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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

SEG to raise money with weekend yard sale

This weekend, the Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG) is offering a way to help the community and help yourself: a fundraiser garage sale with proceeds going towards the organization. The sale will take place at 1204 Summer Street from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“We’re selling furniture, clothes, toys, knick-knacks and probably some small appliances,” said SEG leader Jenn Latham. Apart from buying anything you could want from a garage sale, you can know that every dollar you spend will benefit Grinnell residents in times of crisis.

The SEG, which grew from a Grinnell College microfinance club into a community-led nonprofit, is focused on helping Grinnell residents access funds to deal with emergencies in a way that will not cause them lasting financial damage.

“We do small no-interest loans for people who typically would have to pay really high interest rates if they used a credit card or a payday loan where you borrow against your paycheck,” Latham said. “A lot of people do that because they’re desperate, but it ends up putting them in a situation where they can’t get out of debt.”

Loans provided by the SEG often go into paying for transportation when someone’s car breaks down, or emergency funding for illnesses. The SEG also helps people when they need to move to a new house.

“In the rental market, before you move you usually need to pay two months’ rent and sometimes a security deposit,” Latham said. “I see a lot of people who are looking for a way to move who don’t have that type money in savings.” The SEG makes it possible for these people to relocate if they need to.

Latham also is eager to point out how much even small contributions can help. “100 percent of all donations go straight into loans because everyone at the organization is a volunteer, and every little bit counts. I’ve given a loan for as little as 94 dollars.” The money that the SEG collects is loaned out as much as possible, with new loans being made as soon as previous ones are paid back. Every contribution has the potential to help countless local families deal with financial emergencies.

You do not need to make purchases at the garage sale to help the SEG this weekend either. Students can donate unwanted but sellable items to the garage sale by bringing them to 1204 Summer Street before Friday night. It is also possible to make monetary donations at the garage sale without buying anything. This weekend, take advantage of a great opportunity to make a real positive impact on the city of Grinnell (and your dorm room).

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