Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop donates over $50K to PTOs, clubs, field trips and more

PTO Thrift shopper
The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop is located at 2280 S. Industrial Highway. The shop sells furniture, clothing, books, home goods, electronics, craft supplies and more.

By Tara Cavanaugh 

The Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop’s mission is to support the schools. And three times each year, its support comes in the form of a small but valuable slip of paper: a check.

On Jan. 29 the shop distributed $50,020 total between all 33 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (see comprehensive list below). The money supports enrichment opportunities for students in the form of field trips, sports clubs, academic supplies, camps and plenty more.

“It’s exciting to celebrate a great year in 2012 and immediately start another with this kind of vigorous funding,” said Ann Farnham, the shop’s executive director. “What a couple of high notes for our shop and for our AAPS community.”

Executive Director of the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop Ann Farnham
Executive Director of the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop Ann Farnham

In 2012, the shop distributed just over $217,000 to AAPS and its PTOs, PTSOs, teams, clubs and groups, and this year it’s already distributed just shy of $75,000, Farnham added. “Between the recent January Payout and our first 2013 contribution to the district via our Transportation Fund, we are on track for another strong year of support.”

The PTO Thrift Shop makes it easy for school groups, clubs and PTOs to earn money. They can simply advertise the shop at a school-sponsored event or in a school newsletter. They can also participate in weekly “Show Your Support” competitions, in which four groups compete for the favor of thrift shop customers. So the more a school participates, the higher its earning potential. A volunteer for each school “represents” the PTO, PTSO or Parent Council and helps coordinate its fundraising with the shop.

As chronicled last year in the AAPS News, the Ann Arbor PTO Thrift shop is a nearly million-dollar enterprise that donates its increasing profits to the district’s public schools. It’s recently celebrated even more success: it was given’s “Deal of the Year” award, jointly shared with the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation, in the nonprofit category. It also named its first Executive Director, Farnham, whose “promotional fundraising” has helped the shop grow.

The January 29, 2013 payout:

  • Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center: $380
  • Abbot Elementary School PTO: $1,380
  • Allen Elementary School Parent Council: $950
  • Angell Elementary School PTO: $1,505
  • Bach Elementary School PTO: $605
  • Bryant-Pattengill Elementary Schools PTO: $2,950
  • Burns Park Elementary School PTO: $1,370
  • Carpenter Elementary School PTO: $690
  • Dicken Elementary School PTO: $1,440
  • Eberwhite Elementary School PTO: $670
  • Haisley Elementary School PTO: $890
  • King Elementary School PTO: $1,500
  • Lakewood Elementary PTO: $1,310
  • Lawton Elementary School PTO: $1,560
  • Logan Elementary School PTSO: $1,725
  • Mitchell Elementary School PTO: $1,970
  • Northside Elementary School PTO: $860
  • Pittsfield Elementary School PTO: $1,990
  • Thurston Elementary School PTO: $710
  • Wines Elementary School PTO: $1,575
  • Ann Arbor Open Coordinating Council: $2,833
  • Clague Middle School PTSO: $1,840
  • Forsythe Middle School PTSO: $1,430
  • Scarlett Middle School PTSO: $1,432
  • Slauson Middle School PTSO: $1,192
  • Tappan Middle School PTSO: $1,570
  • Community High School PTSO: $1,820
  • Huron High School PTSO: $3,463
  • Pioneer High School PTSO: $2,960
  • Skyline High School PTSO: $2,840
  • A2 Tech High School: $770
  • Roberto Clemente High School: $490

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