For our firewood team, the first months of the year always revolve around getting our firewood ready, especially dry, for the people in our community who struggle to get by. We provide them with low-cost firewood, for $50 they are able to attend a firewood day and receive 2m3 of wood so they can have a warm and healthy home.
Due to the extremely wet weather this year, we had some challenges to get our firewood dry. But thanks to our chef Lee, who runs our Life Skills programme and who is also our Jack of all trades, and our firewood manager Rick, we put up two extra shelters, which will keep about 220m3 of wood dry. Hopefully the wood will continue to dry to share later this season. We also couldn’t have done this withou the help of the Otumoetai and Bethelehem College Barbarians rugby team who put in 54 hours with 27 volunteers reorganising our wet wood in the hope that it will dry out further.
Working together collaboratively
In February and March we worked closely with families and individuals to make sure they’d have a warm and healthy home this winter. This year 166m3 of dry firewood was collected or delivered to about 83 homes.
Hand up, not handout
Working alongside the people we support is what it’s all about in this whole process – Good Neighbour is about giving a hand up and not a handout. So on our firewood days recipients must come together at our depot for a few hours on a Saturday morning together with volunteer drivers to load a trailer full of dry firewood and deliver it to their homes. They then return to the depot and load another trailer load for another family. This is followed by a shared morning tea and BBQ.
The power of many
All this work couldn’t be done without our amazing team of firewood volunteers, local agencies who partner with us and our sponsors of course. So, here’s a big shout out to them! We especially want to highlight our sponsor Taylor Bros Transport, Port of Tauranga, Carmel Country Estate, Tree Wise Men and McFall Fuels.
Do you want to find out more about what our firewood team does, or better yet become a part of this awesome crew? Check out our firewood web page.