ALI wants YOU!

Whenever I work my shift at the thrift shop, I think of that song from the musical, “Oliver!” – “Who Will Buy?”

As I walk around the shop just before we open, I think, “Who will buy?” Who’s the person who will buy that elegant evening jacket with the black sequins? Who will buy the cuddly white teddy bear with the red Christmas bow? Who will buy the man’s ski jacket that looks brand new? Who will buy those hand-painted china cups – the George Foreman grill – or that great silk scarf?

Come in and see for yourself! Maybe YOU are the person who will buy!

No waste here!

clothing-bin-recycling-537x402All the donations that we receive are checked carefully before we put them out on the sales floor – when you buy something at our thrift shop, you’ll know that it’s in good repair, clean, and in working condition! But what happens to donations that are just a little too worn out for our shop? Do we throw them away? Absolutely not! They might not be “ready for Prime Time” but there’s a place for them.

Many of the items we can’t use are passed on to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  We give re-wearable T-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts to the UCI Medical Center, for patients who need clothing to go home in.  The Garden Grove Unified School District Teen Mother program gets baby clothes and maternity clothes, and the Irvine Animal Shelter gets blankets and towels.  And costume-style clothing or outdated clothing goes to the Irvine Valley College drama department!

So one way or another, your donations won’t go to waste! Keep them coming – and THANKS.

The Irvine Gomi Pile

Back in the ’80s my cousin and her husband were stationed on a Navy base in Japan.  There they discovered the “gomi pile.”  The Japanese didn’t have thrift shops or secondhand stores where they could donate used items.  Instead, once a month they put anything they didn’t want any longer in the neighborhood “gomi,” or garbage, pile to be collected by the trash truck.  But this stuff was hardly garbage.  Houses and apartments had little storage space, so most of what went on the “gomi pile” was still in fantastic condition – the owners simply didn’t have room to keep it.  My cousin got a television, a china set, pottery, electronics – all retrieved from the gomi pile!

We don’t have a “gomi pile” in Irvine, but we have something much better – the ALI THRIFT SHOP.  You can donate your gently-used clothing, housewares, toys, and jewelry – and replace them with clothing, housewares, toys and jewelry from the sales floor that is NEW TO YOU.  And the shop is open Wednesday through Saturday – so you don’t have to wait for the once-a-month collection.   Come in and see what you find!


Working out with books

reading-newspaper-while-riding-stationary-bike“Twice a week I go to the gym and ride the stationary bicycle.  so I’m always looking for “gym books” that I can read while I exercise.  I like mysteries, thrillers, romances, historical fiction – you name it.  (Plot lines where the heroine decides to start working out and then transforms her life/meets Mr. Right/gets a job in Paris are especially good for this.)”

The thrift shop is  GREAT place to find a gym book! Most of Assistance League of Irvine’s paperbacks are 50 cents or $1 – way cheaper than even Costco!  At these prices, if you spill your water bottle all over the book, it won’t matter.  ALI ALWAYS has new books coming in, so check out the book section and stock up.