Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project in ninth year
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
On Sunday, August 5, approximately 80 volunteers ranging from student age though older adults joined forces at Big Walnut Friends Who Share’s Annual Brett’s Book Bag Stuffing at Condit Presbyterian Church. In the church basement volunteers stuffed student book bags with school supplies needed for the approaching school year as part of the Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project, a Big Walnut Friends Who Share Back-To-School Project that furnishes school supplies to Big Walnut families in need.
The Back To School Project has been in existence for as long as Friends Who Share has been around. The Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project was started by Mark and Gloria Stelzer. The Stelzers are Genoa Township residents who lost their son Brett to an accident on Valentine’s Day, 2004. Brett would have been a member of the Big Walnut High School Class of 2007.
Each individual book bag was stuffed for a specific student using that student’s school supply requirement list. Once the bags were stuffed with the necessary supplies, they were transported to the Big Walnut Friends Who Share Store at 216 High Street, Sunbury, where families in need that requested the bags pick them up.
“We are very thankful to have this many people give up their time on a Sunday evening to make sure our Big Walnut students had stuffed book bags for their upcoming school year,” said Gloria Stelzer. “This was the ninth year we have been able to provide Book Bags in Brett’s memory to our Big Walnut Students.”
Stelzer said the Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project began with a generous donation from the parents of one of Brett’s friends, and continues today because of freely offered donations in Brett’s memory.
“We’re hopeful the Book Bag Project will be able to continue again next year and we hope our volunteers will remain a part of this community outreach that Condit Presbyterian Church leads,” Stelzer said. “The need, unfortunately, remains strong in our community. We trust with the community’s continued support we can provide our students with some assistance with school supplies and book bags for as long as the need exists. Simple things that we often take for granted, can make a child smile.”
On-going contributions for school supplies and the book bag purchase can be made in Brett’s memory. Anyone wishing to donate to BWFWS in Brett’s memory can send their check to: BWFWS, PO Box 424, Sunbury, Ohio 43074 and earmark the check for purchasing bags and supplies in Brett’s Memory.
Big Walnut Friends Who Share is eastern Delaware County’s all-volunteer grass-roots social service agency, providing a host of other services to Big Walnut area families throughout the year, including food assistance, clothing, furniture, kitchen appliances — anything needed in a household.
For assistance, to volunteer, to donate needed items or to make a financial contribution to Friends Who Share projects, call 740–965-9596. Cash donations may be sent to Big Walnut Friends Who Share, P.O. Box 424, Sunbury, 43074.
Big Walnut Friends Who Share is on the Web at < http://www.bigwalnutfriendswhoshare.org/ >.
In keeping with the we take care of our own Friends Who Share philosophy, throughout the year Big Walnut churches, schools and student organizations, girl and boy scouts, Big Walnut area service organizations, and individual donors and volunteers all roll up their sleeves to help this unique community organization meet local need.
The Big Walnut Friends Who Share Store at 216 High Street, Sunbury, is open to those in need from 9 until 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings, and from 6:30 until 8 p.m. during the evening on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.