SAMS Place reopens for business

Sonja Stephens, SAMS Place facility manager, folds a child’s blanket prior to placing it along with other items at the children’s area inside Bldg. 137.  Ms. Stephens has been the facility manager since the fall of 2006. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Luis Loza-Gutierrez.)

Sonja Stephens, SAMS Place facility manager, folds a child’s blanket prior to placing it along with other items at the children’s area inside Bldg. 137. Ms. Stephens has been the facility manager since the fall of 2006. (Photo by Airman 1st Class Luis Loza-Gutierrez.)

GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- SAMS Place reopened its doors Thursday after spending a little more than a year at its current location in Bldg. 137, across from the base parade field.

SAMS Place plans to continue helping servicemembers and their families like it has done before.

Originally known as the Airman's Attic, it was renamed SAMS Place June 28, 2006.
"We wanted to give the place an identity and provide a sense of welcome to the other services, so we named it SAMS Place which is an acronym that stands for Soldiers, Airmen, Marines and Sailors, " said Staff Sgt. Marlon Pugh, former president of the Goodfellow Rising 6, the organization that sponsors SAMS Place.

SAMS Place is for enlisted servicemembers, active-duty, reserve or guard, E-1 through E-5, all services, and their dependants. It provides them with items such as uniforms, civilian clothing and household items like toasters, ironing boards and dishes among other things. The items provided at SAMS Place are donations made by caring people. Technical school students, and military members who are permanently or temporarily changing their duty station can also take advantage of the services SAMS Place offers.

SAMS Place has also undergone some management changes lately.

Sonja Stephens is the current facility manager who coordinated the relocation and organization of SAMS Place to its present location

Ms. Stephens took over the job of running SAMS Place in the fall of 2006, a job that has been made easier thanks to the help of Airman1st Class Heidi Stein, who's been the SAMS Place assistant facility manager since July 2005.

Both managerial positions are done on a volunteer position, and Airman Stein says that helping out at SAMS has been rewarding.

"Working with Ms. Stephens has been great. I get great satisfaction in knowing we are working to help ensure that the service men and women along with their families have SAMS Place to help them in times of need whether it's a providing them with a food item from our pantry clothing item or toy for a child. It's nice to help others," Airman Stein said.
SAMS Place is open Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursdays from 3- 5:30 p.m. Donations can be dropped off at these times.

"SAMS Place is currently in need of uniforms for all branches, winter clothes (especially for children of all sizes) and food pantry items," said Ms. Stephens.

"Uniforms should be serviceable. Multi-component toys and games should be complete. Clothes should be without stains and wholes. And food items unopened and free of dents," she added.

For more information about SAMS Place, call 654-5781 during operating hours.