I joined Assistance League of Irvine in 2009.
There were two reasons I chose ALI. The first was because of its size. It wasn't too big, or too small, it was just right for making some new friends and "dabbling" in some volunteer work. The second reason was because I wanted to invest my time in youth related philanthropies, and ALI's commitment to the Irvine's youth made it a perfect fit.
I have absolutely loved my time at ALI. My "dabbling" mindset soon changed as I began to feel a strong commitment to all the opportunities the League offered. I found myself in a vibrant environment with progressive thinking individuals wanting to make a difference in their community.
It was fabulous!
Did I make new friends? Check!
I'm constantly in awe of my fellow volunteers, inspired by their work ethic and their ability to have fun while working hard. Teamwork and camaraderie is the name of the game at ALI, and great things have transpired because of this philosophy.
Am I putting my time and efforts towards Irvine's youth? - Absolutely!
The Thrift Shop revenue allows the Operation School Bell Philanthropy to thrive. Providing school clothing, school supplies, hygiene kits and books to low income and at risk children has benefitted thousands of children in our community.
The Young Masters Event each year promotes Art and Culture for K - 8 children in our community and is strongly aligned with the League's spirit of caring for all aspects relating to children's needs.
Besides the pleasure I get from working with the Operation School Bell and Young Masters programs, I thoroughly enjoy working in the Thrift and Gift Shop, interacting with my peers and customers.
I also enjoy working in the Donations Receiving and Merchandising Department which is masterfully run by a well trained management team. The Thrift Shop has an outstanding reputation for good quality, used merchandise at rock bottom prices. The Shop is well organized and has a "boutique" feel which keeps our customers coming back for more.
ALI is a gem of an organization and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it as a volunteer destination.
Review from Guidestar
I've been involved with Assistance League of Irvine since 2007. This is a fantastic group. What I like best about ALI as a charity is that it's all volunteer - no paid staff - and all the money raised goes directly to support programs in our own community. I've contributed time and money to many national charities over the years, but always felt like I was just a drop in the bucket. At ALI I feel like I'm really making a difference in the lives of people I live with.
Another thing I like about ALI is that there's a variety of philanthropic programs. Their two signature programs are Operation School Bell, which provides school clothing and supplies to needy children, and Young Masters, a festival-type event that showcases art from every elementary school in Irvine while offering a free day of arts and crafts for the public. There are a number of other philanthropies and all of these are supported by ALI's thrift shop. Everyone works at the thrift shop and does some work on OSB and Young Masters, but thee is such a variety of programs you can find one that especially appeals to you.
The best thing about this group, to me, is the camaraderie. One reason I wanted to get involved in volunteer work was to meet people outside of my work circle, and I've met so many interesting, talented, fun members who share my interests and my commitment to helping others. Everyone works hard, and there's a real sense of shared bonding in this group, like a family. Everyone is very friendly and new members are welcomed There are a lot of fun social outings along with the work!
Review from Guidestar