Vintage is the future!

At the Assistance League of Irvine thrift shop we get all kinds of retro, vintage, and just plain used items. “Retro,” “vintage,” and “mid-century modern” seem to be hot categories right now. For instance, the most popular specialty license plate at the DMV is the legacy yellow-on-black 1960s retro plate. I remember when I had an ORIGINAL license plate like that. If I’d only kept it. Like my miniskirts, my platform shoes, and my electric typewriter.

Browsing through the thrift shop can bring back many fond memories. Someone recently donated a whole set of vintage Corelle dishes. Every family I knew, when I was in junior high, bought a set of Corelle. Why? Because . . . You could put them in the dishwasher! My friends and I were ecstatic. No more evenings of washing china dishes by hand while your younger brothers and sisters hogged the TV. (The TV, which had a dial on it. Not a remote.)

If you want to return to those thrilling days of yesteryear, stop by the thrift shop. We have the good (fondue pots), and the ugly (lava lamps). We don’t have the bad, because anything that isn’t in good enough condition to sell in our shop is passed on in turn to the Salvation Army.   And because there’s no such thing as a bad donation – there’s a use for everything somewhere.

Just in case you’re wondering they still make Corelle! It comes in pretty patterns now that go well with today’s decor. Maybe we should all buy some so that we’re prepared for the vintage trend in 2075.

Time to enjoy the outdoors, is your wardrobe ready?

I went for a hike on Irvine’s Shady Canyon trail the other day (“hike” is an exaggeration, but “walk” sounds like what you do when you wander around Costco). Wildflowers were blooming, the hills were green from all the rain, the sky was a bright blue with fluffy white clouds, and I was greeted by many cheerful fellow hikers with friendly dogs. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors enjoying our spring weather. If you haven’t tried this trail, it’s an easy walk that goes gradually uphill (even an out-of-shape person like me can do it). It winds around houses and the Strawberry Farms golf course, but at times you feel like you’re out in the wilderness, seeing an untouched California landscape.

Now that it’s spring, we will all be getting outside more. The thrift shop is the place to buy tops, pants, or shorts for local trail hikes or beach walks. You’ll need a hat and sunglasses, too, so look for those. Or if your idea of being outdoors is dining al fresco on the patio of that hot new restaurant, we’ve got outfits for glam spring dining covered, too.

Spring won’t last forever, so readers – stop reading this and go outside! (With the help of the ALI thrift shop, of course!)

Now Accepting Applications for Irvine Valley College Scholarships

Have you always dreamed of getting a college education, but finances are preventing you from making that dream a reality?

Well, dream no more!

Assistance League of Irvine is offering scholarships to Irvine Valley College for income-qualified high school seniors. The eligibility requirements are simple and straightforward. Just visit alirvine.org. Click on “Philanthropic Programs,” “Scholarships” and “Learn More.” It’s as easy as that!

Application deadline for high school seniors is 5 pm Friday, April 7, 2017.

So stop dreaming and apply NOW! See you on campus!

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!

Something exciting happened at ALI!

Gray skies and a light drizzle couldn’t dampen the spirits at Assistance League of Irvine on Monday, Feb. 20th.

A flatbed truck carrying the components of our much-anticipated (and much-needed) steel mezzanine pulled into our back parking lot. We knew something exciting is about to happen and been in the works for awhile.

Our ALI members on hand were ready to greet the delivery at 7 am cheery faced. And, why not? After two years of researching and planning, our dream of adding more space to our backroom was coming true. When installation is complete, the steel structure will virtually double our on-site work space, giving us more room to process donations of gently used clothing, household goods, toys, books and other treasures to our Thrift & Gift Shop.

Donations are the lifeblood of our operations. Why? Because sales from our Shop are the major source of funding for our philanthropic programs. So, you might say that adding a steel mezzanine to our backroom will help us better serve those Irvine families in need. And that’s really something to cheer about!

Come by and check out the new remodel once complete!

  • Wednesday 10 – 3 PM
  • Thursday 10 – 3 PM
  • Friday 10 – 5:30 PM – Temporary Feb 1 – March 30 closing @ 3PM
  • Saturday 10 – 3 PM

ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF IRVINE THRIFT SHOP

2452 Alton Parkway (between Jamboree and Von Karman on Alton)
Irvine, CA 92606
(949) 955-3437

Welcome to Irvine, aka ‘Little Seattle’

Irvine is having so much rain right now I’m starting to think we should re-name Irvine “Little Seattle.”  Here in Southern California, we’re not used to entertaining ourselves on days when it’s too stormy to even drive to the mall.  After an hour of “Storm Watch Breaking News,” on TV, it gets boring.  What can you do?

The ALI thrift store can give you lots of ideas for rainy-day activities.  You’ll have to make a trip to the shop BEFORE it rains, but you were planning to do that anyway, right?

For kids:

  • We always have miscellaneous craft supplies, and with some scissors and glue the kids can put their creativity to work.  (You’ll have to clear off the dining room table, but you can put all that stuff back once it stops raining.)
  • Pick out some of our more unusual or vintage-look clothing and keep it in a “dressing up” box.  The kids can make up a play where this box provides costumes and props. 
  • Board games and jigsaw puzzles are rainy-day staples. We’re constantly getting new donations of games and puzzles, and these are fun activities for the whole family.
  • For the grown-ups:
  • This is the time to try out that espresso machine/panini maker/blender/set of cookie cutters in the shape of flowers that you found at the thrift shop on your last visit.
  • This is the time to start that knitting project/sewing project/scrapbook that you found supplies for at the thrift shop on your last visit.
  • If you just feel like curling up by the fire, we have books, books, books! (Lots of kids’ books, too!) And DVDs!

Don’t worry – it will stop raining eventually.  But in the meantime, the thrift shop has plenty of things to keep you and your family busy!

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!