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Sharefest coming to New Lenox in September

Michelle Mullins | 9/9/2016, midnight
The official kickoff starts with Recyclepalooza on Sept. 10 followed by a job fair Sept. 15 and the ShareFest Main ...
ShareFest in New Lenox. ShareFest

Celebrating its 10th season, ShareFest – an annual festival of sharing and caring – is expected to serve thousands of families in New Lenox and Will County.

Truckloads of food and clothes, free medical and legal advice, thousands of books and toys, a job resource fair and collections for troops overseas are among the many items and services that will donated during this month’s events in New Lenox.

On Sept. 10, ShareFest features Recyclepalooza, in which residents can recycle electronics, household hazardous waste, scrap metal, wood, plastic and American flags for proper disposal. Residents can also donate food, clothing, home goods and baby and pet supplies that will be given away at the ShareFest Main Event. Recyclepalooza will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Spencer Trail School parking lot, 1701 S. Spencer Road.

On Sept. 15, ShareFest will host a Job and Resource Fair from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at New Life Church, 500 S. Gougar Road.

Potential job-seekers can receive free career clothing and can speak to more than 50 local employers who are looking to hire.

On Sept. 17 – ShareFest’s Main Event – families in need can receive donated clothing, books or food from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Spencer School Campus, 1711 S. Spencer Road.

The event is expected to bring in at least one or two semi-trucks full of gently used clothing, food and between 20,000 and 30,000 donated books to exchange, said Gary Cheney, one of the event’s founders.

Participants can bring in and receive toys and new or gently used clothes, including dress clothes for work, for a free exchange.

A “Collections for Our Troops” drive will help put together care packages and letters of encouragement for soldiers overseas.

Local attorneys have donated their time to offer free legal services.

Area doctors and hospitals are offering free lectures and free health screenings, and area dentists are offering free exams for pre-school through high-school aged children.

Cache Creek Pets will accept donations of food, blankets and pet supplies, and they will also bring their pets out to help find them a home.

“We just love to serve the people,” Cheney said. “It’s about going out and loving your neighbor. All we want to do is serve and help.”

Cheney said hundreds of volunteers help make ShareFest possible every year. The event helps people not only in New Lenox but throughout Will County, he said with many people who have been helped by the ShareFest events paying it forward.

To volunteer, donate goods and services or check out what ShareFest has to offer, go to www.sharefestwillcounty.com or visit ShareFest on Facebook.