WINCHESTER — Far from extinguishing the initiative, the pandemic stoked the annual Heat for the Holidays campaign to greater heights.
In fact, the fourth-annual edition spearheaded out of the Boje family’s Winchester BMR store distributed more fuel logs than ever in the lead-up to Christmas, all of it funded by donations.
“In spite of everything’s that gone on with Covid, the community has supported us really well,” said Winchester BMR co-owner Ken Boje, about to disembark on the fifth and final pre-Christmas delivery run. “We had some substantial donations,” Boje added, pointing to a sum received from the 100 Men Who Care South Dundas in particular.
Along to help out on the Dec. 21 delivery was a masked group of friends and family of MP Eric Duncan, as Boje took pains to secure volunteers who were part of family bubbles this year.
The day’s schedule included seven stops to serve eight clients in the Hallville and South Mountain area. Each address received a skid containing 84 boxes of the manufactured fireplace logs — approximately enough for one month’s heat in an average home. In addition to donating three skids of the ‘Eco’ logs, Winchester BMR again provided all of the trucking and delivery to each home.
The bulk of families received deliveries before Christmas but 50 addresses will ultimately be helped by the end of this year’s campaign, according to Boje. Some deliveries may occur as late as April, depending on need. Those requiring the help of the Heat for the Holidays program must apply through the House of Lazarus and Community Food Share.
It’s a lot of skids, and the trucking company owned by Duncan’s father, Ed Duncan, has again stepped forward to help with storing them until delivery. The JED Express trailers in the Winchester BMR parking lot have also served to draw attention to the campaign from busy County Rd. 31.