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Tri-Cities churches combine efforts for ShareFest

In 2009, 32 TriCities churches are joining together for ShareFest Workday on Saturday, March 21, to show, in a tangible way, that they care for the community. 

ShareFest includes area churches, working together ecumenically each year to cleanup yards and homes of seniors and disabled people; to collect food for the Tri-City Food Bank, the Columbia Basin Veterans Coalition and the Tri-City Union Gospel Mission; to plant and clean up in many and common areas like streets and streams; to donate to blood drives, and to share in a combined prayer service.

In 2008, 2,200 volunteers from 30 churches worked in 173 ShareFest projects.  They donated 2,700 pounds of food and $54,000 to local agencies. 

Over four years, 8,600 volunteers have given an average of six hours of time at more than $19 an hour, contributing about $1 million to the community:  saving about 1,740 lives with blood donations, collecting nine tons of food, donating $168,000 to local agencies for services including health care, domestic violence response, crisis nursery, shelter, drug treatment, Young Life, and Boys and Girls Clubs.

ShareFest began among a small group of pastors in Central Arkansas.  They wanted to find a way for the church to demonstrate with their actions what they declare with their words.

The idea is to prove, serve, give and love, to put flesh on the Word of God, so it is tangible, observable and undeniable, said organizers.

Participating churches include Assembly of God, Baptist, Christian Reformed, Church of God, non-denominational, inter-denominational, Lutheran, United Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian and Seventh -Day Adventist churches in Benton City, Kennewick, Pasco and Richland.

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