Because of YOU!


Thanksgiving is coming up, and this is the time when we give thanks for all the good things in our lives – our families, our friends, our neighbors, and the Costco pie section. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to give a special thanks  to: OUR THRIFT SHOP DONORS

Without our generous donors, we couldn’t run our thrift shop.  ALL the income from the thrift shop supports our philanthropic programs in Irvine, so everything that’s donated directly benefits our community.

Our donors are special people, because donating to the thrift shop takes a lot of steps.  Here’s what happens when you donate.  First, you sort through all the clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in years.  Then you  try them all on, just to be absolutely sure there’s no possibility that you’ll ever fit into them again.  You empty out your car.  You put your donations in the car.   (OR, you decide to keep them and have to figure out how to fit them back into the closet.)   You drive to the thrift shop.  You unload the car.  You carry your donations into the shop.  You’re welcomed by ALI volunteers who are so excited to see what you’ve brought in, you start to reconsider… but you don’t, because you know you’re supporting people in our community who need a helping hand.

THANK YOU to all the donors  – because your willingness to take the extra time and effort to support our thrift store is the foundation for everything we do.

Add high-end sparkle to your holiday table for pennies

Remember the china department at Bullock’s? The crystal displays at Robinson’s? The sterling silver serving trays at Bullocks Wilshire?

I spent hours in these department stores when I was growing up, looking at china and crystal patterns, especially the holiday dishes.  My ambition was to have a set of china for each holiday  – Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving!

Most of the year, I’m content with my casual microwave-safe dishes.  But when the holiday season comes, I want something more – the tradition, the elegance, the sparkle of fine china, crystal, and silver.  And where can we find these things, now that we no longer have Bullock’s and Robinson’s?

The Assistance League of Irvine thrift shop! We always have a selection of crystal and glassware, silver, and china.  Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking for something to fill in with what you already have, we have lovely pieces that would be perfect for your holiday table.  Especially if you need serving dishes, platters, vases, or candlesticks, the thrift shop is the place to look.

We, regretfully, don’t have a tea room like Bullock’s Wilshire did, but you’ll probably save enough shopping with us to go out to dinner somewhere else.

Lorren-Home-Trends-RCR-Laurus-Crystal-Vase-11*Check out tips on how to clean your crystal:

  • It’s important to always use just-warm water, not hot. And never rinse with cold water. Extreme temperatures can cause cracks or breakage.
  • Instead of using the vinegar and water rinse solution above, you can also try a splash or two of ammonia in warm water. This also helps fight cloudiness and spotting on your glassware.
  • Only wash crystal and delicate glass that is first at room temperature and don’t fill with liquid or beverages until the pieces have returned to room temperature after cleaning.
  • Allowing to air dry encourages calcium, mineral deposits and hard water buildup that can eventually cause the glass to become cloudy. Always dry with a soft, clean cloth.



Let’s face it.  Children are greedy.  Gordon Gekko has nothing on the average five-year-old, especially on a visit to Grandma’s house.

Children want love, attention, cookies, and toys, not necessarily in that order.  Now Grandma can produce love, attention, and cookies on her own, but the toys have to come from somewhere else.  There are, of course, Grandmas who write a story or invent a puzzle or make a toy out of an old shoebox for the grandchild’s visit,  but most of us aren’t that creative or that organized.

Head for the thrift shop! It’s the perfect place to find something that will keep little Gordon happy without breaking Grandma’s budget.  Beanie babies, toy cars, children’s books and movies – you can always find something new.  Then whip up a batch of cookies and your grandchild will remain convinced that Grandma’s house is the best place in the world!



Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Everyone’s heard of those iconic holiday shopping days. Everyone’s probably SHOPPED on those days. And now – we’re adding a THIRD AMAZING SHOPPING DAY to this legendary group. Assistance League of Irvine presents: HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA TUESDAY!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 is the date of this spectacular event. All our 2013 holiday merchandise will be on display for the first time. We have so many holiday-themed items we open up our 2nd floor just for this sale. AND WE’LL BE OPEN FROM 10 AM TO 5:30 PM – extra time for you to shop!

HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA TUESDAY is open to anyone – no tickets, no reservations required. Just be at our door at 10 AM on the 12th, ’cause if you snooze, you lose!