Thank you pops!

We celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, June 21, and what better place to find a gift for Dad than the Thrift Shop?

It may seem that Father’s Day, like Mother’s Day, has been around forever.  But that’s not really the case.  Father’s Day celebrations were held informally in the early 20th century, and President Woodrow Wilson supported the idea of a Father’s Day holiday.  But it wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson issued a presidential proclamation that the third Sunday in June would be known as Father’s Day.  It took another six years for President Richard Nixon to name Father’s Day a permanent national observance in 1972.

Now we know that a gift from the Thrift Shop for Dad isn’t going to make up for all those years of official government neglect.  And we know that what Dad wants most is your love and respect, and to know that he’s made a difference in your life.  BUT it wouldn’t hurt to add a little something, and he’ll be pleased that you made the thrifty choice of shopping with ALI.

We have items that would suit Dads of all ages and personalities (INCLUDING a huge supply of Father’s Day cards!).  Stop in and pick out something that will make Dad feel special.  And you’ll probably save enough that you can afford to take him out for a Father’s Day dinner!

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DIY Mother’s Day gift ideas from the heart and not your wallet.

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Happy Mother’s Day to our beautiful moms out there. Here are some gift ideas inspiration from the heart ❤

 

Click here for even more Mother's Day Inspiration. All photos by PINTEREST

Mothers Day, Graduation and more!

imageIf you haven’t been to the Thrift Shop lately, come in and see our revamped checkout area. This new setup gives us more working room at the cash registers, so we can ring up your purchases more quickly.

And that’s a GOOD thing because . . . May is super-sale month! We’ll have INCREDIBLE sales all month, because we’re counting down to May 30, when we take inventory. You’ll get amazing deals all month long, so “shop early and often.”

This is a GREAT time to look for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts, and, for those who really plan ahead, Father’s Day presents. With summer approaching, you’ll be going to a lot of parties and barbecues, so you can also pick up some inexpensive hostess gifts to keep on hand. Beach books, small toys for the kids to take on vacation – it’s all here.

Stop in soon to take advantage of our May sales! (And think of us when you’re doing your spring cleaning – we accept donations any time during the hours our Thrift Shop is open.)

 

Help Us Celebrate 25 Years!

FullSizeRender 25 years ago (way back in 1990), members of the Assistance League of Irvine had an idea. Many of these members were teachers or retired teachers, and they believed that the arts had a vital place in children’s lives. They knew, firsthand, that many children who might not be top students academically, blossomed when they were able to express their creativity. And they wanted a way to recognize these young artists and let them know their talents were special.

This was the start of ALI’s “Young Masters Art Show!” It’s a FREE family event that has grown over the past 25 years to include over 500 pieces of children’s art, hands-on craft activities for kids, refreshments, and entertainment by award-winning Irvine high school music groups. This year it will be held on SATURDAY MAY 2 in the Irvine Civic Center Plaza from 1 to 4 pm. It’s the ONLY event of its kind in all of Orange County!

Irvine Unified School District art specialist teachers have select one piece of art from every K – 6 classroom in the district to be showcased at Young Masters. It’s amazing to see the incredible creativity of these students – you just know many of them will have careers as professional artists.

This year our craft stations will include Clay Creations, decorating picture frames, painting mini-flower pots, and – a Selfie booth! Face painting and balloon creations will be back by popular demand.

The entertainment will feature the Irvine Elementary Honor Choir, the Irvine High Jazz Ensembles, and the Woodbridge High Percussion Ensemble (consistently ranked as one of the best high-school percussion groups in the nation). You’ll be amazed at how talented THESE kids are, too.

Join us on Saturday to help make our 25th Young Masters the best celebration of all! See you there!

Tuesday, April 21st is the iheartoc Giving Day! Will you join us?

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Help us join with other nonprofits to raise $2MM for charity in 30 hours on the “iheartoc Giving Day!”   Your online credit card donation of $25 or more will help us earn bonus funds and prizes to support our community programs. Starting at 6 am on Tuesday, April 21 through noon on Wednesday, April 22, you can donate to Assistance League of Irvine.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE NOW

This event is sponsored by the Orange County Community Foundation, an organization founded 25 years ago to provide grants and support to local non-profits.

We know our blog readers support us by shopping at our Thrift Store. If you’ve thought about contributing further to our programs but weren’t sure how to go about it, this is your opportunity. All the funds we raise will go right back into our own community here in Irvine, and we’ll make the most of every dollar!

(And once the 30 hours of online giving are over, be sure to stop by our Thrift Shop to check out our new spring merchandise!)

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The ‘Gogo Grandmothers’ Fashion Show is coming. Save the date!

ECD_OVC_GogosWe all watched the Oscars a couple of weeks ago and swooned over the fabulous gowns.  With every TV host telling us who’s wearing what designer, the fashion show is a big part of Oscar night.  Today we’re going to tell you about a DIFFERENT kind of fashion show.  Instead of glittering couture gowns, this one features some outfits from our ALI Thrift Shop! And it’s for a charity called “Gogo Grandmothers,” which raises funds for grandmothers in Malawi, Africa, who are supporting the millions of orphans left by the AIDS epidemic.  These courageous “Gogos” (an African word for “grandmother”) are subsistence farmers in rural villages, who are struggling to keep their families together and raise the next generation.  The charity provides help with food, fertilizer and seed, and school fees and uniforms so children can attend school.

Fashion shows have long been popular fund-raising events, and we were thrilled that this group chose to select clothing from our Thrift Shop.  It’s another example of how your donations to ALI go on to help others – in this case Gogos who live far away from Irvine, but share our same goals for our children.  By the way, the Gogo Grandmothers charity began here in Irvine in 2005 at Mariners Church, and now has spread throughout the world.  As  you might expect, most of the members are grandmothers themselves!

If you’d like to see how to put together fashionable, creative outfits without using a Hollywood stylist, plus support a good cause, the fashion show will be Saturday, March 14 from 2 pm to 4 pm at Mariner’s Church in Irvine.  There’s a $10 suggested donation.  All the fashions came from thrift shops, and the models will tell you where they found them! You can contact Suzie Hamilton at qsuzie@yahoo.com for more information.

ALI RECEIVES AWARD AT CITY HALL

041605810456467_10151867185532255_4859917203299874926_nAssistance League of Irvine was honored on May 31st by the Irvine Prevention Coalition and Irvine Community Drug Prevention. We were one of three groups and 15 individuals receiving awards at City Hall for outstanding work in support of Irvine youth.

ALI was nominated by Susan Holt, a school social worker who coordinates the Irvine Family Resource Program. In her nomination, Susan wrote: “The Assistance League has provided basic needs support through their Operation School Bell Program for decades, assisting low income students to be ready to learn by providing backpacks, school supplies and clothing to needy families in IUSD. Over the last few years, they have gone above and beyond OSB by making additional funds available to help some of our especially challenged K-12 students with graduation costs, bus passes to get to school, additional clothing and gift cards for extra school supplies. For these students, even getting to school can be a challenge. The help provided by AL funds helps them feel more prepared and ready to move forward with their education. It is hard to describe what a difference these supports make for homeless kids who may also be dealing with extreme family problems and financial pressures, personal challenges, multiple moves, and housing and food insecurity.”

The Irvine Prevention Coalition was formed in 1995 to bring together resources and services to support children, youth, and families. Today there are over 60 community partners participating in the coalition. Their mission is to support a safe and caring community by working together to provide prevention strategies and coordinated services designed to reduce substance abuse, violence and related problems among our youth.   Preventive strategies take many forms – education about drug and alcohol abuse, encouragement of healthy lifestyles, and giving young people the tools to be successful in school and life without drugs.

We are honored to be recognized for Operation School Bell. But we couldn’t provide everything we give the kids through OSB without the continued support of our thrift store shoppers and donors! Thank you!

FATHER’S DAY AT THE THRIFT SHOP

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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!

The amazing donors of Team Stone Creek

donation-pick-upWe have thrift shop donors . . . and then we have thrift shop donors. Today we want to tell you about some truly amazing donors! They are called Team Stone Creek, and they’re a student service club of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders at Stone Creek Elementary School in Woodbridge.

At the beginning of the school year, the kids, along with their faculty advisors Mike Clarke, John Hernandez, and Shelley Nishikawa, brainstormed suggestions for service projects. They came up with the idea of a clothing drive to benefit the ALI thrift shop, since they thought most families have old clothing they’d be happy to donate to a good cause. Stone Creek School has a special fondness for the Assistance League of Irvine, since Susan Mehrtens, a long-time ALI member (and incoming chapter president for 2014-15) was the school’s principal from 1998 to 2006. The students felt our thrift shop would be a worthy recipient for their donations.

The 4th graders created a flyer and sent out an e-mail blast to the community, while the 5th graders made posters advertising the event. The 6th grade was in charge of picking up the donations. The clothing drive was a huge success – they collected almost 60 bags of clothing for ALI!  

These amazing kids also held a food drive at Thanksgiving to benefit Families Forward, and sponsored a book drive last month. Their efforts are one of the reasons Stone Creek was recently ranked as the fourth-best elementary school in Orange County (out of 371 schools) by the Orange County Register.

With students like these, we know the future of Irvine is in good hands. Thank you, Stone Creek Elementary School!