Warm Hearts Warm Homes aims to help people with heating issues

HELENA — Volunteers were out in force at Tenmile Creek Park sawing, stacking and cutting firewood to help community members who may be dealing with heating insecurity.

“Well, I think we have a lot of people who need to burn wood for anything, heat their house or whatever. And they just, maybe they don’t have a truck, maybe they don’t have an axe, they don’t have the ability, maybe they’re physically handicapped. So those of us who are more capable can support these people,” says volunteer Denise Gleason.

The Warm Hearts, Warm Homes event is the second of its kind. With two loads of logs provided by Marks Lumber, the volunteers had plenty of wood to cut to give away free to the public. This initiative is a partnership between St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Gardenwerks, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Marks Lumber and Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT).

“We had people from all over the valley, from the mountains, from as far away as Great Falls coming in to get tons of firewood,” says John Beaver, PPLT board member and church member. United Methodist St. Paul.

As winter approaches and temperatures drop, those who need fuel to heat their homes can use this free service. This service is particularly useful with rising inflation this year.

“Most people are really self-sufficient people. But they may be older, they may be disabled, they may no longer be able to collect their own firewood. But they still heat their houses with wood. And so they’re in a bind because, you know, buying firewood is expensive. And so, it’s an opportunity for them to heat their home for free,” says Beaver.

With recent rate hikes at Northwestern Energy and a recent report predicting that families nationwide will pay 17.2% more than last year to heat their homes this winter, this free heating resource is bound to be welcome.

Those hoping to pick up some of this free firewood can contact the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).