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To advertise: 540-349-8060
Discover Fauquier December 2019
SHE 2324/12-19
Serving Fauquier, Culpeper & Rappahannock Counties
85 Garrett Street, Warrenton, VA 20186
New Millennium
Don't let the
Christmas Season
get away from you...
Enjoy this special
time of year!
from My Family
to Yours
~ Lynnette Esse
Several years ago, members of Warrenton
Baptist Church (WBC) were making minor
repairs to the homes of local families living
in poverty. With a real heart for helping
people, the volunteers got to know these
individuals and learned of a common need
for fi rewood to feed the wood stove that
heated their homes. The mostly senior
adults could not afford the $150 for a
delivered truckload of wood; thus, the wood
ministry was born.
Arabelle Arrington, a longtime member of
WBC, had previously donated 28 acres
of land adjacent to Brumfi eld Elementary
School in Warrenton to the church. The
trees on the land were cut down, split, and
delivered to people in need. After attending
a meeting about creating a church coalition,
church member Tom Williams took over
the fi rewood ministry. "I saw the need for
organization and realized that both my
wife, Judy, and I have organizational skills
developed during our careers," comments
Tom. "We recently retired and wanted to
make a positive difference in the lives of
our neighbors."
Teaming up with Saint James' Episcopal
Church, the two churches alternate
weekends leading efforts to prepare and
deliver wood to those in need. As colder
weather moves in, you'll fi nd volunteers
from these two churches, as well as from
Warrenton Church of Christ, The Bridge
Church, St. Patrick's Orthodox Church, and
other groups on Saturdays from 9:0011:00
a.m. cutting logs into 18" rollers, splitting
wood into manageable pieces, stacking it
to season, and delivering it to clients.
Last year, 132 truckloads were delivered to
approximately 25 clients. This year, they are
trying to get a jump on the need, delivering
two loads of wood to each qualifying
client before the cold weather sets in and
Local Wood Ministry Brings
Warmth to the Community
the need becomes urgent. They expect
to deliver 150 loads, or approximately
75 cords, to 25 families. This is no small
task--about 1,500 volunteer hours will go
into this year's efforts.
How can you help? The biggest need is for
people with pickup trucks and/or trailers
who are available to deliver wood. The
deliverer has the opportunity to talk with
families, fi nd out what other needs they
might have, and pray with them. They get
to see fi rsthand how important the fi rewood
is in their lives.
Another way to help is to volunteer on
Saturday mornings. There is plenty for
even unskilled labor to do and muscles
are optional! All ages, from 583 currently
help in some way, from handing out bottles
of water to sweeping up wood chips. "It is
meaningful work, instant gratifi cation, and
great fellowship!" Tom says.
The wood ministry falls under Fauquier
Community Coalition, which recently
became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofi t,
making all donations tax-deductible and
allowing the group to apply for grants.
Donations are needed to help maintain or
replace their equipment.
One thing they do not need, however, is
wood. They do not have the manpower,
expertise, or insurance to pick up downed
trees and move them to the lot, but
thankfully, they have an arrangement with
professional arborists who drop off donated
wood to the lot on a regular basis.
Grace Bible Church in Marshall and Grace
Episcopal Church in The Plains run sister
ministries in Northern Fauquier County,
serving about a dozen clients each. "We
would love to see adjoining counties
develop similar ministries," says Tom. "We
are willing to consult with anyone who is
Referrals for families that need wood to
heat their homes typically come through
the Department of Social Services, the
PATH Foundation, local churches, or
word-of-mouth. To inquire about fi rewood
to heat your home, contact Judy at
(540) 729-2743. To learn more or to donate,
contact Tom at