You never know!

I’ve been watching that TV series “The Crown,” about the young Queen Elizabeth II in the early days of her reign. (And it’s a relief to watch a TV show about a royal family where you don’t have to worry if the main character will be killed off before the end of the episode.). The real Queen Elizabeth is 91 now, and to most of us it seems that she’s always been a kindly elderly woman with a big purse, a hat, and her pet corgis. As we tend to do when considering our own elderly relatives, we forget that she was once an eager young woman, full of curiosity about the world and finding her place in life.

I’ve concluded that the young Elizabeth would have felt right at home in our thrift shop. Obviously, she would never have done her own shopping, or have had to count her pennies and shillings. But she grew up in the years of the Great Depression and World War II, when shortages, rationing, and making do with less were part of daily life.   She was a Girl Guide (the British version of the Girl Scouts), whose promise includes the words “to be of service to my community.” At 18, like other women of her generation giving to the war effort, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary of the British Army and trained to be a mechanic. She would have completely sympathized with ALI’s mission to to support needy families in our own community. And had she been a non-royal ordinary British housewife, she would have been thrilled at the bargains in our shop!

In real life, you’re not going to meet Queen Elizabeth in our thrift shop – but you’ll meet many women (and men) who share her devotion to their community. You’ll meet other shoppers who may not have struggled through World War II, but who understand the value of quality merchandise at an affordable price. And you can put away the money you save for a supply of popcorn for Season 2 of “The Crown!”

Small Business Saturday is Coming!

SAVE THE DATE FOR SOME…

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Mark this date on your calendar! Saturday, November 29 (that’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving) is Small Business Saturday. It’s going to be a fantastic day at the ALI Thrift Shop, and you won’t want to miss out. This special once-a-year event will feature:

– Prices so low, no layaway plan is needed!

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– Free giveaways to adult shoppers through random drawings – no purchase required! We’ll have lots of great prizes, including Starbucks gift items from the Starbucks at Alton Square, and gourmet sauces from Sola Jams.

– Free face-painting & balloon animals for kids (parent must be present) by our  Assisteen volunteers, from 1 pm to 3 pm.

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  – Our popular Mystery Discount off your entire bill! Pick a token from the Mystery Discount Jar after your items are totaled at the register. Whatever number you pick, we’ll give you that percentage off your entire purchase.

– Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 as a way to draw attention to Main Street businesses. These businesses create jobs and tie the community together. They’re staffed (like our thrift shop) by your friends and neighbors. And they’re often the first to respond when there’s a need for help in the community, because they’re part of its daily life.You’ll have Black Friday to visit the national chain stores.

Save Small Business Saturday for the ALI thrift shop! You will be dancing down the aisles happy!

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Welcome to the ALI Superhero Universe!

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You’ve heard of the Marvel Superhero Universe? Welcome to the ALI Superhero Universe!

Just like the Marvel Universe, the ALI Universe is filled with superheroes in disguise. Most of the time, these people lead ordinary lives, just like you and me. They walk their dogs. They shop at Trader Joe’s. They post pictures of their vacations on Facebook.

But several times a month, their cell phones ping with the special “ALI Superheroes” signal. Answering the call, they shed their normal identities to become – ALI volunteers! With no special powers except for their huge hearts, they enter the secret lair known as the ALI Community Outreach Center/Thrift Shop, and from there go forth to help their neighbors in need.

The best thing about the ALI Superheroes Universe is – anyone can be a part of it! No radioactive spiders, genetic mutations, or alien microchips are necessary. All you need is the desire to make a difference in the lives of those in our community who need a helping hand.

AND – unlike the Marvel Universe – there’s no limit to the number of superheroes! VOLUNTEERS WANTED – NO SPECIAL POWERS REQUIRED.

(Watch for ALI’s upcoming ad campaign, featuring some of our superheroes in these great costumes, which were designed by Stephanie Lee. Stephanie is a former intern at the ALI thrift shop who is attending design school, and often contributes fashion ideas to our blog.)