Stelzer Book Bag stuffing draws 70 volunteers

By Lenny C. Lepola -

On Sunday, Aug. 2, volunteers ranging from student age though older adults joined forces at Big Walnut Friends Who Share’s 12th 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 project has been in existence for as long as Friends Who Share has been around. Mark and Gloria Stelzer, who lost their son, Brett, to an accident on Valentine’s Day 2004, started the Brett Stelzer Book Bag Project. Brett would have been a member of the Big Walnut High School class of 2007.

“We had over 70 people volunteer their time to stuff book bags purchased in Brett’s memory,” Gloria Stelzer said. “This year, fortunately, we only needed to stuff 122 book bags. That’s down from past years; however, we consider that a blessing.”

Stelzer said Learning Express, owned by Connie Jacob, provided high-quality book bags at wholesale cost.

“That was another blessing since book bags are becoming quite expensive,” Stelzer said. “We really want to thank those who volunteered their time and donated school supplies and money to Brett Stelzer Book Bags in care of Big Walnut Friends Who Share.”

Ongoing contributions for school supplies and book bag purchases can be made in Brett’s memory. Anyone wishing to donate to Friends Who Share in Brett’s memory can send their check to: BWFWS, PO Box 424, Sunbury OH 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 OH 43074.

Big Walnut Friends Who Share is on the Web at

By Lenny C. Lepola

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093

Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093