Hohenfels Community Spouse Club wearing traditional Bavarian clothing

Hohenfels Community Spouse Club (Submitted by Hohenfels Community Spouse Club)

Volunteering can be such a fulfilling activity. This year we are highlighting organizations and events for those who are looking to learn more about the services and resources available to them as well as for those who are looking to give back to the community.

Earlier this year, we featured thrift stores and learned that they are mostly run by spouses’ clubs. However, spouses’ clubs are so much more than thrift stores (and consist of more than just military spouses). That’s why this month we are featuring Bavaria Community Spouses’ Club and Hohenfels Community Spouses’ Club. I spoke with BCSC President, Leslie, her daughter/volunteer Quin, and HCSC Treasurer, Jacklyn. They shared their stories about working with the club.

Bavaria (Grafenwöhr/Vilseck)

Quin, a middle school-age volunteer, is working with the club to help earn volunteer hours for her Girl Scout troop. She has volunteered with the club since October 2022. She enjoys pricing items at the thrift shop, with events and the fall bazaar. She has the most fun helping to set up events. She thinks other volunteers her age can take away the “enjoyment in helping with the thrift store and other events.”

Leslie has been with BCSC since June 2022 where she oversees operations with the spouse club and works at the thrift store. Through the club, she has “found [her] tribe.” Her regular job does not transfer overseas and working with the spouse club has allowed her to keep her resume up-to-date and “give back to the community.”

Leslie noted that all the proceeds from the thrift store and the fall bazaar go right back into the community, espousing, “Community is the biggest thing.” She stated that “We are not just the spouses’ club… it’s [a] community and spouses’ club …. We have all walks of life in the club. Everyone from retirees who live here now to civilian spouses, to active duty spouses, and their children…and everyone in-between.”

As you can see from Quin’s involvement, you do not have to be a military spouse to volunteer with the club, and they could use your help. There is no age limit to help out with events, however, you must be at least 12 years old to volunteer with a parent/guardian at the thrift store. Leslie highly recommends it for anyone with base access looking to volunteer, but especially for any kids who are looking to volunteer because there are so few volunteer opportunities for them. She also noted that for adults with children, thrift store volunteers can be reimbursed for child care. If you are interested in volunteering with the club go to their Facebook page or just walk into either the Vilseck or Grafenwöhr thrift store. 


Jacklyn has been with the community club since June 2021. Raised with a “philanthropic foundation,” she signed up for the “community portion” of it. She wanted to learn about her new community and give back to it.

As treasurer, her most fulfilling moments with the club are seeing where all of the proceeds from their fundraiser events go firsthand. The club was able to provide over $20,000 in scholarships and grants in Spring 2023. She stated that, “We do everything from supporting the Boy Scouts going on their camp trainings [to] the band in the school, the athletic teams in the school, other organizations, Girl Scouts….Pretty much anyone who is eligible to access the base is pretty much eligible to apply for a scholarship or grant within the organization parameters.”  

She exclaimed that “there is a position for everyone” to volunteer with the club. If you are not sure how you want to volunteer, she recommends joining a committee within the club that piques your interest, such as their scholarships and grants committee or hospitality committee, to find your spot. Within these committees, members can voice their thoughts and opinions and make changes within the community in a way that aligns with their skills and interests.

You do not have to be a member to volunteer with the club, but membership gives you chances to join sub-clubs (such as running club or wine club), join a committee and/or a seat on their board. According to Jacklyn, volunteering with the club allows someone to gain professional networking experience, build their resume and connect with their community and with such a small community, it can be hard to maintain a career and volunteering with the club can help you keep your job skills sharp. You do not have to be a military spouse to join. You must be a DoD ID holder and be 18 or older to volunteer. Children and young adults ages 12 and up can volunteer with a parent/guardian. For those interested in volunteering with the club, go to

Hohenfels Community Spouse Club waering 1920s clothing

Hohenfels Community Spouse Club (Submitted by Hohenfels Community Spouse Club)

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Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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