February 14th is around the corner. Shop with us!

valentines-day-2014-messages-for-friend

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the greeting card aisle, the calendar strikes again. It’s Valentine’s Day! Well, not quite, but it’s on the way.

Now we know all of you headed over to the cell phone store at the end of December so you could trade in your phone before the free upgrade expired. We also know that 97% of you have yet to download the instruction manual for your new phone, and thus have NO IDEA how to program a reminder to buy a Valentine gift for your significant other into your phone.

You have two options before February 14:

– Download the manual, which will appear in teeny tiny print on your cell phone screen. Since you can only read one paragraph at a time when you enlarge the text enough to be visible, it’ll take you 5,294 hours to go through it.

– Go to the Assistance League of Irvine’s Thrift Shop RIGHT NOW and pick out all your Valentine gifts from our selection of incredible bargains. We have jewelry, crystal, china, silver, and picture frames. For the kids, we have a whole menagerie of Valentine-themed stuffed animals. We have the ever-popular DVDs, CDs, and books. And if a special Valentine’s Day dinner or party is in your future, we’ve got the clothes.

See how easy a holiday can be? Now pull out that new phone and start making Valentine’s Day plans!

Welcome to the ALI Superhero Universe!

Assistance League of Irvine 0036-Edit2

 

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.)

Our newest gift idea!

iStock_000009799796MediumDid you know that the ALI thrift shop has GIFT CERTIFICATES? These come in $5 denominations and are a perfect solution for those situations where you need an affordable gift. Like these:

  1. You belong to a Bunco group where everyone has to bring a token door prize to award during the evening.
  2. Your 8th grade daughter wants to have a sleepover birthday party, and you need party favors.
  3. The kid down the street, who has been sleeping on his parents’ couch ever since he graduated from college five years ago, because he’s “writing a screenplay,” finally moves into an apartment, and you want to give him something to send him on his way. (You give his parents a bottle of champagne, however.)
  4. You’re the church youth group advisor/band mother/drill team chaperone or some other type of adult volunteer for a high-school group, and need a unisex-type gift or prize for the kids, that isn’t food.

See how easy this could be? Just visit the thrift shop and tell the cashier you want to buy some GIFT CERTIFICATES. (And while you’re at the shop, reward yourself with a little something, too!)

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!

Support Your Local Tax-Free Zone!

no sales taxYou’ve all heard of Duty-Free Shops.  Those shops at the airport, with security guards at the entrance and enticing displays of designer handbags, perfumes, and high-end liquor  in their windows.  You watch enviously as the lucky passengers with international tickets are shown into this magical place, where shoppers pay no sales tax or VAT because they’re about to leave the country. 

But you no longer need to gaze wistfully at the Duty-Free Shop and think about how wonderful it would be not to pay sales tax.  You can shop right here in Irvine – and not pay any sales tax! No saving for months to afford the plane ticket to Europe.  No two-hour drive to LAX during the morning rush hour so you can make it through airport security in time to board your afternoon flight.  No searching frantically for a spot in the long-term parking structure.  All this is behind you! Tax-free shopping awaits you!

At the ALI thrift shop, customers don’t pay sales tax.  That’s because we are a non-profit organization.  We’re able to obtain an exemption from sales tax by providing work training to a group of clients of Goodwill Industries.   These wonderful people work with us every week to help prepare our clothing donations to go out on the racks in the store. This improves their work skills and self-esteem, and we’re able to save our customers the sales tax.  It’s a win-win for everyone – and makes our thrift shop even more of a bargain for our customers!  

Small is Beautiful on Valentine’s Day

valentines day hearts picture (18)Valentine’s Day is a challenging holiday.  Up until the age of 12, it’s pretty straightforward – hearts, candy, handmade Valentine’s cards for all your relatives.  Then love strikes, and it’s never the same again.  From then on, Valentine’s Day gifts fall into two categories:  the Grand Romantic Gesture (a solitaire diamond in a heart-shaped box; Super Bowl tickets; dinner in Paris; a Ferrari), or the Small but Meaningful Gift.

The Small but Meaningful Gift is especially useful if you’ve just started dating someone, are hoping to start dating someone, want to communicate with your teenager, or made a New Year’s resolution with your spouse to save for a new refrigerator.

Since this is a blog about a thrift shop, we assume our readers are looking for ideas for Small but Meaningful gifts:

– DVDs! EVERYBODY has a favorite movie.  (Particularly good for someone-you-are-hoping-to-date, because it would be really inconsiderate of the recipient not to invite you over to watch the movie.)

– BOOKS! Everybody also has a favorite author, or at least a favorite genre.  Just don’t buy a cookbook for someone who’s dieting, or, because we obviously sell used books, a book that’s inscribed on the title page, “To Andrea – Happy Valentine’s Day 2003.”

– CUDDLY PETS! No, not a REAL pet, because this present is a surprise, and in spite of all those stories where the little girl or boy opens up a birthday box to find a puppy inside, a real pet should never, never, never be a surprise.  But cuddly stuffed animals are perfect.  They’re huggable, kissable, can go anywhere, and make people happy when they look at them.

– HOBBY AND CRAFT SUPPLIES! These can be anything from cooking gadgets to scrapbooking materials to sports equipment.   Your Valentine will be thrilled, even if you are privately thinking that no one needs 15 different cheese graters.

And remember to check out our special hand-made Valentine cards, created by our own members in our Thursday night “Crafters” group.  One of these unique cards would go perfectly with your Small but Meaningful gift.

 

 

 

HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA TUESDAY

Image

Black Friday! Cyber Monday! Everyone’s heard of those iconic holiday shopping days. Everyone’s probably SHOPPED on those days. And now – we’re adding a THIRD AMAZING SHOPPING DAY to this legendary group. Assistance League of Irvine presents: HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA TUESDAY!

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12 is the date of this spectacular event. All our 2013 holiday merchandise will be on display for the first time. We have so many holiday-themed items we open up our 2nd floor just for this sale. AND WE’LL BE OPEN FROM 10 AM TO 5:30 PM – extra time for you to shop!

HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA TUESDAY is open to anyone – no tickets, no reservations required. Just be at our door at 10 AM on the 12th, ’cause if you snooze, you lose!