Working together
Heat for the Holidays, a group initiative between House of Lazarus, Community Food Share and Winchester BMR, delivered 22 skids — 84 boxes each of Eco-Energy Logs — to individuals, couples, and families throughout North and South Dundas and North Grenville Dec. 18, Dec. 19, and Dec. 20. Pictured at the end of the Dec. 20 delivery are: HOL employee Ralph Pulfer, CFS volunteer John Legate, HOL volunteers Josh Mason and Gord MacLean, Winchester BMR’s Ken Boje and his son, Devin. Not pictured, HOL’s Linking Hands initiative coordinator Sandy Casselman.
Courtesy photo

Making a difference
CFS volunteer John Legate (front left) and HOL employee Ralph Pulfer (front right) are pictured adding boxes of Eco-Energy Logs to one family’s pile during this year’s Heat for the Holidays delivery. Also pictured are Devin and Ken Boje of Winchester BMR passing boxes down to HOL volunteers Josh Mason and Gord MacLean.

Courtesy photo

MOUNTAIN — The second annual Heat for the Holidays initiative served twice as many families this Christmas season.

House of Lazarus (HOL), in partnership with Community Food Share (CFS) and Winchester BMR, helped make several homes warmer this winter. The trio delivered roughly a month’s supply (84 boxes) of Eco-Energy Logs to 22 food bank clients between Dec. 18 and Dec. 20. Each day saw a representative from CFS, two from BMR, and four from HOL gather at the County Road 31 store before heading out on a pre-planned delivery route that covered towns and villages in North Dundas, South Dundas and North Grenville.

The initiative was introduced to HOL executive director Cathy Ashby and CFS executive director Ian McKelvie in 2017 by Winchester BMR owner Ken Boje. The inaugural year saw volunteers deliver eight skids (84 boxes each) of Eco-Energy Logs to families in North and South Dundas, following up with two more deliveries in early 2018.

This year, HOL’s Ralph Pulfer, who attended all three days of the delivery run this year, said roughly 50 per cent of the deliveries went to seniors, while the remaining percentage saw singles, couples and a young family receive wood. Those who were physically able to help, pitched in with the unloading and piling of the wood.

“Everyone was really appreciative,” Pulfer said, noting that many commented the delivery would allow them to catch up on some other bills, as they would be paying less for Hydro costs.

While Heat for the Holidays makes things a little easier for those with the capacity to burn wood, others still struggle with the cost of heating their homes with electric, natural gas, or propane heaters.

“It’s a good program. It helps people,” Pulfer said. “But, how can we help people who don’t heat with wood?”

The Christmastime initiative, championed by Boje, is paid for through donations, including the donation of four skids of Eco-Energy Logs from Boje himself.

“There is no doubt Heat for the Holidays is needed,” HOL’s Sandy Casselman said. “Having participated in the delivery both years, I can say there are many out there who are in dire need of assistance to not only get through the winter, but to also do necessary repairs to their homes. Many have already received window insulation kits through the Project Warmth initiative, but more needs to be done.”

Project Warmth sees anyone in need receive free window insulation kits through HOL, CFS, and multiple agencies throughout the area. Once again, this initiative is made possible through a partnership with Boje and Winchester BMR.

“A special thank you to all the donors who made this happen,” Ashby said. “The generosity of our community amazes me and continues to make a difference in the lives of those in need.”