March Madness

March Madness is coming! The NCAA college basketball tournament starts Tuesday, March 14.  Two weeks of winning, losing, upsets, drama, and office pools.  Even if you don’t follow college sports, you can’t help but feel the excitement.

We’re having our own March Madness at the thrift shop, and it’s VERY exciting! If you have visited our shop in the past week or so, you may have noticed we are adding a mezzanine to give us more usable space upstairs.  At the same time, we are renovating our “back room” where we take in donations and price everything before it goes out on the sales floor.  But even in the midst of all this construction craziness, we brought out our spring and Easter merchandise right on schedule!

Now the good thing about OUR March Madness is that it’s UNLIMITED! The NCAA picks 68 teams for their tournament.  But you can pick ANY NUMBER of spring items at the thrift shop! No need to pare them down to the “Sweet Sixteen,” or the “Elite Eight,” or the “Final Four.”  You can buy them all! They’ll all be winners!

Come in and shop with ALI in between games.  Even if your favorite team loses, you’ll be able to celebrate the bargains you found at the shop!


That’s right! We’re having an E-X-T-R-A SHOPPING DAY on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13! The ALI thrift shop will be open from 10 am to 3 pm to showcase our FABULOUS FALL MERCHANDISE.

We’re telling you about it NOW so you can make an extra-large circle around the date on your calendar, or put an extra-loud alert on your phone,  or hang extra purple post-it notes on your car steering wheel, because you want to be extra-careful not to miss out on this EXTRA SHOPPING DAY.  FALL FASHIONS and FALL DECOR will put you in the mood for cooler (we hope) days, back-to-school excitement, or curling up with a pumpkin spice latte.  And it’s all happening at the ALI THRIFT SHOP on SEPTEMBER 13! See you then!

Gold star rating for Assistance League of Irvine

Los Angeles Times columnist George Skelton wrote an excellent article in the December 3rd paper about holiday charity scams. One of the statistics he mentioned was: “Last year, according to the attorney general, Californians donated nearly $688 million through fundraisers that transferred just 54% to charities. Thrift stores are much worse. They brought in $125 million – from donated used clothing, for example – but charities got a mere 9.5%.” 

That raised a lot of eyebrows here at the ALI thrift shop, because we are currently returning 72% of our income back to the community. We have no paid staff and no professional fundraisers. All our work is done by our members and community volunteers, who donate their time and effort to keep our thrift shop running.

You can see our financial information on GuideStarTM, a website that is the world’s largest source of information on non-profit organizations. Assistance League of Irvine is proud to have achieved the GuideStar Gold rating, the highest ranking awarded by GuideStar. You can rest assured that when you shop at our thrift store, your money is going to help someone in need.

And while we’re on the subject of holiday charity giving, please keep ALI in mind when you’re thinking about your end-of-the-year donations. We are a registered 501(c)(3) charity, and cash donations play a big part in helping us support our community programs. You can donate to us through the GuideStar website, or by sending your donation to us at 2452 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606.

We appreciate all the support we get from our shoppers and donors – because we couldn’t achieve that 72% return to the community without YOU!

What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Ring out the old, ring in the new! The annual decision:  to go out or stay in on New Year’s Eve?Image

For our New Year’s Eve-challenged readers, we offer a guide to this decision:


– You don’t have to eat leftovers.

– You leave the kids with a babysitter.

– You get to go to the thrift store and pick out a glamorous new outfit from the selection of cocktail/evening dresses we currently have in the shop.  Glittery beads and spangles or the timeless elegant look – we’ve got something to make you the star of the New Year’s Eve party.  For the guys, we have a trove of dress shirts and ties that are perfect for this special evening.


– You don’t have to remember where you left the car.

– You can wear your comfy slippers instead of those shoes that make your feet hurt.

– You get to go to the thrift store and pick out a new bowl for popcorn, a new blender to mix up whatever drink suits you, and a new warm blanket to snuggle under on the couch.  AND a jigsaw puzzle or board game to play with your kids while you count down to midnight.

Whatever you decide – HAPPY NEW YEAR!