Community Service Program Award Winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 05/30/2018 Under: Community (366 Hits)    

Wood for Warmth Project Blessed Sacrament Parish Council #13452 Midland

Council 13452 has provided firewood to local families in the Midland Michigan area for more than ten years.

It all began when a Brother Knight offered cut maple trees from his property to provide firewood for local families in need.  That first year, Brother Knights worked together with the parish staff to help find three or four needy families and deliver wood to their homes.

One delivery in particular touched many of us, and set in motion the ongoing effort. The weather was very cold late that November, and when we arrived at a home for delivery, we realized the family had just a few pieces of firewood left in storage.  We learned the wife was in treatment for cancer, putting a big strain on the family finances.  The husband had been laid off and was looking for work while helping care for his wife.  As we unloaded two pickup truck loads of firewood, the wife broke down and began to cry.  She went inside the home and wrote us a thoughtful thank you note.  Those of us there that day were greatly impacted and knew we had found an important mission, and we agreed to build upon the project the following year.

Wood for Warmth program

The next year, a Brother Knight offered us the downed wood on his 80 acre lot north of town.  This new site became a traditional wood collection location for our Knights council, and we used this source for the next six years.  Knights would go to his property on Friday evenings, and he and his wife would treat us to a delightful meal and good fellowship.  The next day we would cut and split wood, load trailers and pickup trucks, and deliver fire wood to families.

Our council soon began working with local cancer services and community mental health agencies to help find more local families in need.  The parish youth group, boy scouts, Delta Community College veterans group, Knights from another council, and family members all came out to help.

During this journey, we’ve made many memories together, and we’ve made even greater friends.  We’ve assisted a neighboring parish remove nearly 100 dead trees from their Stations of the Cross Pathway, and we’ve even advised our local Lutheran Church pastor on how to implement a similar program in their congregation.

This project has been a very rewarding experience for our Knights of Columbus council members.  We’ve been able to work and have fun together, engage with the community, and provide winter warmth and assistance to those who need it most.  This is one of the ways our council has helped build the domestic church, and we look forward to continuing this special ministry.