Shopping Amazon Prime? Try Amazon Smile

Amazon Prime days are coming next week on July 15 and 16! Sales, specials, and discounts! We KNOW most of you will be shopping on Amazon on those days.  They carry way, way, way more items than we can fit in our 1,350 square foot thrift shop. But if you’re buying on Prrime days, there’s a way the ALI thrift shop can benefit from your shopping.

“Amazon Smile” is a program where Amazon will donate a portion of your sale to a charity of your choice.  OF COURSE, that’s going to be ALI.  Here’s how it works.  Go to http://www.smile.amazon.com, instead of the main Amazon site.  Log in with your Amazon password, and start shopping.  When you check out, you’ll be asked for the name of the charity you’d like to support.  Pick “Assistance League of Irvine.”  That’s all there is to it!

Every quarter, AmazonSmile sends us a check based on how much our AmazonSmile donors have spent.  You don’t have to do anything else.  All you have to do is – shop!

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Time to BROWN BAG it!

Do you remember how we used to “brown bag it” and take our lunches to work? (This, of course, was back in the days before everyone had designer lunch bags with matching water bottles.) You could fit a sandwich, an apple, some carrot sticks, and a cookie in the bag.  It was (and still is) a great way to save money.  All it took was a little extra effort.

ALI shoppers, it’s BROWN BAGGING TIME AGAIN! On Wednesday, May 29 and Thursday, May 30, we’re having a BROWN BAG SALE.  These are our FINAL TWO DAYS BEFORE WE CLOSE FOR INVENTORY, so we want to clear out as much of our stock as we can.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:  You’ll shop as you normally would, then bring your purchases to the register to check out.  WE’LL PACK everything into a brown bag (you could end up with several brown bags).  EACH BROWN BAG is $5, total.  If something doesn’t fit in the bag (for example, a painting), it’s 75% off the marked price.

Now this won’t be a lunch-sized brown bag – it’s going to be a grocery-sized brown bag.  Just think of how many tops, pants, vases, cooking utensils, books, etc. you can fit in your brown bag.

Be at the thrift shop when we open at 10 am on Wednesday, May 29 when our Brown Bag Sale starts.  You could save enough money to be able to go OUT to lunch instead of brown bagging!

PROUD TO BE WEARING USED CLOTHING!

We know all you readers shop at the ALI thrift store because we have fantastic merchandise at great prices, a friendly and welcoming volunteer staff, and a convenient location in Irvine! But there’s another reason:  everything you buy from us reduces the amount of waste going into a landfill somewhere.

Take a look at the website thredUp.com, which promotes wearing used clothing.  The statistics are staggering:  32 billion garments are produced for the U.S. fashion market every year, and 64% end up in a landfill.  Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry after oil!

We know that buying three pairs of jeans from our thrift store, instead of heading to the mall, doesn’t seem to make much difference.  But think of all the people in the country who shop at  thrift stores.  It all adds up.  (Think of all that stuff in your recycling bin that you used to just put in the trash!)

Wear your thrift shop clothing proudly! You’re showing your fashion savvy, your expert budgeting, your support of your Irvine community – and you’re doing your part to save the planet!

3 Tips to SHARE THE THANKSGIVING SPIRIT

Thanksgiving is approaching, and this is when all the kindergarteners dress up like Native Americans and Pilgrims and re-enact the story of Plymouth Rock and the First Thanksgiving.   In our busy lives, where Thanksgiving seems to be all about food, football, and shopping, we need to keep focused on that kindergarten message: Share what you have.

Share your food. Invite your family and friends to join in your Thanksgiving meal. Whether it’s a traditional American menu of turkey and pumpkin pie, or food from your home culture, or dinner at a restaurant, or a picnic at the park, sharing food is an ancient ritual that brings us together. Donate to one of the many food-based charities (Second Harvest Food Bank, Families Forward, church and school food drives) to share your food with those in need.

Share your energy. Help a colleague with a project at work, run an errand for a sick neighbor, play with your kids. Volunteer in your community – there are hundreds of opportunities, whether it’s a one-day event or an ongoing commitment. (We’d love to have you join us at Assistance League of Irvine!)

Share your love. Hug your family. Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. Compliment people. Smile at the checkout person at the grocery store and the kid who’s collecting carts in the parking lot. Wave at the postman. Say “thank you” to restaurant servers. In fact, say “please” and “thank you” whenever you can!

Wishing all our readers a Happy Thanksgiving from ALI!  

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays!

All of us at ALI have been busy the past few days, stocking our thrift shop with all the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Thanksgiving items we’ve been storing all year.  And we’ve got a UNANIMOUS VERDICT from our members: “THIS IS THE BEST STUFF WE’VE EVER HAD!”

Now it takes a LOT to get an opinion like that from our members, who have all seen enough holiday merchandise over the years to be experts.  Think of us as the “Dancing with the Stars” judges of Christmas ornaments, tablecloths and napkins, and holiday clothing. We’re giving our stuff this year a UNANIMOUS 10!

Holiday items will be waiting for you in the shop starting Wednesday, November 7th.  Come in and see why we’re so excited. You can’t win the mirror ball, but you CAN go home with beautiful holiday things at an incredible price!

DO YOU NEED DECORATIONS? WE’VE GOT ‘EM!

It’s the end of September, and we all know what that means.  We’ve come to that point in the year that we all dread.  NO,  not back-to-school.  Everyone is HAPPY about back-to-school. The little kids are no longer underfoot all day, and the big kids are no longer sitting around eating all your food.  No – we’re talking about an activity that strikes fear into all our hearts.  It’s – TIME TO LOOK FOR THE HOLIDAY DECORATIONS! Yes – all those holidays.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s.  Plus plain old Fall and Winter.

I’m convinced that someone could develop an entire reality TV show competition about searching for the decorations.  Are they in the garage? In the rafters of the garage? In the attic? In that bedroom where you’re keeping all the boxes you never unpacked when you moved in five years ago? You can remember writing down the place where you put them on a piece of paper, but now you can’t find the piece of paper.  You can remember putting a note in your phone, but you just got a new phone and the “notes” section didn’t transfer over.  About the only thing you can be sure of, because very, very few of us have basements, is that they’re not in the basement.

Many of us, after looking for a couple of days, simply give up and decide to buy NEW decorations, year after year.  It’s not a defeat! It’s an opportunity! Over the next three months, the ALI thrift shop will have an ABSOLUTELY AMAZING SELECTION OF HOLIDAY DECORATIONS! You can find anything you want, for any holiday you want, at a fantastically low price.  And the money you spend with us goes right back to our community.

If you find your decorations, more power to you! But if you don’t, you know where to go for new ones!

It’s ‘THAT’ week! Are you ready?

It’s time to put on your shopping shoes, pull out your map of the mall, and start counting down to November 24 and 25th. Yes, it’s THAT WEEK – Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! Bargains, sales, and merchandising mayhem!
 
And OF COURSE you have to make a stop at the ALI thrift store while you’re out and about on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! On Black Friday, we’ll have our weekly specials, which are ALREADY way below anything you’ll pay at the mall. On Small Business Saturday, we have a FANTASTIC offer for you – 25% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE OVER $20 (with some exceptions for some of our special items).
 
No 3 am Doorbusters, but that means you can get up at a sensible hour and have a few leisurely cups of coffee before heading over to the thrift shop. We’ll be open our regular hours, 10 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday. And if you just can’t face shopping on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, we’re open as usual on Wednesday the 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Best wishes to our readers for a Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends, from all of us here at the Assistance League of Irvine.