Understanding the Thrift Shop

How Do We Make Money?

Each year, all participating Chatham County Schools get a share of the Chatham County PTA Thrift Shop's profits, based upon the number of volunteer hours each school logs. More volunteer hours = more money for our school.

Why Is The Thrift Shop So Important?

The money we get through hours logged at the Thrift Shop accounts for about 40% of our budget. This money allows our teachers to attend professional conferences, pays for most of the field trips our children take each year, and has provided for iPads and other learning technology that would not likely happen or happen much more slowly if this money was unavailable to us, plus much more.

What Can You Do to earn thrift shop hours?

  • Attend a Thrift Shop volunteer session. There are many scheduled throughout the year! Volunteering is great way to meet other PHS parents and is really fun, especially if you bring along a friend or 2 (or 3!).  Once you’re there you will straighten clothes on racks, sort items, hang clothes, or maybe vacuum or wash windows. (We call this "elfing"!) Click on our Thrift Shop Volunteer Session page to find and sign up for a session that works for you!
  • Become a Thrift Shop Supervisor.  Our supervisors are simply parent volunteers who manage the sessions we do a the thrift shop.  They are trained by Thrift Shop employees on the role and earn dollars for our school!

  • Do a load of laundry. Pick it up at the Thrift Shop and wash and dry (no folding required!) at your convenience. Return it to the store. You've earned 2 hours (per load) for PHS!  See the Thrift Shop Laundry Guidelines below for more info.

  • Empty the PHS Drop Box, transport to the Thrift Shop and sort into appropriate location in back of store.  The Drop Box is located in front of Perry Harrison School. The key for the Drop Box is in the Perry Harrison office. Drivers earn double time and includes travel time!  A group of volunteers currently rotates weekly emptying the box.  If you are interested, please contact Ashley Barnes (thriftshop@phspta.org) and we’ll get you trained and into the rotation.

  • Volunteer during store hours. Go ahead and call the store first to verify there is space available. The Thrift Shop LOVES volunteers!
Always remember to log your hours in the Thrift Shop Log Book!
Your work WILL make a difference!
Volunteering for the Thrift Shop over the summer earns DOUBLE hours!

Good To Know Thrift Shop Info

Cole Park Shopping Center
11500 US 15 501 Hwy N
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
(919) 969-9457
Hours of Operation
Monday-Thursday and Saturday 9AM – 5PM
Friday 9AM – 6PM

  • Children ages 10 and 11 may work but must be accompanied by an adult on a one to one basis (one parent cannot bring two children this age and an older child cannot bring a younger child); children under age 10 may not be in the store during work hours; students 12 and older may be dropped off to work. 
  • After volunteering for 1 hour, volunteers receive 50% of books, toys, games, and non-boutique clothing/shoes (up to $25 before discount).  You are also allowed to take advantage of whatever specials are on the board for that day (not included in 50% discounting).  For example, If ladies pants are on sale you can either purchase them at 50% of regular price or their sale price, not 50% off the sale price.
  • When you log your hours in the log book at the Thrift Shop, you can assign them to a particular teacher or to the general PTA fund, whatever you choose.
  • There are 2 other Chatham PTA locations where you can volunteer however Perry Harrison’s work sessions are at the Cole Park Store.  All stores have the same hours.
    Pittsboro location:  400 East Street 919-542-4070 (with the Piggly Wiggle)  
    Siler City Location: 201 Chatham Square 919-663-2395 (behind the KFC/Taco Bell)
    The Chapel Hill/Carrboro PTA Thrift Shops are a separate non-profit supporting the Chapel Hill/Carrboro schools.  We are not affiliated with them.
  • You can donate money instead of volunteering.  The thrift shop values 1 hour at $7.50.  For example:  $30 = 4 hours.  Monetary donations must be made at the store to receive volunteer hours.  Tax receipts are NOT provided when purchasing hours.  And of course, the PTA also accepts monetary donations (which does not affect thrift shop hours in any way).  NOTE:  Due to the variability of profits and volunteer hours, the actual dollar per hour varies across the schools and from year to year.

Thrift Shop Laundry Guidelines

  • Please make sure that if you take a load of laundry, you return it washed and completely dried. The Thrift Shop has no way to complete the drying process and wet or damp laundry can ruin an entire load. We will not receive credit for laundry that isn't washed and dried properly.
  • Only wash pillows and large linens if you have front loader style washer.
  • Pillows are difficult to get thoroughly dry.  Please ensure that they are completely dry prior to returning them to the store to prevent them from molding before the store employees can process them.
  • Be sure to use bleach when you wash pillows, linens, sleeping bags, mattress covers, and towels.
  • Ensure you have enough laundry for a full load.
  • Inform the manager on duty before leaving with your laundry.
  • Inform the manager on duty when returning the completed laundry to the store. 
  • Failure to notify the manager and/or follow these guidelines will result in loss of hours.
  • Click here for a printable copy of the Thrift Shop Laundry Guidelines