Sharefest of free food, items is Aug. 6 in Wilmington

Sharefest, returns to the campus of Wilmington High School on Saturday, Aug. 6 at 9 a.m., and is an opportunity for about everyone in the Wilmington area.

Many families have need for help in meeting some of their daily needs. For those folks, Sharefest III is an opportunity to receive that help. If you are fortunate enough to not currently need help, then celebrate that fact by volunteering to help with the event.

There is no need to bring money, because nothing will be “For Sale”.

Think of it as a chance to go shopping --- without having to pay. There will be generous boxes of groceries given away --- along with gently used clothing from Our Caring Closet, disposable diapers, 35-40 bicycles, books from the Wilmington Library and more. Whitmore Ace Hardware will give away free smoke detectors (including batteries) to the first 300 households requesting them.

For the first time, through the efforts of the Wilmington Coalition for a Healthy Community, H.E.R.O.'s trailer will be available for parents and adults to experience. H.E.R.O. stands for Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization.

The trailer includes a mock-up of a teenager's bedroom and will be available as a teaching tool to show parents where to look for and how to detect their child's stash of drugs. Persons under 18 are not welcome to enter the exhibit. Even if you are confident that there is no drug problem in your home, please invest a few minutes of your time to make yourself a better-informed parent.

If you are trying to find a new job, Workforce Solutions will be there in case you need help with interviewing skills or to polish up your resume. Harbor Freight and Whitmore Ace Hardware Stores, will be there trying to increase their staffing levels, and Nexus Employment and ASG Staffing can share their information about other available jobs.

Bring your kids along for their free back-to-school haircuts. People from many of the local churches will be available to meet with anyone who wants to visit. Senior Services of Will County, W.I.C. (Women's Infants Children nutrition program), S.N.A.P., Salvation Army, and the Gideons are anxious to share what help they have available for you.

The Bag Lady Outreach program has provided giveaway items for the first 300 adult women who attend the festivities. Two members of the Joliet Slammers professional baseball team will be on hand to sign autographs. Free bottled water will be available to everyone who attends.

At 9 a.m., everyone entering the WHS campus will be handed a passport at the stop sign turning left off of Wildcat Drive. The passport is something that you should get stamped at each social service agency with whom you chat, so that you will be entered in a raffle for a new bicycle, food gift cards, and gas cards at the end of the day.

Once you turn left at that at that second stop sign, you'll quickly come upon another stop sign, and if you have handicapped plates or hangar and have someone inside the vehicle who has a handicap, turn right at the STOP sign and park in the school's circle drive.

If you don't qualify for handicapped parking, proceed straight and park in one of the available spots on the right. Do not park on the road that leads to the rear of the high school. That road needs to stay unobstructed for volunteer traffic and for persons exiting to get in line on the service road after 11 a.m.

When the food line opens promptly at 11:00, that traffic will wind westerly along the service road toward Stevens Intermediate School. Just past the large playground/right field corner of the softball diamond, the food traffic line will split into two identical food lines, and volunteers will load the free, pre-boxed groceries into your car.

Some of the food will be frozen or perishable, so it would be wise to bring a cooler with you from home. Once you have your food, please exit the school property at the Kankakee Street or Joliet access points.

If you are a volunteer in the food distribution system, you should enter the northerly of the two Kankakee Street access points and park in the SIS lot.

Please arrive between 10:30 and 10:45. Let's have a great day!

(Note: The non-perishable food will be boxed Thursday evening at Stevens Intermediate School from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. If you can help, just show up, park out front, and walk around back to the gymnasium door.)