PTA Thrift Shop Launches Campaign to Build New Carrboro Facilities

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Eco-focused on recycling and resale, the PTA Thrift Shop has grown to be a substantial community supporter helping families in need for almost 60 years. Donating its profits—almost $5 million over the last 15 years—to local schools, it now needs community support as it begins a $5.1 million building campaign.

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The PTA Thrift Shop in Carrboro, NC plans to build a complex of buildings and a community plaza.

This is an exciting opportunity to boost our local economy and create an amazing, green-friendly space that works better for our needs and our patrons, beautifies the neighborhood, and lets us multiply our giving, recycling, and service to others.

The PTA Thrift Shop, a nonprofit with resale stores in Chapel Hill and Carrboro and a major donor to local schools for over half a century, announced plans to build new facilities and additional commercial space at its Carrboro location. It is launching a $1.7 million community campaign to help fund the project that will help stimulate the economy, allow more recycling, and generate additional dollars for schools.

“We’ve outgrown our space in Carrboro. This is an exciting opportunity to boost our local economy and create an amazing, green-friendly space that works better for our needs and our patrons, beautifies the neighborhood, and lets us multiply our giving, recycling, and service to others,” said Barbara Jessie-Black, PTA Thrift Shop Executive Director. “We very much appreciate our incredibly supportive community, and we ask citizens and businesses to partner with us on this effort to meet growing needs.”

Dr. Neil Pedersen, Superintendent Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools, said, "The value of the PTA Thrift shop extends far beyond the “big check” for more than $220,000 that the organization presents to our schools annually. The PTA Thrift Shop is an important community resource that reminds us all to live in a sustainable way by recycling those items we no longer want or need. Additionally, it is a creator of community in bringing together parents from across all 18 schools to share and collaborate while doing the work of sorting and displaying merchandise in the shop."

“The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber is a strong supporter of the PTA Thrift Shop and is 100% in support of their redevelopment project that is good for downtown Carrboro, our economy and our community. An expanded PTA Thrift Shop in downtown Carrboro will draw additional shoppers downtown, increase retail sales, increase the Thrift Shop’s ability to support our local schools, and continue to position our region as one of the greatest places in the country to start and grow social enterprises,” said Aaron Nelson, President and CEO, Chapel Hill/Carrboro Chamber of Commerce.

The new PTA Thrift Shop space at Jones Ferry Road and West Main Street includes a complex of two new structures and landscaped grounds that create an inviting plaza to serve as a community meeting place. Almost 14,000 square feet will accommodate the PTA Thrift Shop’s combined needs of retail, processing, and administration under one roof. The space for lease includes a mix of 13,000 additional square feet that will attract more businesses to downtown, bring a steady flow of potential customers, and create jobs.

Construction is expected to begin in the fall of 2011 and be completed by June 2012. The community fundraising goal for the building project is $1.7 million. Anticipated funding sources include individuals, businesses and foundations; new market tax credits; and a bank loan to help meet the overall costs of approximately $5.1 million.

During construction, shoppers are encouraged to visit the PTA Thrift Shop in Chapel Hill that is on Elliott Road, in Village Plaza near Whole Foods. Its leadership also hopes to maintain a retail presence in Carrboro during the building phase by renting space to sell furniture and household goods.

Green Focus
Amplifying the PTA Thrift Shop’s environmental mission, the project will incorporate both LEED construction standards and Carrboro’s sustainability standards. Its eco-friendly focus is supported by its aggressive recycling program that keeps over 300 tons of non-sellable items out of the landfill each year and generates another revenue stream.

Jobs Created
Jobs are expected to be created through the construction process and by the restaurants, offices, retail or other businesses that lease the commercial space. All of the PTA Thrift Shop’s 30 employees will retain their jobs, and possibly as many as 5 new positions will be added when the new store is complete. Fulltime employees will work out of the Chapel Hill store and part-time employees will be placed with other area nonprofits during the construction phase.

Since the PTA Thrift Shop was founded in Chapel Hill in the ‘50s, it has grown to be a substantial community supporter by helping families in need. It has donated its profits—almost $5 million over the last 15 years—to local schools. The money is used for technology, play equipment, supplies, books, field trips and other projects the schools and their PTA choose to fund.

Financial donations for the building can be made and more information found at

The PTA Thrift Shop has two resale stores in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC that sell a range of donated goods and treasures from clothing to furniture. Started in 1952, the nonprofit donates its profits—over $200,000 every year—to local public schools through the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for each school. It also provides in-kind donations to help clothe clients of local social service organizations and partners with the community in supplying gift cards to its stores for families in need. Known as an environmental leader for its recycling and other eco-focused efforts, the PTA Thrift Shop was named the 2010 Progress Energy Sustainable Business of the Year and has received “Green Plus Certification” through the Institute for Sustainable Development.


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