It’s Operation School Bell® time!

Over the next few months, you’ll be hearing a lot about Operation School Bell® when you visit the thrift shop.  ThroughOperation School Bell®, ALI provides school clothing and school supplies to qualifying low-income students in the Irvine Unified School District.  Every year, from the beginning of September up until Thanksgiving, your ALI volunteers donate many hours of their time to OSB. Operation School Bell® is the signature philanthropic program of National Assistance League, and we are proud to be a part of it.

Upstairs from the thrift shop, our community outreach center is full ofOperation School Bell® supplies.  Backpacks, packets of school supplies, and “hygiene kits” containing shampoo and other personal care items, cover every available space! Each child gets to choose an age-appropriate book to take home, and every family gets a dictionary – so we have several full bookcases, too.  Our OSB families purchase their school clothing at our partner store, Target North in the Irvine Marketplace – but everything else is upstairs, waiting for OSB to start!

People are often surprised that we have a need for OSB in Irvine, but we assisted over 800 children last year.  Families apply for OSB through their schools, so if you know of anyone who might be interested in this program, ask them to contact their school nurse or counselor.

Operation School Bell®, like our other philanthropies, is financed by sales from our thrift shop.  Next time you’re shopping with us, remember that you, too, are helping to give some child a better start for the school year. 

DRUM ROLL PLEASE – IT’S NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY!

If you love comic books, you go to Comic-Con. If you love thrift shopping, you celebrate NATIONAL THRIFT SHOP DAY (that would be WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 17) by visiting the ALI thrift shop!

You probably won’t encounter costumed Storm Troopers or X-Men Mutants, but you’ll find plenty of other thrift shop fans who know we have the best bargains in town. All BLUE-TAGGED ITEMS WILL BE 50% OFF, so stock up on back-to-school clothes or dorm room supplies, an outfit for that Labor Day barbecue, shoes, and housewares.

We like to think our customers celebrate National Thrift Shop Day EVERY time they come into our shop. So shop with us on August 17 – and all the other days in the year, too!

Celebrate National ‘Simplify Your Life’ Week

Like me, blog readers, you probably never knew that the first week in August is “National Simplify Your Life Week”!

It’s not our place to address the philosophical reasons why we now need a designated NATIONAL week to remind us to clean out our garages. There are actually many things that go into simplifying a lifestyle, but for most of us, the first thing that comes to mind is getting rid of all those things we no longer use. (I can recall a time when clutter was actually seen as sort of a good thing. You never knew what you might find down in your grandmother’s basement – stacks of old magazines, boxes of clothes, discarded furniture that you could use to play house. You could get hours of entertainment out of it.)

Nowadays, experts recommend that you periodically go through your closets, kitchen cupboards, kids’ rooms, and, yes, your storage unit. Separate everything into things you want to keep, things you want to pass on, and things to throw away.

Bring those things you want to pass on to the ALI thrift store! While we don’t take furniture, TVs, old computers, or large appliances, you can bring us everything else. We take donations at our shop during the hours we’re open (Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm; Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm). Drive around to our rear door at the back of our building, and we’ll happily help you unload your car.

Once you’ve simplified your life, you’ll be so happy you’ll be ready for the second week in August, which is “National Smile Week”!