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Day in the Life of a Base Supply Center

How they support the military and the IBVI mission

Our Base Supply Centers (BSCs) offer convenient shopping locations to military personnel and federal employees. These on-base stores allow them to walk in, order their needed supplies, and have them delivered on-base or in the office that same day. 

At our Charleston location, Base Store Manager Kris Arguello takes pride in her role, especially in managing such an expansive inventory of supplies for her customers. 

“We offer a wide range of AbilityOne® and SKILCRAFT® items, such as deployment gear, cleaning supplies, hazmat, plus various items to fulfill requests from the local Air Force and Naval Weapons stations. Pretty much if something is needed, we can get it.”

Serving and Supporting Customers

That level of efficiency is important, especially in an area like Charleston, where more than 80,000 active duty military, reserves, government employees, contractors, and dependents reside.

“We can have people lined up at the door before we open, and once we do, then we are off to the races”, says Arguello. “We are a fast paced BSC with a lot of foot traffic from our military men and women, and federal employees.”

This ability to directly serve and support our military is a big part of what makes BSC stores so special. But it goes even deeper than that, because each time SKILCRAFT and other AbilityOne products are purchased at a local BSC, it helps empower people who are blind and visually impaired by creating diverse, sustainable, and meaningful employment opportunities. 

Living Out The Mission

In fact, partnering with the military and the visually impaired is a big part of what we’re all about here at Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI). It’s a two-fold mission that centers around service and connection. Our Charleston BSC is a great example of how that mission is lived out day-to-day.

“It means so much to me”, says Arguello. “I think I get more out of being here each day than anyone knows. Our store and our base here is like a family—working together, building relationships, and maintaining good friendships. It is a blessing to be part of, it’s truly an honor.”

For Arguello, there’s a deep sense of gratitude found in serving alongside her team members who are visually impaired.

“At our store, we have three employees who are visually impaired that I have learned so much from. Through that learning, I have grown both professionally and personally. It is a true joy that I consider myself fortunate to have experienced.”

Building Relationships and Raising Awareness

Some of Arguello’s customers do not realize that many of the items in her store were either made or assembled by visually impaired workers. But that’s also part of her joy—being able to share that message to help raise awareness around IBVI’s mission.

“When working with our customers, it is easy to communicate the mission of IBVI. You spend time getting to know your customer’s project and understand their mission; through that relationship, they then get to understand IBVI’s mission not just by our words, but through our actions. It’s fulfilling to know that in helping to support IBVI’s mission and raise awareness for blind employment, I’m part of something much bigger than myself. And that’s what I love most about my role with IBVI.”

For more information, or to find a BSC store near you, contact us.


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