Wood Ministry

Wood Ministry

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the wood ministry?

The wood ministry works to provide firewood to low income individuals in our community that rely upon wood to heat their homes. The ministry was formed over 5 years ago and includes many churches and volunteers from the community.

Where does the wood ministry meet?

The wood ministry is centered at 650 Alwington Blvd in Warrenton. The wood lot is on the premises of The Gathering Place at the END of the road between Home Depot and Walmart, past Brumfield Elementary School.

When are the work sessions in the wood lot?

The wood ministry meets every Saturday morning from 9AM until 11AM, 52 weeks a year. It takes over 2,000 hours of volunteering to serve the needs in our community. Of course the wood lot is open every day and we have volunteers who work almost every day of the year in the lot.

What skills do you need to have to work in the wood lot?

You need no special skills at all. We have opportunities for the complete novice up to the most skilled worker. The ministry has effectively used volunteers from age 5 to 85, men and women, and many first time workers.

Can I bring my children to the wood lot?

We love having families volunteering together. We only ask that parents supervise their children during the work session. Teenagers bring their energy and enthusiasm to the work sessions and younger children can find small jobs to assist their parents and other volunteers. The work session is two hours long but even volunteering for ½ hour will assist the ministry.

What do I need to bring to the Work Session?

A good attitude and a pair of gloves is sufficient. If you forget, we have gloves and safety glasses that you can use. If you have the following equipment you may want to bring it. A chainsaw if you can safely use it, a garden rake, or an axe or maul to hand split wood (the ministry has a few of these).

What tasks need to be done in the wood lot?

Wood needs to be sawn, split, moved, stacked and loaded for delivery. We also need to see to the safety and neatness of the woodlot by mowing grass, weed eating, and picking up wood chips for disposal. We have lots of recently delivered logs and cut wood that need to be moved to workstations for efficient splitting.

Do I need to be physically strong to work in the wood lot?

If you can do normal yard or garden work around your house you can help in the wood lot. Anyone can do tasks like picking up wood chips, stacking wood or even handing out bottles of water to fellow volunteers. We can find a job for everyone.

Is it safe to work in the wood lot?

The wood lot team goes to great lengths to keep the lot cleared of debris and other tripping hazards. Splitters can be safely operated and experienced volunteers will be there to show you how to operate the tools; but only if you wish to use them.

May I deliver wood?

Many people find the act of delivering firewood the most satisfying part of the ministry and a great way for children to appreciate all that they have. If you have a pickup truck or a trailer and would like to deliver firewood we will provide you with a name and address of one of our clients. You just need to dump the wood at the address of the client.

What do I do when I deliver wood?

You will be provided with the name and address of one of our clients. Upon arrival you should easily see where firewood is stored on their property and just need to toss the delivered wood onto the stack. You need not have any contact with the client but may wish to converse with them from a distance. Some of our clients like to greet the deliverers others wish to stay inside.

Can you maintain safe social distancing in the wood lot?

We believe the wood ministry is one of the best environments for ministering during this time of COVID-19. The wood lot is on acres of land and we have spread the work stations throughout the lot. You can work independently at a safe social distance.

Where should I park?

You should park in The Gathering Place parking lot and walk up the hill to the wood lot. If you are loading wood you should drive your pickup truck to the front of the wood lot to get wood for delivery.

I have a tree on my lot, can I donate it?

The wood ministry has been blessed with lots of donations of wood from the community, a few professional arborists drop off wood regularly. The ministry does not have the equipment, skills or the insurance to pick up wood as donations. If you or your arborist can drop off the wood at our lot we welcome all hardwood tree donations.

Why should I want to volunteer?

Everyone who has volunteered in the wood lot has told us they had a good experience and are able to see the results of work. All the work you do directly helps those in need in our community. The wood ministry needs to split and stack at least 150 cords of wood to support an anticipated 300 deliveries this season. Without the help of our volunteers 32 families will be without warmth this winter. No Plan B exists for these people; delivered wood costs $150 a truckload and would last our families who live in uninsulated homes about one week.

I have other questions. Who can I contact?

Joe McClure, Operations Manager - jmmrocket85@gmail.com
Tom Williams, Delivery Manager - thomaswilliams05@comcast.net

Woodlot Donation Ground Rules

  • Wood donations not accepted without prior approval and placement coordination. (Points of Contact (POC) provided below.)

  • All wood donations must be hard wood, and well suited for fire chimney burning (no Pine, Redwood, Cedar, Douglas, or any other ever-green.)

  • Wood rounds are preferable in 18-20” lengths. They must be small enough in diameter for a 2-man team to lift into a normal sized pickup truck.

  • Placement location for wood donations is important. The center of the WoodLot, close to existing wood splitters, is the priority placement for wood rounds.

  • Split wood donations can be placed close to the existing stacks of split wood (closest to the storage sheds.) The POC can provide direction for placement when communicating prior approval/coordination.