You can change the world, 1 book at a time.

by Marta Mahoney, Assistance League of Irvine, Volunteer

You may find this hard to believe, but I haven’t been to the thrift shop for ONE WEEK. That’s because I’m in Washington, DC on vacation. Being in Washington is an amazing experience for someone like me who loves history. Seeing the White House, the Capitol, the monuments, and the museums really connects you to the past. You realize that even if you were an average office worker wandering around on your lunch hour, you could be walking in the footsteps of Washington or Lincoln.

One of the tours I’ve done is the walking tour of the Library of Congress. (It’s a beautiful building, and I highly recommend this tour if you go to Washington.) The Library of Congress was founded by Thomas Jefferson, who donated his personal library to start it. In those days there were no public libraries, and many people were illiterate. But our Founding Fathers believed in the power of reading and the need for a national library. Today the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with over 38 million books and 164 million total items!

This struck a chord with me because at ALI, we also believe strongly in the power of books. Every child in our Operation School Bell program receives a book to take home (along with school clothing and supplies). They choose a book from a selection of grade-appropriate fiction and non-fiction books. For some of these children, it’s the first time they’ve had a book of their own.

This is where you come in, readers! We’re currently holding a book drive to stock up on children’s books for OSB. You, too, can be like Thomas Jefferson and donate a book (or books!). You can drop off your book donation at the thrift shop during our regular hours. Any local bookstore will be able to suggest appropriate books for elementary, middle school, or high school students.

And who knows – some day the child who reads your donated book may become an author with a book in the Library of Congress

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Be My Valentine <3

We want to remember all the holidays,  so this is your official reminder that Valentine’s Day is February 14.

Now if you’re like me, you just got the credit card bill for everything you bought for Christmas. Or Hanukkah. Or your Rose Bowl party. Or Chinese New Year. Or Vietnamese New Year. And you still have your Super Bowl party and your annual ski trip over President’s Day weekend coming up.

Somehow your Valentine’s Day gifts have to be squeezed into your budget. If you’re planning to propose to your true love, our advice is to be judicious without being chintzy, forego the big screen HD TV until Super Bowl LII, and spend your money on the ring instead. For all the rest of you, our advice is to check out the ALI thrift shop.   We have beautiful costume jewelry, crystal, collectibles, Valentine cards, and much, much more. You’re sure to find something that will make your significant other’s heart beat faster, without overwhelming your budget!

NEW YEAR’S SHOPPING THOUGHTS

I spent yesterday at our local internationally-famous mall, checking out their “end-of-year” sales. The parking lot was full, the mall was packed, there was a line of 20 people waiting to get into the Starbucks, and everybody (except for the woman carrying a puppy) was carrying bags of merchandise. Now everyone (except for the puppy and some babies) was in a happy, festive mood. But as I looked at all the shopping bags, I wondered: how much of this stuff do these people actually need? (We’re not counting the puppy. Puppies need homes.)

At our thrift shop, customers aren’t buying because of mall glitz, fashion trends, or the desire to post a selfie of yourself in front of the Chanel store. Most of them are buying things they truly need: clothes for work or play, dishes and cookware, bedding, gifts for others. Or they’re indulging themselves with some jewelry or a collectible, at a price that won’t require a 2nd mortgage. When I ring up a sale at the shop, I feel that the customer is buying something they’ve they’re going to use and love – something they really want or need.

Meanwhile, if you really want and need a puppy, I refer you to the Irvine Animal Care Center, where they have lots of puppies (and kittens) who would love a new home in 2017. Otherwise, come by the ALI thrift shop for everything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GET THOSE SLEIGH BELLS JINGLING . . .

Thrift shoppers and blog readers, we know you’re eagerly awaiting our “Holiday Extravaganza” shopping day when we bring out all our holiday merchandise for the first time! We have BIG NEWS for you. This year we won’t just have one Holiday Extravaganza Day – we’re going to have a WHOLE HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA MONTH!

That’s right – we’ll be putting out NEW HOLIDAY MERCHANDISE on EVERY TUESDAY IN NOVEMBER! You read that correctly – TUESDAYS. We’ve collected SO MANY holiday donations over the past year that we’re going to be open for EXTRA SHOPPING DAYS on Tuesdays in November, 10 am to 3 pm. Every week in November, you’ll see different holiday items on the shelves.   You’ll have to visit us again and again to make sure you don’t miss anything!

So hitch up your horses and put the bells on your sleigh, and get ready for our Holiday shopping, starting TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1ST!

IT’S THE WITCHING HOUR

Halloween is around the corner. . . the dark sky lit by a pale crescent moon . . . the sudden rush of ghostly chilled air in a warm room . . . the creak of hinges as the candle sputters out . . . the parade of goblins and black cats and witches that leads to . . . the ALI thrift shop!

Yes, HALLOWEEN IS COMING TO THE THRIFT SHOP! Our Halloween costumes and decor will be out in the shop starting WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28! Be there at 10 am when we open for the best selection of Halloween merchandise. We’ve got costumes for children and adults, home decor, Halloween jewelry, and much, much more. Shop now and you’ll be able to enjoy the Halloween spirit all through October.

And since everything you buy at the ALI thrift shop is a fraction of the original cost, you can shop with us and still have money left over for your Halloween candy!

ALI’S SUMMER SPECTACULAR IS HERE!

It’s June – which means it’s time for summer blockbusters. And what’s the biggest blockbuster in Irvine? Our Assistance League of Irvine’s thrift shop SUMMER SPECTACULAR on WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1!

Lights, camera, action! WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1st is the day we bring out our summer merchandise! The store will be COMPLETELY RE-STOCKED with summer tops, pants, and dresses, summer shoes and purses, and fun jewelry to go with them. You’ll need some new outfits to wear to those summer blockbuster movies, and the ALI thrift store is the place to find them.

Check out our giant selection of HAWAIIAN-THEMED CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES! These are perfect for summer barbecues or pool parties. We also have lots of summer and Hawaiian-themed decor that will make your house and your table look like something out of HGTV, at a fraction of the cost.

Going on a summer vacation? Books for the beach are 2 for $1. At that price, you won’t have to worry if you drop your book in the ocean. And check out our toys and games – you’ll need something to keep the kids occupied on the car ride to that vacation cottage.

Get ready for those lazy, crazy days of summer starting WEDNESDAY JUNE 1 at the thrift shop!We open at 10 am so be there and be ready to shop!

2452 Alton Parkway (between Jamboree and Von Karman on Alton)
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 955-3437 | click here for directions

Spoil mom with our affordable jewelry

“Let us not be too particular. It is better to have old second-hand diamonds than none at all.” – Mark Twain

We’re all about transparency at the ALI Thrift Shop, so if you’re looking for second-hand diamonds, you probably need to go to eBay. But if you’re looking for earrings, bracelets, or a ‘statement necklace’, we’re the place!

MOTHER’S DAY IS NEXT SUNDAY, MAY 8th – and that means it’s the perfect time to browse our jewelry department for a gift for Mom. Pierced earrings or clip earrings? Brooches or pins? Dainty filigree necklaces or exotic, bold ones? We’ve got it all!

If you have jewelry of your own that’s broken or just isn’t “you” any more, bring it in and donate it to us. Our volunteers recycle broken jewelry into craft projects, and that bracelet that reminds you of your bad prom date can find a new home. And if you DO have any diamonds that you’re tired of . . .