Volunteer woodchucks chop

How many Hartsel woodchucks chopped wood for the Woodchuck Program if they could and did chop wood? The answer is over 40 woodchucks chopped wood Feb. 1, for the Country Church of Hartsel. (Photo courtesy of Kimberlee Cather)

Forty brave and strong souls showed up in Hartsel the first Saturday in February to chop wood for the Country Church of Hartsel Woodchuck Program.

Readers may be familiar with the program, which was run by Jerry Casebolt, Hartsel’s giant with a chainsaw, who now guides the Woodchuck Program with his heavenly toolbox.

After Casebolt passed away last spring, the Country Church of Hartsel stepped up to the trees and began chopping and delivering wood to those in need.

Volunteers who helped chop wood on this recent Saturday were alsotreated to lunch afterwards. With the town population of approximately 25 residents, it was incredible to have 40 volunteers arrive.

“We had a wood cutting and splitting day so that the community could participate and take wood if needed,” Jimmy Anderson, chief woodchuck and president of the board of the Country Church of Hartsel and Woodchuck Program, said.

“At one time during the event there were approximately over 40 people from the community that came to help the Country Church of Hartsel.”

WP volunteer Terrie D’Alessandro said, “I used muscles I never knew I had.”

Anderson explained about the program, “We will get the wood to people who are in need, or they can arrange to pick it up if they can.”

While Anderson is the president of the program, Zigmond Post is the head coordinator.

Who can receive free wood?

Per Anderson, “Anyone is eligible that is in need, and no documentation (pay stubs, for example) is required.”

“We have no set of rules. We do it on a case-by-case basis. If anybody is out of wood and in need we will do our best to provide. They must live in Hartsel,” Anderson said and added, “they do not need to help cut wood unless they are able.”

How the program works

“We purchase the wood through the church. We also accept donations from people that might have wood on their property to give. We will go harvest the wood.” Anderson said.

The program is sponsored by the the Country Church of Hartsel in the memory of Jerry Casebolt for the benefit of the people in the community to help with heating needs.

The volunteers from the community and church have helped many people, including single mothers, widows, those who are sick or injured and have no way to get wood.

“I would like to give a special thanks to the Hartsel Community Center for their help to organize and promote this program and would also like to thank Mike and Sue Pace, Cindy Huelsman and Kimberlee Cather for the chili supper that was prepared for all of the volunteers.” Anderson said.

For more information or to sign up for wood, call Zigmond Post 719-836-2480 or email Jimmy Anderson at jimmysf250@aol.com.

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