Get your FALL fix at the ALI thrift shop!

Fall

Ah, the beauty of fall – red and gold leaves on the trees, the scent of wood smoke in the air, wrapping yourself in a sweater on chilly afternoons, bundling up in a blanket at football games – uh, no. Not in southern California (except maybe for the smoke in the air, and that’s another story).   But for all of you who gaze yearningly at pictures of fall color in the Maine woods – help is on the way! You can get your “FALL FIX” starting on SUPER TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, at the ALI thrift shop!

SUPER TUESDAY is an EXTRA SHOPPING DAY to welcome the fall season. The store will be COMPLETELY RESTOCKED with fall fashions, accessories, and decor to showcase our fantastic selection of fall merchandise. The thrift shop will be open from 10 am to 3 pm, so come early for the best selection.

You’ll find an abundance of exciting, cooler-weather adults’ and children’s clothing in muted colors and contemporary fabrics. Pull your fall outfits together from a huge collection of fashion-forward accessories such as scarves, hats, purses, shoes and jewelry. Bring fall into your home with seasonally-themed decor and tableware, including several sets of beautiful dishes that would be perfect for entertaining!

Once you’ve been to the thrift shop on SUPER TUESDAY, you’ll be ready to sit by the fire with some hot apple cider while the wind howls outside – well, that part might have to wait a couple of months. But you’ll be ready when the time comes!

How to beat the high cost of college

college

By Marta Mahoney

We knew we’d pull you in with that headline, readers. As anyone who’s sent a kid to college knows, the big-ticket items – tuition, books, room and board – are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s all those little things that add up – like outfitting a dorm room or apartment.

‘College dorm room’ seems to have become a completely new merchandise category at the major department stores, with good reason. In 2012, Bloomberg finance estimated the average cost of setting up a dorm room was approximately $900 (in 2012!). And if your student is moving into an apartment, the cost will be even higher.

This is where shopping at the ALI thrift store can really help you stretch your dollars. It’s also a good way to show your student how to work within a budget. Give them a set amount to cover their dorm or apartment furnishings. Let them figure out what items they want to buy new (the bed-in-a-bag in the latest trendy color) and which ones they could look for at the thrift shop (cookware, a bath mat, a popcorn popper). Chances are they’ll end up with everything they wanted for their dorm room, with money left over for some of those OTHER miscellaneous expenses of college life.

Support our book drive.

“There is more treasure in books, than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” -Walt Disney

Processed with Rookie

Nothing opens the world to a child like books and the love of reading.  Studies have shown that having books in the home plays an enormous part in school success.  At Assistance League of Irvine, we’re all about making sure kids have a level playing field for success in school – and that includes books of their own.

We give each Operation School Bell student an age-appropriate book of their choice, plus a dictionary for each family.  And where do these books come from? From YOU, our generous donors and thrift shop patrons!

Each year we hold an annual Book Drive to collect new and gently-used books for these students.   The Irvine year-round schools start up in August, so our Book Drive is starting RIGHT NOW!

We supported over 800 students last year through Operation School Bell – so as you can see, we need LOTS of books! We’re particularly looking for books on the middle school or high school required reading lists.  You can drop off your book drive donations at the thrift shop during any time than we are open.

Help us encourage the love of reading in this new generation through our book drive.  And many, many thanks to ALL OF YOU who make it happen!

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

SAVE THESE DATES FOR “I HEART OC GIVING DAY” – “THIRTY HOURS TO GIVE WHERE YOUR HEART LIVES”

 

 

Set your alarm for 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 21. That’s the start of the Orange County Community Foundation’s “Day of Giving” for 2015. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $2MM in 30 hours (6 :00 a.m. on April 21 to noon on April 22) for local non-profits who are participating in this event. Assistance League of Irvine is proud to be one of the organizations in Orange County participating in this effort. If you’re not familiar with the OCCF, this foundation has been actively working in Orange County for the past 25 years and has awarded over $257MM to local charities to help meet the needs of our county.

ALI will not only have the benefit of your donations made to us in connection with the Day of Giving – we’ll be eligible for “bonus prizes” to be awarded by the Foundation! There are 78 available cash prizes in categories from how much money you raise as a percent of total donations, to the non-profit with the most “likes,” comments, or retweets on social media. Of course we’d LOVE to win one of these prizes!

How to donate? We’ll have a link to the “Day of Giving” website on our own website, Facebook page, and this blog starting April 13. All you’ll have to do is CLICK HERE – follow and watch for updates!

Please SHARE the news about “I Heart OC Giving Day” with your friends and neighbors. This is an event that impacts all of Orange County, not just Irvine. The more people who participate and donate during this 30 hours, the more everyone benefits. Spread the word, and open your heart and your wallet on April 21.

FullSizeRender

KEEP THE SPARK ALIVE!

shutterstock_144977689

For the past two months, one of the top books on the Los Angeles Times’ best-seller list has been “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” by Marie Kondo. Judging by the book’s sales, there are a LOT of us out there who want to change our lives, or, at least, to straighten up our houses.

Now I don’t want to give away all the details of Ms. Kondo’s de-cluttering strategy (if you want the whole scoop, you need to buy her book). I WILL tell you that one of the steps is to discard anything that doesn’t make you feel “a spark of joy.” Maybe you felt a spark of joy when you bought that sweater. Maybe you felt a spark of joy the first ten times you wore it. But if you don’t feel a spark of joy right here, right now, it needs to go.

That doesn’t mean the sweater can’t bring a spark of joy to someone else! If you donate all the things you discard out of your life (after you read the book) to the ALI Thrift Shop, the spark of joy will keep burning. In fact, one of the things that continually amazes us is how often we put an item out on the shop floor and a customer exclaims, “This is just what I’ve been looking for!”

So as you’re tidying up, think of the Thrift Shop. We accept donations during any hours the Shop is open. If you have a large donation (a car full of boxes, for instance), drive around to our rear door and ring the bell. Our volunteers will happily accept your donations and give you a receipt.

And then, of course, you may see something ELSE at the Thrift Shop that brings you . . . a NEW spark of joy!

Small Business Saturday is Coming!

SAVE THE DATE FOR SOME…

2

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!

tumblr_mnu3opVxAm1s7y8efo1_500

– 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.

excited-baby

  – 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!

3

OUR OWN BLUE-LIGHT SPECIALS!

abstract-wallpapers-abstract-blue-lights-wallpaper-37323Author Marta Mahoney,  Assistance League of Irvine Member

No, we’re not K-Mart – but if any of the following apply on the day you’re shopping, you’ll get a special discount off your purchase!

  1. It’s your BIRTHDAY! Join our BIRTHDAY CLUB, and you’ll receive an in-store coupon good for 15% off your entire purchase, which can be used on any one day of your birthday month! You can sign up at the thrift store during regular business hours – just ask one of the ALI volunteers. Be sure to sign up early as it takes us about a month to process your membership.
  2. You’re a SENIOR CITIZEN! Seniors age 65 and over get a discount of 25% on their total purchase, on the 3rd Thursday of every month! All you need to do is shop on the 3rd Thursday and show us your I.D.
  3. You’re shopping on ANY THURSDAY! Every Thursday is “Mystery Discount” day! After your purchases are totaled, you can pick a token from our “Mystery Discount” cup. Whatever is on your token – 10%, 25%, etc. – is taken off your bill! (This can’t be combined with the “Senior discount,” however – it’s one or the other.)
  4. You follow us on YELP, using the YELP app on your smartphone. You can receive a $2 coupon to use on any minimum purchase of $5 or more, when you “check in” to our thrift shop with the YELP app.   (This app searches for businesses in the area based on your location, and tracks and posts your activity to a social media site of your choosing, such as Facebook or Twitter.)

YELP will then send you an electronic coupon! The coupon is delivered to your smartphone immediately and can either be used on the same day, or saved for your next trip to the thrift shop. But it can’t be transferred, emailed or re-used – once it’s opened, it disappears!

YELP being YELP, you’ll also be encouraged to post a review about your shopping experience at the thrift store. We read all our reviews on YELP and take the comments very seriously. If you do take advantage of this coupon, we welcome your feedback on YELP!

With all these SPECIAL DISCOUNTS, shoppers, (not to mention our regular weekly sales), there’s NO EXCUSE not to shop at the ALI thrift store!

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.)