It’s ‘THAT’ week! Are you ready?

It’s time to put on your shopping shoes, pull out your map of the mall, and start counting down to November 24 and 25th. Yes, it’s THAT WEEK – Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! Bargains, sales, and merchandising mayhem!
 
And OF COURSE you have to make a stop at the ALI thrift store while you’re out and about on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday! On Black Friday, we’ll have our weekly specials, which are ALREADY way below anything you’ll pay at the mall. On Small Business Saturday, we have a FANTASTIC offer for you – 25% off your ENTIRE PURCHASE OVER $20 (with some exceptions for some of our special items).
 
No 3 am Doorbusters, but that means you can get up at a sensible hour and have a few leisurely cups of coffee before heading over to the thrift shop. We’ll be open our regular hours, 10 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, and 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday. And if you just can’t face shopping on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday, we’re open as usual on Wednesday the 23rd, the day before Thanksgiving, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Best wishes to our readers for a Happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends, from all of us here at the Assistance League of Irvine.

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WHAT WE’RE THANKFUL FOR

As Thanksgiving approaches, here’s the Assistance League of Irvine version of that holiday tradition where you go around the table and everyone names one thing they’re thankful for:

  • We’re thankful for the chance to live in Irvine, a safe and beautiful city in the best country in the world.
  • We’re thankful that we have the resources – time, health, and opportunity – to give back to our community.
  • We’re thankful for those who donate to our thrift shop. You care enough to make the trip over to our shop with the clothes and household items you no longer need, instead of tossing them in the dumpster.
  • We’re thankful for those of you who donate cash or personal services to us – these make a huge difference in our ability to fund our philanthropies.
  • We’re thankful for the teachers, school counselors, and school nurses who help direct families to our Operation School Bell and Scholarship programs.
  • We’re thankful for the help of Target North in the Irvine Marketplace, our partner store where our OSB clients shop for school clothing.
  • We’re thankful for the Irvine Unified School District art specialists and the student artists who make up our annual “Young Masters” exhibitors at City Hall each spring – so much talent in one city!
  • We’re thankful for our Assisteens, who are devoting time in middle school and high school to helping others, through a variety of activities.
  • And we’re thankful for all of you thrift shop customers (and blog readers!) – you’re our partners in this whole endeavor.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Assistance League of Irvine!

Black Friday at the Thrift Store

There were a lot of stories in the media this year about stores opening earlier than ever on Black Friday.  Many stories talked about increased security and safety training, as malls and merchants tried to keep their customers from injuring each other in their rush to buy.  These don’t sound like happy shoppers to us!

I worked at the thrift shop on Black Friday – and it was a delightful day! Our customers weren’t tired, frazzled, or desperate to get their hands on the early-bird special.  Many people told us they had no intention of going to the mall, because it was too crowded and exhausting to shop there. Instead, they came to the thrift shop where there was ample parking just a few steps from the door, they had plenty of time to browse for gifts for everyone on their list, and Assistance League volunteers would even help carry their packages to the car.  What better way to get in the holiday spirit?

Now I have to be honest, and admit there are things you won’t find at the thrift shop on Black Friday.  We won’t have a 50 inch flat screen TV (even if we had one, it would never fit in the shop); an iPad Air; or the hugging Elmo doll (but check back on that one in a couple of years).  For those, you’ll still have to go to the mall.  For almost everything else you need on Black Friday, or the other 25 shopping days until Christmas, there’s the thrift shop!

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Because of YOU!

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Thanksgiving is coming up, and this is the time when we give thanks for all the good things in our lives – our families, our friends, our neighbors, and the Costco pie section. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to give a special thanks  to: OUR THRIFT SHOP DONORS

Without our generous donors, we couldn’t run our thrift shop.  ALL the income from the thrift shop supports our philanthropic programs in Irvine, so everything that’s donated directly benefits our community.

Our donors are special people, because donating to the thrift shop takes a lot of steps.  Here’s what happens when you donate.  First, you sort through all the clothes in your closet that you haven’t worn in years.  Then you  try them all on, just to be absolutely sure there’s no possibility that you’ll ever fit into them again.  You empty out your car.  You put your donations in the car.   (OR, you decide to keep them and have to figure out how to fit them back into the closet.)   You drive to the thrift shop.  You unload the car.  You carry your donations into the shop.  You’re welcomed by ALI volunteers who are so excited to see what you’ve brought in, you start to reconsider… but you don’t, because you know you’re supporting people in our community who need a helping hand.

THANK YOU to all the donors  – because your willingness to take the extra time and effort to support our thrift store is the foundation for everything we do.

Add high-end sparkle to your holiday table for pennies

Remember the china department at Bullock’s? The crystal displays at Robinson’s? The sterling silver serving trays at Bullocks Wilshire?

I spent hours in these department stores when I was growing up, looking at china and crystal patterns, especially the holiday dishes.  My ambition was to have a set of china for each holiday  – Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving!

Most of the year, I’m content with my casual microwave-safe dishes.  But when the holiday season comes, I want something more – the tradition, the elegance, the sparkle of fine china, crystal, and silver.  And where can we find these things, now that we no longer have Bullock’s and Robinson’s?

The Assistance League of Irvine thrift shop! We always have a selection of crystal and glassware, silver, and china.  Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking for something to fill in with what you already have, we have lovely pieces that would be perfect for your holiday table.  Especially if you need serving dishes, platters, vases, or candlesticks, the thrift shop is the place to look.

We, regretfully, don’t have a tea room like Bullock’s Wilshire did, but you’ll probably save enough shopping with us to go out to dinner somewhere else.

Lorren-Home-Trends-RCR-Laurus-Crystal-Vase-11*Check out tips on how to clean your crystal:

  • It’s important to always use just-warm water, not hot. And never rinse with cold water. Extreme temperatures can cause cracks or breakage.
  • Instead of using the vinegar and water rinse solution above, you can also try a splash or two of ammonia in warm water. This also helps fight cloudiness and spotting on your glassware.
  • Only wash crystal and delicate glass that is first at room temperature and don’t fill with liquid or beverages until the pieces have returned to room temperature after cleaning.
  • Allowing to air dry encourages calcium, mineral deposits and hard water buildup that can eventually cause the glass to become cloudy. Always dry with a soft, clean cloth.