About the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop
Proudly Supporting Ann Arbor Public Schools Students Since 1993!
We are a local, nonprofit thrift shop promoting equity in our community by supporting Ann Arbor Public Schools’ parent teacher organizations and student activities.
A diverse and thriving community in which every Ann Arbor Public Schools student has equitable access to enrichment opportunities inside and outside the classroom.
Our Guiding Principles
- To strengthen the ability of the Ann Arbor Public Schools to provide a broad spectrum of student enrichment activities.
- To maintain safe, ethical and sustainable business practices.
- To provide a professional and inclusive work environment.
- To create an enjoyable and affordable shopping experience.
- To promote service and volunteer opportunities.
- To encourage responsible stewardship of the environment.
- To respect our community of stakeholders.
Ann Arbor Public Schools’ students, parents, faculty and staff; Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop customers, donors, employees and volunteers; and the business and nonprofit communities.
How profits support school groups
In support of the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop mission, profits from sales are distributed to participating AAPS school PTOs, PTSOs, and 501(c)(3) supporting clubs, organizations, and teams, for student enrichment activities in their schools. Fundraising support from the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop comes from our net profit from sales and is based on each school’s participation — we rely on the support of school PTOs and their communities for our inventory and promotion. The more they participate with us, the more they earn.
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) Michigan Non-Profit Corporation on December 7, 1993. Modeled after the PTA Thrift Shop of Chapel Hill, NC, this business was established as an alternative fundraising option to merchandise sales used by parent groups to raise money.
In 1994, a group of parents held the first sale in the cafeteria of Tappan Middle School. This start-up sale netted $5,000 which provided the seed money for the organization, as well as the first donations to participating school PTOs.
Since its inception, the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop has rented space in several locations in Ann Arbor, and today occupies over 22,000 sq. ft. at 2280 S. Industrial, in an area known as south-east Ann Arbor’s “Re-Sale Row.” In 2016, the Showcase, featuring unique treasures, opened at 2284A S. Industrial, right next to the Donations Door.
Today, the shop employs over 30 full-time and part-time employees, including a Director of Communications, a Shop Manager and several Assistant Managers.
The successful operation of the shop also relies on the dedicated work of volunteers from the Ann Arbor Public Schools who provide year-round promotional support in the AAPS community.
The organization is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
Comments, compliments, or concerns? Contact our Director of Communications: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always looking for new board members to help us achieve our mission. If you are interested in finding out more about joining our Board, contact Alison McCrystal, Director of Communications, at email@example.com.
Chair: Claudia Leiby
Secretary: Lara J. Cooper
Member-at-Large: Tricia Kalosa
Member-at-Large: Suzanne Muenz
Member-at-Large: Steve Norton
General Manager: Paulette Brown
Director of Communications: Alison McCrystal
Accountant: Jenifer Pelham
Assistant Manager: Miles Bruns
Assistant Manager: Caitlyn Wackrow
Assistant Manager: Elizabeth Person