If you heat with wood, you know how many cords it takes to keep your house warm in winter.
We visited a local church that helps 400 families stay warm by providing firewood.
The Nativity Lutheran Church’s firewood program runs every Saturday from 9 am to noon, year round on Southeast Brosterhous Road in Bend.
“I pick up firewood once a month. Some years I only need to pick up a few times. This year so far, more often because it’s cold out,” said Margarita Estrada, who lives in an 85 year old house which is heated solely by wood.
The Wood Bank at Nativity Lutheran Church is volunteer-driven.
Volunteers split tree rounds and season them.
Volunteers load seasoned firewood for qualified recipients, be they seniors, ill or on low or fixed incomes.
“Tree service companies tell us where trees are coming down. We go out with our trailers and retrieve it. Then we give the property owners where the tree came from a write off, a tax receipt,” said Richard Berg, volunteer.
Each Saturday, up to 40 eligible families collect a cord of wood.
They donate $30 per load to keep the wood lot operating independently and sustainably.
If a person cannot donate, they are asked to volunteer so the gift is less of a hand out and more of a hand up.
“Through the course of the season, probably 300 to 400 families get served,” Berg said. “We have 300 to 350 cords of firewood go out through this operation.”
Assuming a cord of wood sells for $225, that’s an economic impact of more than $65,000 that helps keep low income people warm in their homes.
Volunteers work all summer long to have enough firewood inventory for the winter.
Estrada says she is grateful. “I just love them helping. I see they help a lot of other people.”
For more information on services offered and volunteer opportunities, click here.