While many enjoy the privilege of heated homes, for some winter can be a brutal affair. In the mountains, severe weather conditions may cut out electricity and wood becomes the only source of heat. By collecting and delivering firewood to low income areas or the elderly, you can provide warmth to the body and soul of the needy.
In addition to local needs, consider the possibilities of donating firewood to churches in Ukraine, Romania, or Moldova where resources are scarce.
- For this project, you will need ample land/storage space for gathering, chopping, and stacking the firewood. If possible, use unused land in the church or ask around for someone with unoccupied property.
- Set up a drive to collect logs. Advertise through flyers and word-of-mouth for log donation. Here are some other ways to locate free firewood:
- Check with your local Forestry Service
- Contact your local tree services for donated cutoffs.
- Talk with contractors at new construction areas to see if they would allow you to haul fell trees. Construction sites may also have unused or extra wood scraps to donate.
- Check with local firewood dealers for donation.
- Locate families with home heating needs that can be met by firewood. Consider focusing on homes for senior citizens, the disabled or low income groups. Team up with your state’s Social Services to locate families using fire as the primary source of heat.
- Gather tools for organizing the firewood (Again, it doesn’t hurt to ask local businesses to donate supplies):
- Splitting maul
- Sledge hammer
- Hydraulic Splitter
- Enlist volunteers. This project does not need to be limited to able-bodied persons, as volunteers need to be assigned for the following tasks:
- Carrying logs to the hydraulic splitter
- Cutting and/or splitting the firewood
- Stacking and loading the firewood for delivery
- Transporting the firewood
- Organizing delivery route and record-keeping -Once resources and volunteers are in place, pick a day/weekend to chop, stack, and deliver the firewood.
- To ensure safety and health, adopt safety standards for the group.
- Be informed of regulations in your area that could prohibit tree removal or pickup, or require licenses to harvest wood from national forests.
- Consider collaborating with churches in the area to optimize your resources.
- Locate your local tree services to enlist their expertise, help and/or supplies.