Wood for Warmth volunteers deliver 10 cords of firewood, stack another 18 cords for reserve

  • Ally Rose carries split wood to add to the pile at the Wood for Warmth volunteer event on Saturday. SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNANMonitor staff


  • Ally Rose carries split wood to add to the pile at the Wood for Warmth volunteer event on Saturday.  SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN—Monitor Staff

  • Hopkinton Police Chief Thomas Hennessey, along with other volunteers, runs the wood splitter. SRUTHI GOPALAKRISHNAN / Monitor staff

Monitor Staff
Published: 11/22/2022 3:37:29 PM

It wasn't a typical day at the Hopkinton-Webster Transfer Station. The sounds of chainsaws cutting wood ripped through the crisp air. It was Hopkinton's annual volunteer event, Wood for Warmth.

Ally Rose, 25, came with her family on Saturday morning to help stockpile wood for the community in preparation for winter, as she has done for the past ten years. Rose’s parents own a logging business and donate wood, labor and machinery, year after year.

While some volunteers split the wood, Rose stacked logs to make neat cords. 

“We just tell everyone that we're doing this and everyone brings whatever wood they have to donate and stack it,” said Rose. “It's a really good way to get everyone together and deliver it to people.” 

More than 70 people with tractors, trucks, wood splitters, chainsaws, and front-end loaders got together at the transfer station. Ten cords of wood were distributed to community members who needed it, while another 18 cords were kept at the transfer station for individuals who may need emergency heat throughout the winter months.

The annual Wood for Warmth event began in 2008 as part of the Sean Powers Wood Bank, named after a town police officer who was killed in a motorcycle crash in 2008.

With fuel prices rising, other transfer stations should consider acquiring wood and setting up wood banks, said Mary Congoran, the Wood for Warmth program organizer.

“If anyone can burn wood this year, that's what they should be doing,” said Congoran. “Because it's just an astronomical price on fuel oil, which seems to still be going up.” 

Just like Rose, Cathen Hall, 23, has been volunteering at the community event for years. She first got involved as part of her high school’s Interact Club. Now, she has graduated and still continues to do the work every year.

Initially, she would only move the wood. But now, she does everything.

“I can run the splitter, drive the truck to deliver the wood,” said Hall over the whirring of the heavy machinery. “I’ve just been doing it because it's fun.”

To figure out who needs the wood most Hall and Congoran work together. Some receive seasoned wood, while others receive green wood, depending on their needs.

It didn't take long for more volunteers to arrive as the day progressed. At one end of the transfer station, volunteers set up a table with hot casseroles, pizza, cookies, and hot chocolate to fuel up between shifts.

Everyone had something to contribute at the charitable event. While the adults operated the machines and split wood, children carried armloads to trucks and add to the piles.

Police Chief Thomas Hennessey said this was a good year because of all the people who came in to help. 

“I got here at 8 a.m. and I’m going to be here until it’s done,” said Hennessey, who was working with a splitter.

Congoran said events like this are special in Hopkinton, where people look after each other.

“You are just happy to work among all these people because you cannot work down there without being happy,” said Congoran.  

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