A ministry out of Greene County, Tennessee started their work season Saturday, making deliveries of firewood to homes with no other source of heat.
As the temperatures start to dip down, the need for heat inside homes is beginning to rise.
The Greene County Firewood Ministry does a lot more than chop wood and load truck beds.
“A lot of people use firewood for heat, that’s their only source of heat all winter long,” says David Andrew, president of the ministry.
Andrew and his team of volunteers are on a mission.
“We are taking the big blocks of wood… and moving them through the splitters and turning them into smaller firewood that people can burn,” Andrew explained.
The ministry is helping people throughout Greene County stay warm as the fall winds and temperatures are creeping in.
“Our average has been about one thousand loads a year,” says Andrew. “We effectively help probably seven or eight hundred people every year.”
The ministry has delivered over five hundred thousand dollars of wood since 2008, with a total of nearly eight thousand deliveries.
These numbers show that the need for heat is in high demand.
“There is a definite need all over East Tennessee, not just in this county,” says Andrew.
The ministry is helping those who have no other way of heating their homes in the winter months.
“The wood is the only source of their heat. They can’t afford to buy it and they are physically not able to go get it for themselves,” says Andrew.
Volunteers with the ministry cut up the wood every Saturday from October through April and make deliveries throughout Greene County, completely free of charge.
Troy Lane has relied on these deliveries for eight years.
“If it wasn’t for the wood ministry, I tell you what I’d be cold,” says Lane.
Lane needs the firewood to heat his home.
“I appreciate what they’re doing too. They help me out a whole bunch,” says Lane.
The ministry relies on donations and volunteers.
“I’m 15 years old and I’ve been volunteering for 8 or 9 years,” says volunteer Jacob Hillyer.
Hillyer has seen the need for this ministry first hand.
“There are really a lot of homes that don’t have good insulation and need firewood to help heat their house. It just makes me feel like I’m helping other people,” says Hillyer.
The underlying message that drives this ministry is one just as warm as the homes they help heat.
“Christ said when you help one in need, you’re helping me. Whether you’re feeding or clothing or helping keep somebody warm, it’s a Christ-centered mission,” says Andrew.
The ministry only delivers to Greene County residents. They rely on donations from people across the region to stay in operation.
If you would like to make a donation call (423) 329-2594 or mail a check to:
Greene County Wood Ministry
C/O Amy Thomas
80 Splatter Creek Road
Limestone, TN 37681
More information can be found on their Facebook page.