Angels of Long Island launch GoFundMe campaign after burglary in Mastic


Be it from a house fire, horrible accident or addiction, the Angels of Long Island have spent the last eight years helping Long Islanders that have suddenly found themselves in need.

Now the Angels are the ones in need of help, and have just launched a GoFundMe campaign.

It’s been a rough year financially for Patchogue-based nonprofit group as it expanded with a second thrift store location in Mastic in June, said co-founder Debbie Loesch.

Then just a month later, their new space at 14 Herkimer St. was burglarized in the night.

A suspect was later identified by police as Luis Alvaranga, 27, whom police described as homeless. He was arrested on July 24 and charged with third-degree burglary, police said.

But the merchandise and the nearly $2,000 he’s accused of swiping was never recovered, just as the group was trying to pay down mounting energy and other bills, along with the newfound overhead in Mastic.

(This all followed a robbery at the group’s Patchogue location in 2022.)

As for the burglary, Angels of Long Island co-founder Debbie Loesch had said the suspect broke a door in with a sledgehammer, walked around shop-lifting for at least an hour at 1 a.m. while smoking cigarettes, stole a donation jar and an envelope with that previous day’s sales.

“We had to invest in more security measures, fix the door and we lost a day’s revenue while the detectives were here and the place was a crime scene,” Loesch said.

She’s now appealing for help from the same communities her group has supported over several years — to the tune of over a thousand families.

“We are standing in faith that the Long Island community we serve daily will help us as we are currently struggling financially,” she said.

“Just a dollar from enough people would be the miracle we’re praying for.”


File photo: The Angels of Long Island location at 14 Herkimer St. in Mastic before it opened in June.