hospital thrift shop
Volunteers Making A Difference:
Thrift Shop Benefits Hospital since 1929
In 1929, a small group of dedicated women volunteers established the Thrifty Shop,
selling affordable, recycled clothing and household items to benefit the Nantucket
Cottage Hospital. In that first year, the Thrifty Shop proudly raised $603 for the hospital.
In 2013, $200,000 was donated to the hospital, designated for three specific purposes,
including: $164,000 toward the new home of the hospital’s Sports Medicine and Physical
Therapy Associates at Freedom Square; $24,000 to the NCH Social Services Department;
and $12,000 for the Marla Lamb Fund, which offsets the cost of transportation for island
cancer patients and is administered by NCH’s Palliative And Supportive Care of Nantucket.
The Thrifty Shop was originally housed in a number of rented quarters throughout the
Town of Nantucket. Then in 1945, the business became incorporated as the Thrift Shop
under the laws of the Commonwealth and elected a Board of nine members. Shortly
after, the Thrift Shop purchased the Ayres house at 17 India Street for $7,500, securing
a $3,000 mortgage from Nantucket Institute for Savings. In 1946, the Town granted
the Thrift Shop its tax-free status as a charitable organization.
Over the years, the Thrift Shop has grown into a thriving business and remains a
significant source of income for the hospital. It has contributed many items through the
years, including the purchase of equipment in the Emergency Room, Operating Rooms,
Oncology Department and Nurse’s Station. Purchases made since 1929 include an
ambulance, an electrocardiograph machine, bassinets and more recently, an MRI, the
Voorhees Nursery, as well as significant contributions towards the hospital’s expanded
An independent charitable organization, the Hospital Thrift Shop’s ongoing support is
essential to Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
The Thrift Shop in the 1940s, in a house formerly at the corner of
Broad Street and Federal Street, now the site of the Town building.
Photo courtesy of the Nantucket Historical Association