Angels of Long Island: Something’s Gotta Give
“Something’s got to give,” is what Debbie Loesch says drives her to run her nonprofit organization, Angels of Long Island. According to her, before anything else, we must all seek to solve the problems in our own backyard.
That’s what Angels of Long Island does. It began as a Facebook group in 2015 asking for donations to assist one family. The charity started out of Loesch’s home, but quickly outgrew it. In 2018, they opened a thrift shop in Patchogue, and in 2023, they opened both a thrift shop and a grocery store in Mastic.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got kids that are going to school and they can’t concentrate because they’re hungry,” Loesch told the Press. “They’re hungry, and they’re dirty and they’ve been made fun of, but they’re dirty because mom and dad can’t afford more. They can’t afford clothing for them to go to school, and it’s just sad.”
To combat these insecurities, Angels of Long Island makes all the products at its thrift store extremely affordable.
“On Mondays, for example, we have ‘Manly Monday,’ men’s clothing and shoes for $1.50 or something and we have brand new stuff as well,” Loesch said. “But you know if people can’t afford even our low prices, they come into our outreach department and we will help them.”
The grocery store in Mastic is free – lending credence to the name “angels.” The nonprofit runs on donations and volunteers, but also purchases products to give out. But it’s not just canned food that people can get at the grocery store.
“We do an outdoor farmers market every Monday and Thursday. which families can attend twice a week for that and they get fresh produce fruit, vegetables, they get a big good bread, salad sandwiches,” Loesch said. “Once a month, each household can attend the free grocery store and the grocery store we have meat produce dairy, sandwiches, salads, regular non perishables, and personal hygiene.”
Loesch said, despite taking a small hit from the pandemic, business has been booming – Angels just needs to take the leap and get connected with the network of care on Long Island, including working with organizations such as Boy Scouts, the Lions Club, and more.
What spurns Loesch to do all this is a belief that humanity is capable of doing better.
“I think we’re all capable of doing something,” Loesch said. Doing something to make a difference. When I grew up, neighbors watched out for neighbors – that’s not the case anymore.”
To volunteer or donate, visit their website.
For more stories about charity organizations on Long Island, click here.