Today when you say the words Big Walnut Friends Who Share, most residents of eastern Delaware County think of a local institution that’s been around almost forever, but Friends Who Share was founded by Barb Jeffers as a volunteer, grass-roots family assistance organization only 25 years ago.
To share their 25th Anniversary celebration, members of the Big Walnut Friends Who Share Board of Directors and volunteer staff are holding an open house at 1 p.m. on Sunday, October 9, at the Friends Who Share Store at 216 High Street, near the intersection with Hartford Road.
“Our open house will provide an opportunity for members of the Big Walnut community to stop by and see what we do and how we’re organized,” said Friends Who Share President Larry Tornes. “The best thing about Friends Who Share is, as we’ve grown we’ve remained a 100-percent volunteer organization.”
Tornes said Big Walnut Friends Who Share serves anyone in need living in the Big Walnut Community on a one-time basis, with additional assistance provided to individuals and families receiving public assistance of some type – SSI, ADC, WIC, Food Stamps, PIN or other type of public assistance.
Friends Who Share services include a food pantry, clothing, bedding, kitchen items, paper products, appliances, personal care items, and cleaning supplies. Programs also include the Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project and holiday food and children’s gift distribution.
Tornes said this year’s annual Big Walnut Friends Who Share fundraising walk will begin at the store at 1 p.m. on October 9 in conjunction with the open house, no preregistration is needed to participate in the walk.
The Big Walnut Friends Who Share Store at 216 High Street, Sunbury, is open to those in need on Wednesday mornings from 9 until 11:30 a.m., and during the evening on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from 6:30 until 8 p.m.
On the second Saturday of each month, senior citizens can visit the Friends Who Share Store from 10 a.m. until 12-noon. Volunteers help out at the center from 9 a.m. until 11:30 every Monday morning. The store accepts donated items on Mondays from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
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 can be found on the Internet at bigwalnutfriendswhoshare.org.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.