ALERT! ALERT! ALERT!

It seems like practically every night there’s a weather alert on the evening news for the midwest. Or the east coast. Or the central plains. Do the TV stations in all those states have weather alerts right now for California? “WEATHER ALERT IN IRVINE! TEMPERATURES IN THE HIGH 80S! ALARMING VIDEO SHOWS SHOPPERS FIGHTING OVER SHORTAGES OF SUNSCREEN!”

We’ll probably have plenty of weather alerts of our own as the year goes on. But what we do have is a CUTE CLOTHES ALERT! The ALI thrift shop is brimming with the cutest tops, pants, and jackets imaginable. Spring colors, spring fashions, spring textures – and because we’re in southern California (not those OTHER places), you can actually WEAR all these cute spring clothes RIGHT NOW!

There are NO weather alerts to stop you, so head over to the thrift shop and check out all the cute clothes that are waiting for you. (And if you’re THAT kind of person, take a picture of yourself sitting next to the flowers on your patio in your new outfit, and send it to all your relatives who are still dealing with winter weather.)

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ALI honored to receive $2,000 donation!

Assistance League of Irvine is honored to be the recipient of a Honda Corporation “Helpful After the Holidays” donation of $2,000 to help clothe Irvine’s children in need. The funds were used to purchase school clothing and supplies through AL Irvine’s Operation School Bell® program, which will serve nearly 800 income-qualified students this academic year.

Four Helpful Honda representatives joined AL Irvine volunteers Feb. 3 at Target North in Irvine for an Operation School Bell shopping event. Students, accompanied by their parents, selected school-appropriate clothing, shoes and a jacket. Students also received a backpack and a hygiene kit prepared by AL Irvine’s teen auxiliary, Assisteens.

“We were absolutely thrilled to receive the donation,” said Jill Housky, AL Irvine president. “Purchasing school clothing, including shoes and a jacket, averages $100 per child. The Honda donation will allow us to clothe even more students from low- and extremely-low income families living in Irvine.”

To learn more about our programs, please visit www.assistanceleague.org/irvine

Just announced! Assisteens hit a new goal!

By Carol McVeigh

Scissors cut, irons phft, machines hum.  And receiving blankets are sewn.

Every year Assisteens undertake this philanthropy – to sew and donate 100 receiving blankets to a local hospital – meeting as small groups several times in Assisteen family homes.

But this year they elected to use the Chapter House, promoting the fact that Assisteens are an auxiliary of ALIrvine; our Chapter House is theirs, too. Further, they elected to produce all blankets at one meeting, so they can gather as a group, and they can learn many skills needed to plan for, supply, manage, and operate a production line.

Assisteens purchased yards and yards of soft flannel, recruited 17 sewing machines (some really really old, some just old, some hardly used, some new) and 17 people to sew (six were Assisteens!).  They located irons and ironing boards, and recruited fabric measurers and cutters, ironers, and folders. They also devised a best “process flow” to efficiently produce a well-sewn, quality blanket.

On Sunday, October 15, at 3:00 the production line started with a goal to make 100 blankets in four hours.  Initially there were a few bottlenecks but quick analysis and rapid implementation of new process flows kept the line moving.   It was an excellent learning experience for Assisteens, and great fun for their parents and ALI members who participated.

The finished blankets – all 102 of them – were beautiful.   Into each carefully folded blanket, as the last process, an Assisteen tucked a note – “with love from Assisteens of Irvine.”

Are you intersted in learning more about this program? Click here or please contact (949) 798-5020.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and we know why!

The weather was so hot last week in Irvine, I think we’re going to have to change the old saying, “Never wear white after Labor Day” to “Never wear white after Thanksgiving.” Of course, there’s summer white (what you wear while you’re lounging around the pool) and winter white (what you wear while you’re lounging around the fireplace at the ski cabin). And winter white means snowflakes – sleigh bells – Christmas trees – Hanukkah presents – and the ALI thrift shop’s eagerly-awaited annual holiday spectacular!

Yes, it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” as the song goes, starting at the thrift shop on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8. Our 2017 holiday merchandise will be out in the shop that morning, and you won’t believe what absolutely beautiful things we have. Our donors went overboard this past year giving us gorgeous Christmas and Hanukkah items, along with fabulous winter clothes and ski jackets.

Whether you want to completely redo your home and your wardrobe for the holidays, or just add something new, you’ll find what you’re looking for at the thrift shop. Our doors open at 10 am on Wednesday 11/8, so be there early for the best selection! And we’ll be putting out new items every day, so stop by often!

Celebrate National Volunteer Week with ALI!

April 23 as the beginning of National Volunteer Week! Sponsored by Points of Light, National Volunteer Week was started in 1974 as a way to encourage volunteerism and recognize those who volunteer their time and efforts to make a better life for others.

At ALI, we volunteer 52 weeks a year, whether it’s by staffing our thrift shop, helping families purchase school clothing and supplies through Operation School Bell, interviewing applicants for our Irvine Valley College scholarships, or promoting artistic expression at our annual Young Masters Art Show.   We know that volunteering connects our community, and builds a support system for those who are struggling. And it often brings out untapped talents – how many times have we seen one of our members discover a passion for public relations or creatively arranging our store displays?

Many of you blog readers are also volunteers – at schools and youth organizations, environmental groups, at food banks and homeless shelters – the list is endless. We’d like to say “THANKS” to all our readers who volunteer in so many ways.   In today’s world it often seems that one individual’s effort can’t make a difference – but we’ve seen time and again at ALI, that it can.

If you’d like to learn more about National Volunteer Week, visit their website at www.pointsoflight.org.   And if you think you’d like to join us volunteering at ALI, go to visit ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF IRVINE.

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.

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