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.

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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!

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.