SAVE THESE DATES FOR “I HEART OC GIVING DAY” – “THIRTY HOURS TO GIVE WHERE YOUR HEART LIVES”

 

 

Set your alarm for 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21. That’s the start of the Orange County Community Foundation’s “Day of Giving” for 2015. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $2MM in 30 hours (6 :00 a.m. on April 21 to noon on April 22) for local non-profits who are participating in this event. Assistance League of Irvine is proud to be one of the organizations in Orange County participating in this effort. If you’re not familiar with the OCCF, this foundation has been actively working in Orange County for the past 25 years and has awarded over $257MM to local charities to help meet the needs of our county.

ALI will not only have the benefit of your donations made to us in connection with the Day of Giving – we’ll be eligible for “bonus prizes” to be awarded by the Foundation! There are 78 available cash prizes in categories from how much money you raise as a percent of total donations, to the non-profit with the most “likes,” comments, or retweets on social media. Of course we’d LOVE to win one of these prizes!

How to donate? We’ll have a link to the “Day of Giving” website on our own website, Facebook page, and this blog starting April 13. All you’ll have to do is CLICK HERE – follow and watch for updates!

Please SHARE the news about “I Heart OC Giving Day” with your friends and neighbors. This is an event that impacts all of Orange County, not just Irvine. The more people who participate and donate during this 30 hours, the more everyone benefits. Spread the word, and open your heart and your wallet on April 21.

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It’s Just Coffee

You’ve probably seen ads for a local matchmaking service called “It’s Just Lunch.” Prospective matches meet for lunch at a local restaurant and hopefully, get to know each other enough to see if they’d like to go on another date. It’s informal, convenient, inexpensive, and doesn’t take up the whole day – it’s just lunch!

ALI would like to be matched up with some new people, too! We KNOW there are many of you out there who would love to get to know us better and perhaps join our chapter. To keep things even simpler than a lunch date, we’re sponsoring “COFFEE AND A TOUR” on Saturday, March 7.

JOIN US AT 10 AM at our Community Outreach Center/Thrift Shop, 2452 Alton Parkway in Irvine (between Von Karman and Jamboree) for coffee and a presentation about our philanthropic activities. Learn how Assistance League of Irvine turns second-hand treasures from our Thrift & Gift Shop into community giving, through scholarships, clothing and school supplies for Irvine students, and much, much more. You’ll have a chance to meet some of our members, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, take a tour of our Thrift Shop, and even do some shopping!

For more information, RSVP by March 1 to: 949-798-5020, or email: membership@irvine.assistanceleague.org. We’ll see you then – and bring a friend!

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OUR VISION OF IRVINE’S FUTURE

BrightFutureEvery organization has a vision of what they want to accomplish, and Assistance League of Irvine is no exception. Since you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably shopped at our thrift store and know something about our programs. But you probably (unless you’re a member!) don’t know our actual Vision Statement, which defines and explains our goals. It is:

“Assistance League of Irvine envisions a community where all individuals and families are empowered to achieve their full potential through access to education, the arts, and human services.”

Those words “access to education” led to ALI’s newest philanthropic program: Prep for Success. We’re partnering with Comprehensive College Prep in Laguna Hills to offer at least 20 need-based scholarships to high school juniors in the Irvine Unified School District who need financial help to pay for SAT/ACT test prep classes.

Most four-year colleges and universities require SAT or ACT test scores as part of their application. In recent years, as college admissions have become more competitive, “test prep” classes have become routine for families who can afford them. These classes familiarize the student with the type of questions on the tests, and let them take practice exams.   A student who has taken a “test prep” class is likely to do better on the SAT or ACT, and in the world of college admissions, a higher score helps. Perhaps the most important point is that students who take these classes start to think of themselves as college-bound. For students whose families have significant financial hardship or are the first in their family to go to college, “test prep” classes put them in a group of peers who see college as a desirable, and achievable, goal.

“We want to level the playing field for all students in the Irvine Unified School District by helping them to better prepare themselves for admission to a four-year college or university,” explains Dr. Annelle Arthur, ALI’s Vice President of Philanthropy.

So when you next visit our thrift shop, remember that YOU’RE helping us to create this new program – and to make our vision of the future a reality!

A Piece of Orange County History

ArdenModjeska02We know you thrift shoppers love things that are historic . . . and are bargains! Here’s an outing in Orange County that combines these! It’s a tour of “Arden” – the Helena Modjeska House, a National Historic Landmark built in 1888, in Modjeska Canyon. The docent-led tour is only $5.00 and is offered on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, or the 2nd and 4th Saturdays, every month.

Madame Modjeska was the most famous Shakespearean actress in the country in the 1880s and 1890s. She and her husband, emigres from Poland, dreamed of owning a ranch in California. In 1888 they purchased the land in Santiago Canyon that would become Arden. Designed by the noted New York architect Stanford White and named for the magical Forest of Arden in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” Arden became an idyllic retreat where they where they could enjoy rustic ranch life and entertain a glittering list of celebrities of the day.

Visitors will love the vintage furnishings, the oak-shaded grounds, and the legacy of an immensely talented, artistic woman. To make a tour reservation or learn more, call 949-923-2230.

On a recent tour, our docent was dressed in a gorgeous vintage Victorian costume. You might want to check out the ALI thrift shop before you go to see if YOU can find some Victorian-looking clothing to put you in the spirit of Madame Modjeska!

FATHER’S DAY AT THE THRIFT SHOP

HappyFathersDay

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15. It’s a special day to honor and remember our dads and all they mean to us. That means kisses, hugs, words of thanks, and . . . presents.

We love them, but they can be hard to buy for. Here are some items CURRENTLY at the thrift shop that might inspire you. (Remember, all our merchandise is one-of-a-kind, so if it sounds interesting, get over to the shop right away or it may be gone.)

CLOTHING: We have a fantastic selection of Hawaiian-style shirts, including many Reyn Spooner and Tommy Bahama patterns, that are perfect for summer pool parties and barbecues. And we have lots of shorts to go with them!

BICYCLING: If Dad is a serious cyclist, we have several biking suits.

WATER SPORTS: We have swim fins and board shorts for the beach.

BOOKS AND RECORDS: We ALWAYS have a variety of books – whether Dad likes mysteries, thrillers, history, or politics, we most likely have a book he’d enjoy. If he’s into vintage vinyl, we have a collection of records by various artists. And we have a lovely gift book titled, “Poems for Fathers” that says it all.

GAMES AND DVDs: Right now we have a “Law & Order” board game and some movie trivia games, plus our ever-popular DVD section.

GOLF (you KNEW this was coming . . .): If Dad likes golf, look no further. Just program our address, 2452 Alton, into your GPS and start the car. We have golf balls; a putting trainer with artificial turf (this is a really good buy – this item is WAY more expensive at the golf superstore); a “Condo Golf” game; a golf club cleaning kit; many, many golf books priced at $1 or less; a golf-themed water bottle; a golf-themed lamp; a golf throw pillow; golf mugs; golf stationery. And more!

FOR THE DAD WHO HAS EVERYTHING: We have brand-new Weber barbecue accessories, ties (of course!), a set of highball glasses with beautiful pictures of game birds on them, and a framed collage called “I Heard It From My Dad.”

And if you’re still stumped for ideas, bring Dad to the thrift shop and let him pick out something for himself! Happy Father’s Day to all of our wonderful Dads!

Working out with books

reading-newspaper-while-riding-stationary-bike“Twice a week I go to the gym and ride the stationary bicycle.  so I’m always looking for “gym books” that I can read while I exercise.  I like mysteries, thrillers, romances, historical fiction – you name it.  (Plot lines where the heroine decides to start working out and then transforms her life/meets Mr. Right/gets a job in Paris are especially good for this.)”

The thrift shop is  GREAT place to find a gym book! Most of Assistance League of Irvine’s paperbacks are 50 cents or $1 – way cheaper than even Costco!  At these prices, if you spill your water bottle all over the book, it won’t matter.  ALI ALWAYS has new books coming in, so check out the book section and stock up.