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August 26, 2011

By Jennifer Cassell

Common Roots Initiative raised more than $500 during its first fundraiser – an end-of-summer local garage sale. 

CRI, a 501(c)(3) incorporated nonprofit dedicated to providing scholarships to college-bound students and cash-strapped teachers in the suburban Cook County area, held the garage sale on August 13 and August 14, 2011, at the Oak Park home of executive board member Jonathan Bus.

“We had a great turnout at the sale,” Bus said. “The money raised will go a long way in helping us achieve our goals. I'm really excited to see where we go from here.”

Executive board members worked together to collect donated items from friends and family members, as well as bringing items from their homes to sell. The group sold a variety of household items, sporting goods, adults and children’s clothes, toys, jewelry, shoes, and electronics. Also, a few large items were sold online after the two-day garage sale.

“It was a great experience,” Bus said. “The CRI board really gelled as a team, which helped make the sale a success.”

The organization used a combination of e-mail marketing, online advertising, and word-of-mouth communication to attract shoppers. The goal of the garage sale was to build a base for the organization’s forthcoming fundraisers. “We accomplished our goal of raising a good amount of seed money for CRI,” Bus said.

CRI Executive Board President Soumya Rao stated that the board would always remember the support received from friends and family as their efforts helped CRI earn its first dollar.

“To me, the garage sale was a huge success because it showed each board member's commitment and dedication towards CRI's mission,” she added.

For more information about CRI or its upcoming fundraisers, please e-mail