Behind the scenes – what really happens in Santa’s workshop!

The ALI thrift shop is stocked with holiday merchandise – lights, ornaments, Hanukkah-themed items, tabletop linens and decor, and much, much, MUCH more!

Now if this were a movie, little singing birds and mice wearing adorable clothing would have miraculously appeared in the dead of night to put these fantastic holiday treasures on the shelves.

In real life, there’s no fairy godmother with a magic wand to make this happen.  It’s all done by – you guessed it – your devoted ALI volunteers!

We collected 200 plastic storage bins of holiday merchandise during the year (thanks to all you devoted supporters of ALI who donated your holiday decorations to us!) And every donation that went into those bins was inspected, cleaned, priced, and wrapped for protection before it went into storage.  Our three “holiday merchandising managers” – Libby, Robin, and Sharyl – did this ALL YEAR LONG.  You know how you feel after you finally put the decorations away? Imagine doing that week after week!

It’s taking ALL of our volunteers, working behind the scenes, to unwrap everything in those 200 bins and put it out in the shop for you.  So every Tuesday in November, we’ll empty a few more bins and have MORE HOLIDAY ITEMS on the shelves for you.  Come by on our special November Tuesday shopping days to see what’s new!

And if you see an ALI volunteer with a name tag that reads Libby, Robin, or Sharyl – give her a big “Thank you” for filling all those bins!

TIME TO PLAY IN A PARK

Since it’s July, you’re probably thinking about . . . a vacation. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, so what better place to vacation than a national park? (Yellowstone became a national park in 1872, but it wasn’t until 1916 that President Woodrow Wilson signed the bill that created the National Park Service.)

We’re lucky to have plenty of national parks right here in California! Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Death Valley, Lassen, Redwood, Pinnacles – you can have your choice of adventures.

You KNEW we were going to bring the ALI thrift shop into this somehow. Not only does shopping at the thrift store save you money (so you can afford to go on vacation), you may need new clothing (jeans for horseback riding?), inexpensive cookware you can take camping, or games and books for the car ride. And we always have photo frames and scrapbooks to keep the memories of your trip forever.

What are you waiting for? Summer is here! Hit the thrift shop – and then hit the road!

BOOK LOVERS – CHECK OUT OUR 2FOR1 DEAL AT THE THRIFT SHOP

If you love to read, we’ve got an offer you can’t refuse. We’re currently selling TWO books for ONE DOLLAR. Mix and match hardback and paperback books – any combination! But if you buy just ONE book, it’s still going to be one dollar. So you might as well buy TWO.

We have many, many books by popular authors that are practically new. At this price you can stock up, and you’ll be ready for a cozy night of reading when the next El Nino storm hits.

This offer doesn’t apply to any books with individual price tags (for example, some specialty books will have their own price sticker) or children’s books. Children’s books are $1 for hardbound books, 50 cents for paperbacks or soft-cover books, and 25 cents for mini-books.

We also carry recent magazines at just 50 cents each.

You can use our two-for-one-dollar price for anything else – mysteries, literature, biographies, history, cookbooks, how-to books, romance novels – such a deal!

We’re ALWAYS getting new book donations, so stop in often to see what’s new on our shelves. Just remember – TWO for ONE when you’re in our book section.

 

SAVE THE DATE! OUR HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA IS COMING!

Get out a big, bright marker and circle this date on your calendar – or pull out your Smartphone and program the REMINDER app with the loudest ringtone you can find:

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10! TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10! TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10!

That’s the date for our annual HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA at the ALI thrift shop, with special shopping hours from 10 AM TO 5:30 PM. 

All the HOLIDAY MERCHANDISE that we’ve been collecting all year will be out in the shop FOR THE FIRST TIME! You won’t believe the beautiful holiday decorations and gifts that will be for sale.  We have so much that our regular thrift shop space won’t hold it all – we have to use our upstairs too!

If you haven’t been to this event before, you’ll be overwhelmed by the quality and variety of our ornaments, home decor, holiday-themed gifts, cards, lights, and wrapping paper.  It’s the perfect opportunity to pick up stocking stuffers, small office gifts, or something new for your holiday tabletop.

PLAN TO COME EARLY for the best selection, because once it’s sold – it’s gone! See you on November 10th!

Support our book drive.

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

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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!

JUNE IS BUSTIN’ OUT ALL OVER

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By Marta Mahoney

To quote James Russell Lowell:

“And what is so rare as a day in June?

Then, if ever, come perfect days . . . “

Now, he didn’t write, “Perfect SHOPPING days,” but that’s what we have at the ALI thrift shop in June. We’ve COMPLETELY re-stocked the store with summer merchandise. Summer tops and pants for women, Hawaiian shirts for men, bathing suits and cover-ups, board shorts, regular shorts. Summer pool and barbecue accessories. Fun jewelry to go with all your summer outfits. Beach books for vacation reading.

Come in and check out our housewares, kids’ clothing, toys, and home decor. And don’t forget our home office/tech area if you’re trying to organize paperwork at the end of the school year.

We can’t really say that everything in the shop is new, because it’s “gently used.”   But it’s all NEW TO YOU in June. Time for some perfect shopping days!

Mothers Day, Graduation and more!

imageIf you haven’t been to the Thrift Shop lately, come in and see our revamped checkout area. This new setup gives us more working room at the cash registers, so we can ring up your purchases more quickly.

And that’s a GOOD thing because . . . May is super-sale month! We’ll have INCREDIBLE sales all month, because we’re counting down to May 30, when we take inventory. You’ll get amazing deals all month long, so “shop early and often.”

This is a GREAT time to look for Mother’s Day and graduation gifts, and, for those who really plan ahead, Father’s Day presents. With summer approaching, you’ll be going to a lot of parties and barbecues, so you can also pick up some inexpensive hostess gifts to keep on hand. Beach books, small toys for the kids to take on vacation – it’s all here.

Stop in soon to take advantage of our May sales! (And think of us when you’re doing your spring cleaning – we accept donations any time during the hours our Thrift Shop is open.)