Last Thursday while I was talking with the owner of a store located in Maspeth, a customer looked over and said to me “You must visit The Maspeth Thrift Shop, they have an angel working there.”
So of course I asked, “An angel — what do you mean?”
Well this gentleman tells me there is a woman who is a volunteer at The Maspeth Thrift Shop named Barbara McGrath. Barbara is wonderful, kind and so caring to everyone who visits the thrift shop that the man’s wife and mother shop there all the time since she joined the staff. He went on to say that Barbara lost her husband a few years ago to cancer and I should go meet her, she’s that special. So that’s exactly what I did.
When I entered The Maspeth Thrift Shop I was greeted by a great young man named Matthew Garone. Matthew is an alumnus of Martin Luther High School and was volunteering for the summer. He currently attends Nyack College’s NYC campus. I asked to speak with Mrs. McGrath and an enthusiastic woman came from the back of the store.
I told Mrs. McGrath all the wonderful things the gentleman said about her being so kind and nice to everyone and I asked her why that is. Barbara chuckled and simply replied, “Because nice is free, and if I can make someone that visits our store smile or feel a little better about life for one day, then I am the lucky one.”
A shopper named Alex Mack told me he shops in The Maspeth Thrift Shop almost every day and has known Barbara for a few months. Alex went on to say Barbara is very sweet and extremely helpful. If she knows that you like something in particular, or are looking for something that’s currently not in the store but later comes in, she will put the item on the side for you or have someone in the store contact you to let you know it’s in. Alex then spoke to me about Barbara’s passed husband. He said he used to be in his line of work; he had made a big name for himself. I hope to follow in his footsteps, Alex said, adding that Barbara gives him encouraging words and career advice, and is a “godsend.”
I also had the pleasure to meet Debbie, another volunteer who said she loves to read the Queens Chronicle and picks up our paper each week at The Ridgewood Savings Bank. Debbie said she especially enjoys the qboro arts and entertainment section.
I also got to meet Jenny, a volunteer at The Maspeth Thrift Shop for 12 years, and Victor and Nicole, two younger student volunteers from the community.
Victor volunteered to fulfill his community service for his upcoming confirmation and Nicole was there to lend a helping hand while enjoying her volunteering experience.
The Maspeth Thrift Shop is a ministry of Martin Luther High School. Thanks to the generous donations to The Maspeth Thrift Shop, the income generated by the store plays an important role in their ability to fulfill the Martin Luther High School mission, supporting the academic and extracurricular programs at MLHS.
The generosity of the community helps make it possible for MLHS to provide a Christ-centered education to hundreds of students from Queens each year.
Your donations are always needed and so appreciated by the students and facility of the Martin Luther High School. So please remember to donate your unwanted items to the support the school, as well as to the Veterans Associations and Bridge To Life.
The thrift store operates solely on donations and is always in need of them from the residents of the surrounding communities and beyond. The thrift store is full of treasures for everyone. There is clothing for the entire family, kitchenware, jewelry, shoes, books, housewares from curtains to dish sets, glasses, lamps and some beautiful antiques.
The Maspeth Thrift Shop is located at 59-01 Maspeth Ave. in Maspeth. The telephone number is (718) 326-4098. The store is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All donations are tax-deductible. They look forward to seeing you soon.