Angels of Long Island opens 2nd thrift store, this time in Mastic


For Long Islanders facing homelessness, addiction, recovering from a house fire or anything else that might constitute a crisis, the Angels of Long Island is there to help.

And they’ve been doing it for eight years.

Now, the Angels are further expanding their island footprint with a second thrift store and outreach center at 14 Herkimer St. in Mastic. The grand opening was Monday, June 19.

The first Angels of Long Island center opened in 2017 at 350-23 E Main St. in Patchogue.

But success there was far from certain, with all the newfound overhead.

The onset of COVID-19 made things particularly dire.

“During the pandemic, when we were forced to close [the Patchogue center], we really thought the Angels of Long Island was done,” said Debbie Loesch, who founded the not-for-profit with her daughter Brittany from their Bellport home in 2015.

Yet the pandemic proved to be a boon.

Not only did her main corporate donor, whom she can’t name, flood her with designer clothing items, at the same time, people were short on money and work, so when she was allowed to open her doors again, hordes of people came knocking. 

“People were also home, and cleaning out their houses,” she said. “So they came to us. Whether people donate or shop in our store, you’re helping the Angels of Long Island” help others.

The Angels also started collecting donated bottles and cans, which since 2020 has raised over $160,000 for what’s quickly turning into a huge charitable player for Long Islanders in need.

“We went from being in the red for three years, to expanding,” Debbie said.

How Mastic happened

NaNa’s House had been operating out of the old Mastic Lumber property for nearly 20 years.

Last year, NaNa’s House, which runs a homeless shelter and offers other services for families in need, had contacted Debbie to take over the property, which includes a main building where NaNa’s operated a thrift store, along with five storage barns. Debbie and the Angels weren’t ready.

“But they had a deal that fell through, so they got me this year with a deal I couldn’t refuse,” she said.

She and the rest of the Angels of Long Island took over the property on June 1.

They immediately got started on the main building by clearing and cleaning the space, tearing down walls, erecting new shelving, painting, and — finally — moving inventory to Mastic from the storage bins in Patchogue.

“We’re doing this on a limited budget,” Debbie said. “We’ll also be pulling staff from Patchogue until I can start ringing in this register in Mastic, then hopefully next month I can start hiring staff here.”

“We’re going to run this exactly like Patchogue,” she added. “The community desperately needs it and I really hope we can get support from across Long Island like we have been getting, and locally.”

More good news for the Mastic area: NaNa’s House is staying on board as well.

“She runs huge food distributions,” she said of NaNa’s House director Wendy Falanga-Smalls. “She’s still going to do the food distribution here because the community is very used to it.”

That happens in the back lot on the former lumber yard campus.

If you go

The hours in Mastic are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The Mastic location also features a drive-through clothing and household items donation drop-off, also Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cars will enter from Herkimer then exit onto the side street. Angels staffers and volunteers will remove the items from your car without you having to exit. Closed Sundays.

The Angels of Long Island are also looking for bottles and can donations for deposit.

But if you’re looking to go shopping, here’s the deals:

  • Manly Mondays: $1.50 on all clothing items, including shoes, for men and boys
  • Two Dollar Tuesdays: $2 on all clothes and shoes for the entire family.
  • Women Wednesdays: $1.50 clothes and shoes for females, women and girls.

Then on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, it’s $3 for any clothing item, or shoes. “But that’s also when we stock our new inventory,” Debbie said of those days. “This often includes brand-new items, with the tags still on!” And every day, it’s 1/2 off any household item priced at $6 or more, she said.

Families in crisis should still call the Patchogue location at 631-803-6775 for help.

Photo: Angels of Long Island on Facebook.