Vt. neighbors pitch in to donate firewood

Neighbors helping neighbors
Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM EDT
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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) - A Jericho family had some extra firewood on their property and decided to spread the wealth -- and the warmth.

Just up the road from the Axelrod home in Jericho, there’s a steady sound of chain saws and log splitters. The sounds of Wood for Good, a program to help neighbors in need. “So there’s purposefully no criteria for what is need. We just try to help people who reach out and ask for help,” said Eric Axelrod, who came up with the idea for the program.

He says two years ago the family had more firewood than they needed, so he and his sons donated the extra cords. The idea really took off when the pandemic hit. Axelrod received donations of logs and got to work turning it into firewood. “During COVID we had additional time when I wasn’t really working for a good couple of months, and so me and the boys really started going after this in earnest,” Axelrod said.

And the project to clean up the yard has turned into so much more -- a tale of neighbors helping neighbors and a community coming together in the face of an adverse year. "It’s a godsend, it really is,” says Jerome Mendicino, one of many locals who is on Wood for Good’s delivery list. He has been unemployed since before the pandemic and is awaiting a delivery from the Axelrod’s after last year’s wood got him through the winter. “They helped deliver it here, which was great. I mean it saved our lives for that particular winter I tell ya.”

It’s these stories that keep the Axelrod’s doing what they’re doing. "There are these people and they were just so so thankful. It was like they were just... this is going to put us so far ahead and this is gonna help us so much we might actually get to keep our house warm. And they said they were so thankful,” said 14-year-old Devin Axelrod.

“It feels truly rewarding to be able to deliver to somebody," added 10-year-old Logan.

Even though it is hard work, the Axelrod boys say that it’s worth it because the people they deliver the wood to are genuinely grateful and happy. And the community believes that this program is worth it too. Businesses and community members have donated time, money, and wood to make sure that the program continues. By the end of this season, Wood for Good is projected to have delivered 50 cords.

Wood for good is looking for community members that would either like to help out or folks who need help themselves. They are almost done with their seasoned wood for this year but are looking to plan deliveries for the next season. For now, they are only delivering within Chittenden county. To learn more, contact Eric Axelrod at: woodforgoodvt@gmail.com.

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