UWS Mom & Pop Shop Owner From Staten Island Devastated By Sandy; Locals Rallying To Help

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Nice story about Upper West Siders rallying behind the owner of Stationary & Toy World, a “mom-and-pop” store at 125 W. 72nd (between Amsterdam & Columbus).

The store’s owner, Donna Schofield, is a resident of Staten Island. As a result of Superstorm Sandy, not only was her home flooded up to the second floor, but she also lost her entire inventory — $500,000 worth of mostly holiday merchandise.

In addition to the Eyewitness News piece above, NYPress also had a nice post. From ABC:

Sandy destroyed her house and three warehouses, filled with $500K worth of mostly holiday merchandise that she had yet to pay off. All she has left to sell is what’s currently on the shelf.

“Some days are easier than others,” she said. “We’re taking each day at a time.”

From NYP:

Word of Donna’s plight spread. Suddenly, Stationery Toy World—a store Donna opened with her father 26 years ago to escape wholesale and to pursue her dream of owning her own retail business—was as busy as it had ever been. Families from across the Upper West Side began stopping by, offering their support to Donna in any way they could and sending their children on mini shopping sprees.

Last Friday, Donna joked with customers between laughs and tears as they asked her what she needed. Some came in to drop off clothes. Many reached across the counter to giver her a hug.

“It’s just unbelievable—the amount of support, and how much people love us up here,” Donna said, then choked up for about the tenth time that morning.

There has also been an e-mail/Facebook post floating around that you may have seen (I’m not sure who the original author is):

I assume many of you have patronized the terrific stationery and toy store on 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam (125 W. 72nd on the north side of the street, phone 212-580-3922). If you haven’t, the store has been in the neighborhood for a very long time and has a great selection of stationery, art supplies, gift wraps/cards, and toys at decent prices.

The woman who owns the store is a resident of Staten Island and lost her home and her 3 storage warehouses (where she kept a lot of the store’s inventory including all of her Christmas/Chanukah things) in the storm last week. I was in the store today and asked her what she might need and how the neighborhood could help her.

The one thing she asked is for people to come in and buy from her so that she has the cash to replenish her stocks (especially the holiday things) and stay afloat.

It would be terrible if the store couldn’t make it after so many years in the neighborhood. So instead of going to Staples or Duane Reade for your stationery supplies and ordering your toys online at Amazon or ToysRUs, please go to Stationery Toy store (that really seems to be the name) at 125 W. 72nd St.

Please pass this on to other people (especially West Siders) that you think might be interested.

If you’re looking to make a difference this Thanksgiving week and holiday season, consider dropping by the store and doing some shopping there. It’s been a part of the UWS community for more than a quarter-century and is one of the last of its breed.

NOTE: I’m embarrassingly behind on this story. I received numerous tips from readers about this (too many to name), but for reasons that defy explanation, I’m just getting around to posting. Apologies for not getting this up sooner, and thanks to everyone who sent in information.

Filed under: Fundraiser/Benefit, Kid Stuff, Manhattan, New York City, News, NYC, Seniors, Shopping, Upper West Side, Upper West Side Blog, UWS 1 Comment »
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  • Andrea

    Thanks for posting this, I had not seen it before. I went to the store today and bought a few things I would have otherwise bought on-line. It’s a nice store, packed with “Stationary & Toy”s and with a helpful staff. I’m glad I went. Thanks, MUW!