CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - For three decades Bob Steffen spread Christmas cheer after starting Big Stef Inc. which helped those who needed it. So when "Big Stef" passed away earlier this year, many feared the organization would not be far behind.
That may be the case, but his friends and volunteers vowed to help families in need for one more Christmas.
"Bob was the heart and soul of Big Stef and he's greatly missed and we just wanted to get out and tell his story so folks will remember all the good work that he's done for the past 30-years," says Michael Fennell whose been volunteering for Big Stef Inc since he was a child.
Bob Steffen or "Big Stef," who started in 1986 spreading Christmas cheer by visiting nursing homes, that's when he founded Big Stef Inc.
In the early 1990's, he started handing out Christmas food gift baskets.
Now, for the very last time, volunteers put together 402 gift baskets that will go out Dec. 17.
The baskets are possible thanks to Big Stef's vision and volunteers some of whom are basketball rivals.
"New Cath is here as well which in athletics is a rivalry, but then it's great to be able to come together for the common good and make a difference," says Cov Cath student Ben Frances.
"Basketball doesn't matter," says New Cath student Cody Mueller. "Everyone wants to help as much as they can."
Big Stef who loved Christmas got his name not for his stature, but the size of his heart.
"It's been a very difficult year losing him and we had feared that once he passed that it would be end of Big Stef giving," says volunteer Lisa Tucker who knew Big Stef for 20 years.
Bob Steffen may be gone, but the lessons learned will no doubt endure says Michael Fennell.
"When I was five years old my dad started bringing me around." He adds, "Today I have my two children here with me; Meredith and Ty teaching them that there are a lot of people who need some help and if you can help them its good."