OUR SIZZLING SUMMER SPECTACULAR IS COMING!

Sunny summer weather is on the way and it’s all because of ALI! Join us on Tuesday, June 5 for our SIZZLING SUMMER SPECTACULAR. You read that correctly, it’s TUESDAY JUNE 5 – a special shopping day to kick off summer. Our shop will be COMPLETELY RE-STOCKED AFTER INVENTORY with summer clothes and merchandise.

We’re open on Tuesday June 5 from 10 am to 3 pm, and you’ll want to get there early. Our sizzling summer selections will drive all memories of “May gray” from your mind and your closet. (And it’s not too early to start thinking about what to wear to the 4th of July BBQ.)

Don’t miss out on this fantastic event – see you on June 5!

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ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

It seems like practically every night there’s a weather alert on the evening news for the midwest. Or the east coast. Or the central plains. Do the TV stations in all those states have weather alerts right now for California? “WEATHER ALERT IN IRVINE! TEMPERATURES IN THE HIGH 80S! ALARMING VIDEO SHOWS SHOPPERS FIGHTING OVER SHORTAGES OF SUNSCREEN!”

We’ll probably have plenty of weather alerts of our own as the year goes on. But what we do have is a CUTE CLOTHES ALERT! The ALI thrift shop is brimming with the cutest tops, pants, and jackets imaginable. Spring colors, spring fashions, spring textures – and because we’re in southern California (not those OTHER places), you can actually WEAR all these cute spring clothes RIGHT NOW!

There are NO weather alerts to stop you, so head over to the thrift shop and check out all the cute clothes that are waiting for you. (And if you’re THAT kind of person, take a picture of yourself sitting next to the flowers on your patio in your new outfit, and send it to all your relatives who are still dealing with winter weather.)

ALI honored to receive $2,000 donation!

Assistance League of Irvine is honored to be the recipient of a Honda Corporation “Helpful After the Holidays” donation of $2,000 to help clothe Irvine’s children in need. The funds were used to purchase school clothing and supplies through AL Irvine’s Operation School Bell® program, which will serve nearly 800 income-qualified students this academic year.

Four Helpful Honda representatives joined AL Irvine volunteers Feb. 3 at Target North in Irvine for an Operation School Bell shopping event. Students, accompanied by their parents, selected school-appropriate clothing, shoes and a jacket. Students also received a backpack and a hygiene kit prepared by AL Irvine’s teen auxiliary, Assisteens.

“We were absolutely thrilled to receive the donation,” said Jill Housky, AL Irvine president. “Purchasing school clothing, including shoes and a jacket, averages $100 per child. The Honda donation will allow us to clothe even more students from low- and extremely-low income families living in Irvine.”

To learn more about our programs, please visit www.assistanceleague.org/irvine

3 Thrift Shop Gift Ideas for Valentines Day!

I know there’s a book called “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” but there are times when it’s ALL ABOUT the small stuff. Like Valentine’s Day!

Now I assume that since you’re reading a blog about a thrift store, you’re probably not a person who plans to give their true love a Porsche for Valentine’s Day. (Even if you are, read on.). So what are the three most common gifts on Valentine’s Day? Flowers, candy, and jewelry. And here’s where the SMALL STUFF comes in. Those little details that (with the help of the ALI thrift shop) will be the finishing touch to your gift.

FLOWERS: You’ll need something to put the flowers IN. We always have a fantastic selection of vases and containers, ranging from ornate crystal to simple and modern.

CANDY: Include a little dish or plate for the candy. We have lots of VALENTINE-THEMED dishes right now, but hurry in because these sell out quickly.

JEWELRY: We have all kinds of beautiful costume jewelry – necklaces, rings, earrings – that would make a romantic Valentine’s gift in a SMALL box.

And not only will we help you find the small stuff that will make your Valentine’s gift unique -you’ll only pay a SMALL price for whatever you buy at the thrift shop! Come in and shop with us soon!

I’m ‘Not Shopping’ – no really….

Today’s story is about . . . Not shopping. Notice we didn’t say “Never shopping.” This IS, however, a story about the ALI thrift store. We WANT you to come in and shop with us. (We’d especially like some readers to come in and buy all those winter coats and ski jackets that people donated to us after their once-in-a-lifetime trip to see the snow in Big Bear.)

But you don’t need to shop 24 hours a day. This is the holiday season of Christmas and Hanukkah, and even if you’re not particularly religious, a time to take stock of where you are in life as the new year approaches. “Not shopping” means spending time during the holidays with your family, your friends, and those in need of help. “Not shopping” means reaching out to others with love and attention, letting them know you’re glad they’re a part of your life. It means spending a morning serving meals at a homeless shelter, instead of endlessly circling the parking lot at the mall. It means simply taking a long walk along the beach, or on one of Irvine’s urban trails, and reflecting on the beauty of the natural world.

We know you’ll still be looking for that perfect gift (which is why you need to come to the thrift store), but try to make “not shopping” part of your holidays this year.

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

Are you prepared for an emergency?

Our hearts go out to all those affected by Hurricane Harvey and the devastating floods in Texas. Over the past few days we’ve seen both the destructive forces of nature and the heroism of those caught in the storm. Watching the scenes on TV made me wonder: what would happen if we had a similar disaster here in Orange County? How many of us are prepared for a situation like this? Here’s a suggested list of emergency supplies published by FEMA. How many of these do you have in your home?

  • 1 gallon of water per person per day, for at least 3 days
  • 3-day supply of non-perishable food (and a can opener and a pocket knife)
  • A flashlight with extra batteries (a headlamp is also a good idea, since this frees up both hands in the dark)
  • A whistle to call for help
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio, a weather radio with a tone alarm, and extra batteries for both
  • Battery-powered cell phone charger
  • Dust masks, plastic sheeting, and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties
  • Extra prescription medicine and eyeglasses
  • Copies of family documents (such as contact information, bank account information, insurance policy numbers) in a waterproof container
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for any pets
  • Sleeping bags, blankets, extra clothing, walking shoes
  • Keep all your emergency supplies together in a place you can get to easily

You can get more information on preparing for emergencies at www.FEMA.gov.   We all hope and pray that we’ll never have to endure a natural disaster, but with a little foresight, we can be prepared for that situation.