Heat for the Holidays delivers a ‘Godsend’ for recipients

Winchester BMR owner Ken Boje (left, on the truck) and some of the helpers assisting with the unloading of pressed fireplace logs at a recipient home (from left, on ground), House of Lazarus employee Jacob Gagnon, Community Food Share volunteer John Legate, and HOL volunteer David Carkner. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

WINCHESTER— Eight families will be a little bit warmer this winter.

Winchester BMR, with the assistance of both House of Lazarus (HOL) and Community Food Share (CFS), spearheaded a Heat for the Holidays campaign this holiday season to ensure several local food bank families would have roughly a month’s worth of fuel for their fireplaces and woodstoves over Christmas and beyond.

A crew of six delivered eight one-tonne loads of Eco-Energy Logs to locations throughout Dundas County, Dec. 20. Winchester BMR owner Ken Boje was accompanied by BMR employee Steve Dejong, HOL volunteer David Carkner, CFS volunteer John Legate, and HOL employees Jacob Gagnon and Sandy Casselman.

“Our recent Linking Hands housing survey showed that 77 per cent of respondents listed Hydro costs as one of their biggest housing-related issues,” Casselman said. “The families we met during the delivery process were relying on fireplaces and woodstoves to keep them from needing to use their electric heat,

whether it was forced air electric or baseboard heaters. Those I spoke with said they didn’t know how they would deal with the large Hydro bills if and when they need to turn the electric heat on to battle the deep chill of winter.”

One recipient told Casselman that before the arrival of the Heat for the Holidays delivery they had only two weeks of firewood left before it was going to be necessary to resort to electric heat. With tears of gratitude, this same recipient, who wished to remain anonymous, said the delivery was a Godsend.

Several other recipients had similar things to say, she added, noting that many said the delivery was like a “weight off their shoulders.”

Each household received an entire pallet of Eco-Energy Logs — or 84 boxes. Each 24-lb box contained eight logs made of compressed hardwood sawdust. Boje estimated the heating time at about a month for each load received — although actual performance depends on many variables, including type of wood-burning appliance, size of the room or house, and insulation.

Winchester BMR sourced the logs at a special low price and covered the cost of delivery aboard its flatbed truck (with Boje at the wheel). The firm is also paying half the cost of the logs delivered during the campaign, while the other half will be covered through donations, which are still being accepted at HOL, CFS, and BMR. Contact House of Lazarus at 613-989-3830, Community Food Share at 613-898-0781, or Ken Boje at Winchester BMR at 613-774-2700.

“With a clear need for this service, we are hoping to be able to do this again next year,” Casselman said. “Hopefully we will be able to help more families in 2018.”

About House of Lazarus

HOL is a community outreach mission focused on helping society’s vulnerable sector in an assortment of ways, from providing food, clothing, and household goods to ensuring opportunities for social interaction, education, and training. HOL, through its Linking Hands initiative, is also a strong advocate for the reduction and eventual elimination of poverty.

About Community Food Share

Community Food Share (CFS) is a registered charity dedicated to helping fight hunger in our community. CFS assists in distributing food and sundries from food banks in Morrisburg and Winchester and food cupboards in Finch and Crysler to individuals and families in Dundas and Stormont Counties.

About Winchester BMR

Winchester BMR is a family-owned and -operated full line home renovation, décor and agricultural retail outlet in Winchester, Ontario. Winchester BMR works with many local charities and service groups to help facilitate fundraising and support with the local trading area.

Parked at the fifth stop of Heat for the Holidays’ Dec. 20 delivery, the crew posed for a photo: (front, from left) HOL employee Jacob Gagnon, Winchester BMR employee Steve Dejong, CFS volunteer John Legate; (back, from left) BMR owner Ken Boje and HOL volunteer David Carkner. Courtesy photo


Winchester BMR Ken Boje prepares to embark on the Dec. 20 delivery run on a suitably frigid morning. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News



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