Earlier this year, I . It's a community-wide effort to make a difference in various ways, including material donations, service projects and health/job fairs.
Well, Sharefest has come, though isn't entirely gone. A new partnership with Lowe's Heroes Program and an upcoming Emergency Response course will keep the spirit of volunteerism alive and well in New Lenox.
Once again I was privileged to be a part of the effort. I worked on an individual service project for a private homeowner last year, but this time around I participated with the . Assisting with the blood drive, CERT members were also responsible for receiving electronic recyclables; this is where I put in several hours.
While I was there, several larger TVs were dropped off, many more computers and innumerable odds and ends from printers to old handheld games, and from cellphones (I grabbed those to pass along to an organization that provides them to victims of domestic violence) to more cordless phones for the home than even my wife could ever wear out. At the end of the day, the total “haul” was 16,000 pounds that was hauled away in at least seven over-flowing pick-up truck loads.
This is just one of many ways that CERT has been serving the community. In addition to being on constant ready to help the local and with any natural or man-made disaster, the New Lenox CERT team has also been helping at the Triple Play concerts, a number of charity runs and the Proud American Days—and that is just this year and just off the top of my head.
Still Time to Help
As much fun as I had working with my CERT teammates, there was something about working directly for one particular homeowner that I missed. Luckily, I will have that chance still this year. With 20 separate service projects of various sizes, the work continues beyond the originally scheduled Sept. 10 date.
On Saturday, Sept. 24, there will be another service project day in conjunction with the . ShareFest has been selected as part of Lowe's "Heroes Program," which means that in addition to getting employee volunteers, Lowe's will also be donating a variety of materials for that day's projects.
All that's left is to take the opportunity to help the community. And, trust me, as cliché as it sounds, you end up helping yourself.
Community members interested in helping that day with yard work, painting or any other home maintenance projects are encouraged to contact ShareFest director Gary Cheney at 815-717-2614, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.sharefestnewlenox.com.