Our History

The PTA Thrift Shop was founded in 1952. At the time, Art Guild volunteers noticed a lack of funds available for art education in the Chapel Hill school district and wanted to do something to help. The volunteers conceived of a Thrift Shop, and within the first three months had raised $1200 to pay for the first art teacher. Ten years later the district spent $150,000 on art education.

PTA Thrift Shop 1950's flyer - click to enlarge Decades later, the tradition continues as the PTAs strive to provide excellent resources to build their individual school communities. Community members and parents in Chapel Hill and Carrboro donate their gently used items to the PTA Thrift Shop to raise the money for their PTAs to pay for many of the programs and resources that enrich the education of their children. Some of the many things that schools have used their PTA Thrift Shop distribution checks to subsidize include playgrounds, science supplies, computer hardware and software, cultural enrichment programs, field trips, sports equipment, uniforms and much, much more.

The PTA Thrift Shop has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings in 1952. What began as a small, frequently moved sales room has grown into two large, well located and maintained retail establishments in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The staff works to sell almost anything that is clean, intact and in good working order. Over the years the PTA Thrift Shop has sold an amazing variety of things such as diamond engagement rings, the family silver, automobiles, and a boat with motor and trailer (to name but a few).
Living Trends - click to enlarge The PTA Thrift Shop acquired its first permanent home in 1979 with the purchase of a building located at 103 Jones Ferry Road in Carrboro. Ten years later that building was renovated and expanded. That building served as our Carrboro location until 2012, at which time the property it stood on was completely redeveloped. The current building that houses the Carrboro location of the PTA Thrift Shop opened in December of 2013, with the bottom floor serving as the donations center, the second floor serving as the retail space and the top floor serving as rental space.
Original Members - click to enlarge A second location was leased and opened in Kroger Plaza (now called Village Plaza) on South Elliott Road in 1980. In 1986, that store moved to an even larger space next door adjacent to Wellspring grocery store. The store moved to its final location in 2007 and now enjoys a more lucrative space which houses an onsite donations facility in the rear.

The final phase of our reconstruction was completed in the summer of 2017 when the YouthWorx on Main building was completed. Sitting adjacent to the PTA Thrift Shop in Carrboro, YouthWorx on Main serves as a collaborative that houses multiple non-profit agencies, all of whom have a focus of serving youth within our community.