Residents of South Park know that cold weather can move in quickly after Labor Day and remain until after Memorial Day. With that in mind, close to 20 Woodchuck volunteers met in Hartsel last Saturday and got busy.

Local volunteers who are part of the Woodchuck Program of the Country Church of Hartsel chopped, split and carried wood behind the Twin Creek Realty building. Volunteers could also take wood home. 

“This is my second year with the program and I’m glad to be here to help today,” said Alex Mead-Robinson, volunteer. “My husband passed away last year. He was in the military and I am thankful for the program.” 

Mead-Robinson was also accompanied by her service dog-in-training, Mjolnir.

“We ran out of wood last winter and this program helped us,” said Gina Shirley, volunteer. “The Woodchuck Program does not have any hoops to jump through like the LEAP program where you might not qualify, for example if you have seasonal employment.”

The Woodchuck Program provides wood for those in need on volunteer days as well as delivers wood to those who are unable to pick up wood in person, throughout the year.

Volunteers who helped chop wood on Saturday were also treated to lunch afterwards.

“We have a lot of help for people in need now, including this program and the food bank,” said Jimmy Anderson, chief woodchuck and president of the board of the Country Church of Hartsel.

How the WP works:

The WP is for people in the Hartsel area. They do not need to show paperwork, just be in need of wood.

 Mike Pace is the main contact person and can be reached at Those interested in the program should email Mike Pace or call him at 713-398-6472. Jimmy Anderson is also a contact person and can be reached at Twin Creek Realty, 719-836-2480.

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

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