The Golden Shoestring, the nearly new shop and primary fundraiser for the Junior League of Westchester on the Sound (JLWOS), opened for business in Larchmont on September 8 after a summer hiatus.
The opening marks the 55th year the shop has been in business.
Eric Gordon, a local and senior at Mamaroneck High School, was at the shop searching for a blazer for his senior photo. Fellow student, Charlotte Cwikowski, a junior, perused the belts. Another shopper from Rye, Alice Gargone, enjoys the shop so much, she joined the Junior League and now works as a volunteer.
“The reasons for shopping at the Golden Shoestring are many, but it seems during a time of economic uncertainty, business has remained steady at this thrift store. Sales at the Golden Shoestring remained very strong for fiscal year 2008-2009 and were only off by a couple thousand dollars from the prior year, “a very respectable number for such a tough economy” stated Jennie McFarland, President JLWOS. And that’s a good thing considering what the store gives back to the community.
“The Golden Shoestring is the backbone of our league as our primary fundraiser,” continued Ms. McFarland. “Last year, the JLWOS funded six community projects, provided over $35,000 in grants to local charities, and sponsored $4,500 in scholarships due to the fundraising the Golden Shoestring provides. This year we will be funding eight community projects.”
Two of these projects, S.M.A.R.T Girls and the Sound Shore Medical Center Health Initiative, are just being launched this year and would not be possible without funding from the Golden Shoestring.
Focusing on health and wellness through nutrition and exercise, S.M.A.R.T. Girls (Skills Mastery And Resistance Training) is a mentoring project in coordination with the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle. The program features modules to help girls, ages 8-17, build self-esteem and learn to nurture their own mental and physical well-being.
The Sound Shore Medical Center Health Initiative provides league resources to the medical center for improvement projects such as redesigning the nurse’s lounges. JLWOS will host events with Sound Shore throughout the year to educate league members and community partners about the hospitals offerings, such as its state-of-the-art Diabetes Center.
Other more established community projects supported with funds from the store include Abbott House (a program for neglected and abandoned boys), ABC (Awareness, Books, and Collaboration), Furniture Sharehouse (county-wide furniture bank) and Project Madres (monthly program for immigrant mothers and their children).
Longtime customer Joanne Maloney of Mount Vernon says she shops at the Golden Shoestring because she wants to see what is new and exciting. “I’ve been coming here for years and I keep coming back because you never know what you are going to find.”
Sylvia Spitalnick, Larchmont resident and frequent shopper, states that shopping here is another way to be green. She says “it’s a great way of recycling and keeping your wardrobe fresh with different fashions. It’s a way of being green.”
The inventory of The Golden Shoestring is made up entirely of donated clothes, accessories, jewelry and small household items. The JLWOS encourages the community to bring donations to the Golden Shoestring. All donations are tax-deductible.
The Golden Shoestring is located at 149 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont, New York and is open Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Please visit JLWOS at www.jlwos.org for more information.