the past now serving as the site of so much good. Dawn Miller, president of the Board of Directors for the Bragg ‘N Barn, feels the building's current duty as a thrift shop is more than fitting.
“It's always good to repurpose,” she said. “It's a great use of the building. By people shopping here, donating here, consigning here, volunteering and working here — it's a wonderful cycle. Our sole mission is to help the
Fort Bragg community and the greater Fayetteville area; it's the only reason we're here.”
Apart from their service as a place for families across Fort Bragg to shop for needed items at affordable prices, the Bragg ‘N Barn has fingers that reach far beyond the crowded shelves and overflowing racks in the shop.
The Bragg ‘N Barn has been a long-time employer of military spouses and dependents. The money received through in-store purchases goes toward the aforementioned welfare grants and scholarships for military high school seniors and those who wish to continue their education.
As the project progresses, there have been interruptions to daily operations, and a few more are likely to occur before August. As the workers commit to keeping up operations while keeping shut-downs to a minimum, Allen admits, it's been difficult.
“We've had a lot of obstacles, but our volunteers have been great. We're hoping to get more volunteer teams in to help.”
Miller also chimed in with the store's need for those willing to give their time and talents to help the Bragg ‘N Barn thrive.
“We need more people to come in and lend that helping hand. Volunteers have become a precious resource that is disappearing,” she stated. “It's only ‘goodness’ when you volunteer for your community.”
For those who wish to volunteer, Allen is more than happy to help log those hours into the Volunteer Management Information System for the military. Allen also invites teenagers on school break to come and lend a hand as long as they're registered with Child & Youth Services.
Additionally, the Bragg ‘N Barn is hunting for a washer and dryer for their warehouse and items to spruce up the employee breakroom.
The scheduled August grand reopening coincides with National Thrift Store Day, observed on Wednesday, Aug. 17, this year. Allen hopes to make it a full month of celebration.
The Bragg ‘N Barn is located on Ft. Bragg at 2-2412 Woodruff St.
Volunteer forms can be found in-store or through the Bragg ‘N Barn Facebook page www.facebook.com/BraggNBarnThriftShop/.