More than three years ago, Sandy Crandell completed a permanent change of station to Hill Air Force Base with her husband, retired Chief Master Sgt. Marc Crandell, former superintendent of the 75th Mission Support Group. Although her primary job was being a wife to Marc and mother to their two children, Sandy also had a penchant for volunteering for nonprofit organizations. To help her meet new people at her new -- and final -- Air Force base, Marc suggested that Sandy would enjoy working for the 75th Air Base Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center's Airman's Attic.
Fast forward three years, after attending her husband's Air Force retirement ceremony in October 2009, sending him off to his new civilian job working as a telecommunications program manager for the 500th Combat Sustainment Squadron, watching one of her children get a learner's permit and managing the Airman's Attic for two of those years, Sandy knows it is time to move on to begin a career in the paying workforce.
With the experience she gleaned from working at the Airman's Attic, the self-proclaimed stay-at-home mother and wife can present a competitive resume in this competitive economy.
"All of your hours are well-documented on the volunteer forms and you are still working even though you are not getting paid," she said.
However, supplementing her resume was not among the main reasons that Sandy decided to volunteer at the Airman's Attic. Meeting people and helping the Airmen were her top priorities.
"It helps if you are new to Hill and want to meet more people and get involved. Some of the people I've met while working here, I still keep in contact with them even though they have PCS-ed.
"It also helps those who are just really passionate about helping people, without the motivation of receiving a paycheck and, yet, they'll still do it. For me, it is a reward to see people's faces when I help them."
Sandy said she does not have to put in too many hours at the Airman's Attic now that she has an organizational system that works. The recent renovations to the Airman's Attic also streamlined things.
"In September 2008, the Airman's Attic was renovated with new carpeting, paint and organizers such as new clothing racks and bookshelves," she said.
Sandy said the AFRC is now looking for a volunteer to take over the donation-and-volunteer dependent resource. Although she works all day on Tuesdays and "pops in on occasional days," she said it is up to each individual to work when they can and want to.
"You make this job what you want it to be. If you want to work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 until closing, you can. Those are the hours I worked when I first started until I got it to where it needed to be."
She says the majority of the job requires training volunteers, tracking volunteer forms, ensuring sufficient coverage of volunteers, and coordinating with the Veterans of Foreign Wars and other charitable organizations. The Airman's Attic manager also coordinates large donated items with a list of those who expressed a need for such an item.
"I act as the middleman who coordinates the donor with the person who needs the item," said Sandy.
Although she is looking forward to new opportunities, Sandy said she will miss the altruistic enjoyment of this volunteer job more than any other benefit.
"I enjoy helping the Airmen out the most. That's probably one of the reasons why I don't want to leave until someone has taken this position, because I want to make sure the Airmen are getting taken care of.
"Here at the Airman's Attic, it is always about the active duty and military families; we're here to help them."
For those interested in learning more about the Airman's Attic manager position, Sandy said they can find her at the Airman's Attic room, located inside the AFRC, Building 150, on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. They can also contact Colette Geiss, Hill AFB Volunteer coordinator, at the AFRC Monday through Friday during normal hours of operation or by calling (801) 586-2697.