Big Walnut Friends Who Share is seeking a new home, it was said at the Sunbury Council meeting on June 7.
Eastern Delaware County’s grassroots, all-volunteer social service agency, is currently housed in the Community Building at Van’s Valley Community Church, at 14440 State Route 37 East, approximately three miles east of Sunbury on State Route 37 East going towards Johnstown. However, not as many people are visiting the new location after Friends Who Share moved from 216 High Street in Sunbury.
“We got pushed into a corner when we got pushed out in December,” said Al Jeffers to council. Mr. Jeffers was speaking on behalf of his wife, Friends Who Share founder Barbara Jeffers, who was also in attendance.
“When we were in High Street, people could just walk over,” Mr. Jeffers said. “Now we don’t know what to do. We want to stay in the community. We’ve never taken government money, because then the government tells you what to do.”
The space that Friends Who Share occupied on High Street was 40-by-60 feet, Mr. Jeffers said. Although that space is still vacant, Jeffers said the agency requires a bigger area, 60-by-80 feet or 80-by-80, to do its work.
Barbara Jeffers said Friends Who Share assists the “working poor” who apply for food, clothing and household items. When asked by council, the Jeffers’ said no one would be turned away due to their age or the type of car they drove.
“Drugs are taking over at home,” Mr. Jeffers said. “Young people are suffering instead of being productive.”
Although council was sympathetic, a new site for was not found for Friends Who Share.
“We think the world of what you do,” said Mayor Tommy Hatfield to the Jeffers. “We just can’t give away real estate.”
“This is her heart,” Mr. Jeffers said of his wife’s agency, which has been around for 25 years and began in the family’s garage. “If this fails, you’re going to have a lot of people in need.”
For more information, visit www.bigwalnutfriendswhoshare.org or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 740-965-9596.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.