The Free Store is just that — a store where everything is absolutely free to take. It happens on an irregular basis (usually every few months or so) and travels to a variety of publicly accessible spots around Chicagoland.
Each store features stuff — everything from books and clothing to mechanical parts and cans of food — given to the organizers by people who didn’t need or want it anymore. Visitors can come and take anything they want. No reciprocation is expected. Visitors are also welcome to bring stuff to the store that they want to give away.
Thats it! No selling, no preaching, no jacket required. You can take as little or as much as you want. You can give as little or as much as you want.
Leftover stuff is saved for the next store installment. We also search for non-profits and organizations that take donations in each neighborhood that hosts. We have relationships with other local Free Stores and share our leftovers with them as w
The Free Store (that’s our name, and you can use it too) is an ongoing project and traveling spectacle coordinated by artists Salem Collo-Julin, Melinda Fries, Rob Kelly, and Zena Sakowski. Yes, we think it’s art, and no, it’s not charity. Ask us for details.
It’s our goal to host a free store in each neighborhood in the Chicagoland area, city and suburbs … someday. We’ve been at it for almost four years and we’re coming to you next.
GIVING & TAKING
If you have items that you would like to give to the store, you’re welcome to bring them.
Ways to participate — help us sort stuff when you get to the store, bring food to share, bring your vehicle and help people bring large items home.
Do you have a service to offer? Chair massage, performances, cupcakes, haircuts, and free advice have all been given away at The Free Store. Contact us if you would like to participate in this way.
Do you work with an organization that takes donated items, like a community center or shelter? You’re welcome to come to the store and load up!
You don’t have to bring anything to take anything.
We will take most anything, but please leave your animals, toxic waste, and illegal items at home.