There were few dry eyes from those who visited The Well at Sunnyside this past Saturday as the final service was offered to the community.
The Well, previously located at 721 S. Fayette St. in Washington Court House, was a faith-based organization that helped families and individuals meet various needs that weren’t being met elsewhere. This included obtaining clothing, laundering clothing, obtaining personal hygiene products, eating hot meals, partaking in social activity, filing affordable tax returns with the Ohio Benefit Bank, etc.
The Well closed it’s doors on Aug. 31 due to a lack of financial resources and volunteers, according to the former director, Jon Creamer.
The organization has been a part of the community for several years and would have been celebrating its 10th anniversary had it not shut down.
The final service offered was the “Bread of Life” program which consisted of a light breakfast, shopping trip through the pantry and a hot lunch.
The co-directors of the “Bread of Life” program were Gary Davis and Tami Dawson.
Davis explained he was happy to have had the chance to serve the community. According to him, he has been a director of the program since it first began approximately nine years ago and was on the board of directors for approximately five years.
Dawson explained that Harry Wright has been volunteering to cook for them for a long time and that “he’s very passionate about this place.”
The volunteers cooking lunch for Saturday however included Craig Wilson and Vicki Coe. Coe was an early volunteer who left for a short time to take care of a family member but then returned. Wilson can often be seen riding his bike around town, as Dawson explained he would ride through rain and winter weather to come volunteer.
Wilson said, “It’s a shame and really heartbreaking” for The Well to close.
According to Stubby Stebelton, a volunteer since the very beginning of the program, The Well went through two locations before it was located at Sunnyside. He explained that the first location was where Skyscraper Restaurant was located before it went out of business, and the second location was in the same building where The Warehouse now operates.
One of the long-time volunteers, Pam Cottrell, explained that the first location was small but “they always had room for one more person.”
Cottrell remembered that in those beginning years she lived in The Village apartments and drove a small car. Even though she would have trouble supplying the gas, she would often take people home from The Well’s programs. At one point she only had a couple dollars and one of the local churches filled up her gas tank.
Tom Somers, another long-time volunteer, was trying to chat with many of the community members who came in. He said, “I’ve been doing this for eight years and now it’s just going to go away.”
“We’ve made relationships,” said Davis. “That was one of our main reasons to be here—to share the Bible and make relationships.”
“This is a home away from home and I’m going to miss everyone,” said Cottrell. “They are all so nice and like a family. It’s been a pleasure working with them all.”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.