BPC is known as the “giving church,” and the Woodchucks epitomize that giving all year long! The Woodchucks began about 1998, led by BPC members Dr. John Lipsey and Dr Birch. They delivered about 5 truckloads of wood that first year. We now support 45-50 Montgomery County families by delivering in excess of 200 pick-up truck loads of wood each winter. Our mission is simple – to relieve the suffering of the poor by giving them firewood to keep their families warm.
The Woodchuck ministry has become an inter-faith group. We work year-round on Thursdays and Saturdays, and other days as needed. There is a varying core of about 10 loyal volunteers. There are 2 support jobs: receiving calls from those requested wood and surveying wood. We gather and cut donated wood in the spring, summer, and early fall and split and deliver firewood from the late fall until it warms up.
When I was first asked to help the small Woodchucks group, I thought, sure, sounds easy, we can help folks and get exercise at the same time! Later I realized how difficult, dangerous, and trying it is to do this: snakes, bees, ticks, hazardous equipment, heat, cold, bitter wind, snow and ice. I began to realize how much abject poverty there is in our community, how sick and disabled many of these people are, how these people cannot provide for themselves, and how much help they really need. Firewood is just the tip of the iceberg for what they need.
This work touches your heart when you see tears of joy while being told that because of this firewood, there will be enough money for their children to have Christmas presents. It makes you realize how much God has blessed us. I will do this for as long as I am able.
Mike Harvey, Longtime member of the Woodchucks
Want to participate in the Woodchucks? Contact Mike Harvey at M.L@harveybiz.com.
Letter from one of the Woodchucks clients:
To the members of BPC:
As I sit here in my home, warmed by my wood stove, filled with fuel provided by you, I wonder if you realize how much I appreciate what you have done in my life, not just right now, this Christmas season, but all winter long for a long time now, so long I’m not sure how long it has actually been. I’m humbled by the actions you have taken to help me with a need I could never repay. Your kindness and never failing to ensure I’ve had what I needed will never be forgotten or gone un-realized how much hard work is involved as I took care of this need myself for many years before my debilitating accident that took so much away physically from my life. God has kept me here through some things I sometimes wonder why I’m worth even being here. I have a story, as we all do. The older I get, the more I’m shown by the actions of others what I am able to do. I realize how much time I’ve wasted sometime when I’m actually still able to give back. In a large part because of you and the actions you’ve taken to help me has made me realize how much I can still do to help others and I have tried to do that. I can’t cut and load firewood, but there is so much I am capable of. I don’t mean to go on and on.
Thank God for all I have, there are so many with so much less. I now know my job is to look for those I can touch and I’m trying, with God’s help, to be a better man, and do what I can when I can. I will never get even with the blessings I receive. Thank you again for what you’ve done in my life, my humble prayers are with you. Thank you so much for the help and kindness you’ve extended to me. May God bless you all, as you have blessed me. With love and thanks.
Scripture Readings for March 3, 2019
Transfiguration of the Lord
2 Corinthians 3:12 - 4:2
Luke 9:28-36 (37-43)