Many thrift stores are not for profit, and is no exception. However, instead of this store being associated with a church or charity, it is part of the Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, Inc. which is based in Hicksville.
Hicksville resident Ida D'Angelis has been managing the store for almost seven years.
“I started in March, 2004, and I wasn't familiar with what I was going to do at the store when I first started, but I loved it right away,” she said. “I met a wonderful bunch of girls. There are about 23 of us and we are all volunteers.”
D'Angelis became assistant manager in October of 2004 and soon after she became manager after the previous one passed away.
“I have a lot of responsibility there but I have always met my challenges,” D'Angelis said.
The store, which has been in Farmingdale for approximately 15 years, is chock full of practically anything and everything: clothes and accessories for men, women and children, housewares, VHS tapes and DVDs, children's bicycles, toys, games, furniture, holiday items, luggage, linens and more.
“We have a truck in Nassau County that can pick up furniture from people in a few nearby areas,” D'Angelis said. “Clothes are our biggest seller. We accept donations whenever the store is open, and we give tax receipts for them. We do not accept electronics, baby seats or cribs or too many kid's things that they can get hurt by.”
All of the donations are sorted before they are put out on the floor.
“We go through everything to make sure what we put out to sell is clean, with no stains or holes,” D'Angelis said. “I won't allow it, but I am only there two to three days a week. Sometimes other people are not as conscientious as I am and things fall through the cracks.”
As much as she enjoys working at the thrift store, she does admit finding new volunteers can be difficult.
“I enjoy intermingling with the people and the other girls, but the down side of managing the store is trying to find volunteers to stick to it,” D'Angelis said. “They may come for one day and then we never see them again. The other side of that is the dedication of a volunteer like Marion, who is 91 years old. She comes by cab every Saturday and then one of her family members takes her home.”
D'Angelis said the proceeds from the store go to cover the rent first, then the rest of it goes towards programs at Central Nassau, which is especially important today, according to one of the directors.
“The Pretty New Thrift Shop provides Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services with an extra stream of revenue,” said Gene Gallagher, director of Fundraising and Development for Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services, Inc. “This is especially important in today’s economic climate as the demand for service is increasing, while funding is being cut on both the state and county level. Thankfully, our Thrift Shop volunteers are helping us raise dollars in our effort to make a difference in the lives of individuals and families struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse problems.”
The Pretty New Thrift Shop is located at 238 Main Street. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Donations and volunteers are always needed. For more information, please call 516-420-1394.