Contact: Debbie DeGraw, Vice President Marketing & Development

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Community Threads Thrift Store will be managed by Home of the Sparrow

Community Threads, a nonprofit organization comprised of a 22,000 sq. ft. Resale store operation located at 250 West Rand Road in Arlington Heights announced on February 15th, that governance of the store will be assumed by Home of the Sparrow effective immediately.  Additionally, the Board of Community Threads awarded $230,000.00 in grants to three Chicagoland charities: St Peter Lutheran Church and School, The Orchard Network and Breakthrough Urban Ministries.  This brings the total awarded by Community Threads to 1.56 million in grants derived from the profits from Community Threads thrift store since its’ inception in 2011.

This transition of Community Threads from an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit to a nonprofit store now controlled and operated by the Home of the Sparrow is the result of an overture made by Community Threads to Home of the Sparrow in 2017 upon the impending retirement the store’s founder and director Elizabeth Maring this spring.  Ms. Maring started Community Threads as a nonprofit in 2011 to address the needs created by local poverty.  In 2014 the store relocated to the current, larger, Arlington Heights location.  Both she and the Community Threads board celebrate the move to place Community Threads under the umbrella of the Home of the Sparrow, Inc.

The mission of Community Threads is to be a source of funds to a network of charities that engage with the problems related to poverty.   Home of the Sparrow’s mission: To Provide Hope, Opportunity and Support that empowers women and children as they journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency – correlates perfectly with the mission of Community Threads.

Community Threads will maintain its 501(c) 3 status and Home of the Sparrow, Inc. will be the sole member.

  Elizabeth Maring, founder, commented, “Given that Community Threads has grown larger and produced more grant funds every year since it started, it made sense to now place it in the very competent hands of the Home of the Sparrow which has successfully run seven thrift stores for many years.  This collaboration, in which Home of the Sparrow takes care and control of Community Threads, means that Community Threads will be able to continue as a source of help and hope for homeless women and children past my retirement and the retirement of our board.  We are thrilled that our two wonderful organizations can come together for even more effectiveness.”   

Gene Salvadalena, Executive Director of Home of the Sparrow, stated:    “Elizabeth Maring, staff and volunteers at Community Threads, have done a truly exemplary job in creating a well-established and successful brand in the local and surrounding community whose proceeds have supported many worthwhile organizations throughout the years. Home of the Sparrow looks to continue to enhance that brand which will provide us with a strong connection to the local community and its resources will assist in supporting the mission of helping homeless women and their children get back on their feet, as well as assisting other worthwhile organizations in 2018.”

Community Threads is open Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday.    The store carries clothing, shoes, furniture, home goods, books, accessories and mattresses.  With an exception to mattresses, everything sold is donated.   Donations are accepted during store hours.   To learn more about Community Threads go to the website:   

Home of the Sparrow operates; A transitional Shelter, 25 Affordable Housing Units, a Rapid Re-Housing and Subsidized housing program, comprehensive case management, educational programming, and an outreach and prevention program. This past fiscal year Home of the Sparrow served 733 individuals from Northern Illinois.

In addition, Home of the Sparrow operated seven Sparrow’s Nest Thrift Store and Donation Centers located in Woodstock, McHenry, Cary, Algonquin, Palatine, Mundelein and Third Lake.  To find out more about Home of the Sparrow go to: