San Mateo’s Turnstyle Store celebrates 60 years | Native Information


Thrift store Turnstyle is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary at 60 N. B St., with the volunteer-run nonprofit pleased with its downtown San Mateo roots and serving to youngsters and residents by means of income from Turnstyle.

“We’re actually an ongoing a part of the group, and we’re positively a part of this block group,” stated Dorothy Miller, president of the Help League of San Mateo County, which owns and operates the store.

Turnstyle Store has been at its present location since 1961 and sells donated merchandise like clothes, home items, jewellery and small furnishings items at inexpensive costs. The primary Turnstyle was opened in 1954 at 42 N. B St. earlier than it moved to 60 N. B St. in October 1961. Turnstyle is owned and operated by the Help League of San Mateo County, an all-volunteer, nonprofit group that runs varied philanthropic applications. The Help League of San Mateo County is one among 120 chapters in america and has been within the county since 1953. Turnstyle gross sales assist Operation College Bell, the Help League’s foremost program based in 1970 to offer new faculty clothes to deprived youngsters in kindergarten by means of seventh grade. Different applications funded by means of Turnstyle embody faculty scholarships and its Baskets for Infants program.

Karen Mead, training chair with the Help League, stated the group is among the oldest nonprofits that work for the group within the county. Situated subsequent door to St. Vincent de Paul and that includes a brand new blue awning, the thrift store is dwelling to a mixture of used gadgets. Males’s, ladies’s and youngsters’s clothes can be found at low costs all through the shop, with gross sales usually bringing pricing all the way down to only a few {dollars}. China, books and paintings are additionally out there.

Annual gross sales at Turnstyle in 2020 totaled round $68,300, permitting for the funding of a number of applications. Since August 2020, the Help League has offered over 2,438 schoolchildren with new clothes and sneakers, largely in San Mateo and Redwood Metropolis. It has additionally offered assault survivor kits to the San Mateo Medical Middle, $13,000 in group scholarships, six $3,000 scholarships to group faculties, and homeless assist. The general public brings donated gadgets to the shop, the place volunteers assist type, clear and value donations.






Regardless of an eight-month closure as a result of pandemic and decreased funds, the group has reopened the shop for a number of days every week. Turnstyle is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Because of most volunteers being seniors, some members take precautions, limiting the variety of days Turnstyle might be open. Miller stated public demand continues, with strains in entrance of the door after they first opened and other people coming by even when closed. The Help League of San Mateo County has 74 lively members and a complete of 102 members who now not work on the store however assist it by means of donations. Mead joined in 2010 after retiring from instructing. Many volunteers take part as a result of they wish to proceed to present again to their group.

“Now we have been capable of actually serve the group and households and youngsters. That’s our primary precedence,” Mead stated.

Gross sales have been just like pre-pandemic numbers, with donations and revenue nonetheless coming in to assist its applications. In April, the shop began accepting contributions once more, and it now accepts donations on all days they’re open. The group has completed extra fundraising and dipped into reserves to make up for debt throughout the pandemic.

“We’re nonetheless managing with a restricted finances. We’re nonetheless getting a variety of initiatives accomplished and applications completed. I’m simply actually comfortable to be a part of this group,” Mead stated.

Mead attributes the success of being round for 60 years in a single place to proudly owning the property, as many different companies have moved. She famous it was a precedence to buy again within the Sixties to make sure income return to the group. Mead stated varied nonprofits and faculties additionally suggest them to folks as a result of they know Turnstyle can present garments and different items at worth.

“I feel folks locally know of us have been coming for generations,” Mead stated. “We get those that are available and say, my mom introduced me right here after I was little as a result of it has all the time been out there.”

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