On The Ground: Why We Do This Work
"I want to share a story with everyone about the firewood program. We receive calls every day from people requesting firewood. Many are no less dire than this one: A woman called the office, desperately asking us to deliver firewood to her neighbor. He was burning his furniture because he was out of wood and would never ask for a hand-out.
He was elderly and physically unable to go out to gather, cut and split his own wood.
The woman said she had reached out to other organizations for assistance with the situation but found that it was a problem finding any wood, even though many organizations had been trying to help with the firewood issue.
This is not an uncommon story that we hear. I have heard of clients burning worse things than furniture. Some have burnt clothes, lumber, combustible debris or any other thing they can, just to stay warm for a few more hours. Of all the programs that are on my plate, it is this one that makes me take phone calls at any time of day, from 7:00 in the morning to 10:00 at night from clients and vendors. It is what makes me say, I will pay any price to get wood to people. It’s what makes me say, thank god that I am a part of this organization. It is the most tangibly good and direly needed program that this organization has asked me to participate in.”
- Darleen Cortez
Red Feather Program Coordinator
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